Thornton Heath Artworks
High Street Mural Artworks
YOU&ME curated a series of High Street mural artworks, working alongside local artists in Thornton Heath, as part of the High Street Shop Improvements and Public Realm project. Vacant flank walls along the High Street have been brought to life by artworks by artists Mat Pringle, Philip Dennis, Ben Connors and Snapshot Collective. The four artists were selected via an open call and carried out a series of creative workshops with locals, focilitated by community engagement expert Daisy Froud, targetting different demographics of Thornton Heath to develop their designs. Some worked with specific groups such as young people, while others held activities open to all, from linocut printmaking, potato print patterns to photography walks and cartoon storyboarding.
To ensure that the different artworks work together as a whole, YOU&ME worked closely with the artists on the overall 'vision' and set briefs for their designs based on a series of themes derived from extensive community engagement and research into historical archives of the area. The final mural artworks are cohesive, yet diverse, using a variety of media including digitally printed tiles, linoprint panels, photography and oversized in situ hand painting.
Ben Connors was interested in the idea of creating an alternative map of Thornton Heath and its stories, based on sound, character, people, words, vibe, pattern, and drawing on the idea of Thornton Heath as a ‘living organism’. His mural 'Potential, Together' represents some of the young people’s perspectives on their area. Ben worked closely with local Youth Group Fico’s World, a youth led initiative birthed in 2013 out of the death of Fico Dougan to produce an artwork which represented TH. The incredible music scene (responsible for several MOBO awards inc Stormzy who grew up here) and the local arts community was not at all represented or apparent within the High Street. The four artist commissions now proudly display some of this richness.
'A Thornton Heath Nature Trail' created by Mat Pringle is inspired by the flora and fauna of Thornton Heath; from the Albino squirrels of Grangewood Park to Kayla the eagle. Following a printmaking workshop with the local community, the artist developed a series of linocut prints which were enlarged and painted onto the final panels for the mural. The painted leaves of the mural act as a simplified map of Thornton Heath and the locations of the plants and animals.
Illustrator Philip Dennis created 'Home Forms' after conducting a series of workshops where he used ‘observational drawing’ as the main technique. The artist then transformed drawings into bold, graphic forms and patterns, which used as direct inspiration for the design of the public artwork. The artwork’s outline echoes the plaster frontage of Electric Palace cinema.
YOU&ME also contributed their own artwork mural next to Floor Fashion furniture shop, incorporating the area's history and depicting a representative view of the former A.F. Bundle furniture shop.