Proposition Studios at Surrey Wharf is transforming a corner of Old Kent Road with an amazing, temporary work of art ahead of redevelopment.
Surrey Wharf, a warehouse currently home to pop-up art studios, just off Old Kent Road, has been temporarily transformed by Proposition Studios and two muralists, ATMA and Dreph, ahead of redevelopment by Berkeley Homes.
Earlier this year, through an open call competition, Proposition and Berkley Homes (South East London) Ltd selected the muralist, Mattheo Dufour – also known as ATMA – to temporarily transform the warehouse façade into a magical new work of art.
The warehouse, which overlooks the Asda car park, is part of the Malt Street regeneration site, one of the biggest schemes currently in the pipeline for the area.
Across eleven new buildings, the development will create over 1,300 new homes and over 7,000 sqm of new employment space, all set within new, public open space. Redevelopment is due to begin next year.
Work on the huge new mural began earlier this month and, when complete, it will depict ATMA’s vision of an area in transition.
The mural starts at one end of the building with an industrial landscape which slowly merges into a giant woodland with wind turbines and sprouting foliage. At the far end, a young boy, with an infectious smile, raises his face to the sky, breathing fresh air, symbolising a positive cycle. As a whole, it tells a sequential story that explores how an old industrial site (indeed, a whole industrial area) can be reborn as a hive for nature, creativity, positivity and hope.
The mural represents plans to transform the heart of the Old Kent Road area through the delivery of new homes, jobs and public spaces. Berkeley Homes’ plans for the site take inspiration from its historical context and make use of the geometry of the former Grand Surrey Canal.
The mural also reflects Proposition Studios’ message about the potential for civilisation’s transition into a world of ecological abundance.
Cllr Johnson Situ, Cabinet member for Growth, Development and Planning, said:
“Our vision for Old Kent Road is to build on its unique creative character as a place where industry can thrive alongside new homes and quality open spaces.
I’m thrilled to see this beautiful new mural taking shape on the site of one of Old Kent Road’s biggest planned developments. Although it’s only there for the short-term, I think it captures both the spirit of the neighbourhood and the spirit of renewal that is generating new energy and new purpose the length and breadth of Old Kent Road.”
Sean Gavin, Operations Director Berkeley Homes (South East London) Ltd, said:
“Our vision for the Malt Street regeneration is to create a vibrant community inspired by the arts, so we were delighted to invite ATMA to create this stunning temporary artwork – the first step in realising that vision.
Berkeley is committed to bringing forward a public art strategy alongside the scheme, and we are delighted that this kick starts this journey.”
Proposition is a creative charity with temporary studios on Old Kent Road
About the artists:
ATMA is a French muralist and sometime street-artist, now living and working in London as resident artist at Google Arts and Culture.
The mural, his latest work, is being realised with the help of Dreph, a celebrated muralist and Proposition Studios’ resident artist who was recently commissioned to paint a large scale Black Lives Matter mural for the set of EastEnders.
Proposition is the UK’s first creative charity dedicated to building bridges between artists and biodiverse farming projects, and inspiring public discourse on humans as part of ecology, with a message of optimism for humanity’s potential to create ecological abundance.
The studios’ monthly programme of events, most of which are free and open to everyone, can be found at www.propositionstudios.com