Stories Behind The Art: Dragon

July 31st, 2019

The Brandon Estate in Kennington Park was in need desperate need of some care and attention after it had spent years at the mercy of spray paint and graffiti. Local residents felt that the 60m stretch of wall that shielded their estate from Kennington Park harkened back to the days of gang culture and violence, a time the locals were keen to leave behind.

Brewers Decorator Centre in Peckham branch was approached by local group Bee Urban to help out with an ambitious community scheme, in association with The Brandon Tenants Residents Association.  The aim was to paint a massive mural along a 60m wall, making it one of the longest murals in London.

Brewers  store manager Jimmy Thomson was delighted to help by donating over 150 litres of Albany Paint to the community project. The Peckham store were blown away by the enthusiasm of Bee Urban’s Barnaby Shaw as his team strove to overcome the negative image created about the estate, seeking instead to highlight a very different message. 

Half Hexagon 8 presents a bit of a change that the artists, Jack and Tom, implemented with the students from High Shore. Returning readers will have noticed that the majority of designs have come from drop-in sessions or from the artists visiting community centres. With this design, they had something new and inspiring in mind that broke this mould. Instead of visiting the students, the boys had the students come to the wall in Kennington Park so as to design their own concepts using their imagination that was inspired by the beauty and life of the park around them.

Whilst some of the designs had already been created in the classroom and then transferred onto the wall (such as the portrait of Bob Marley), many of the images were designed and painted on the day the kids came to the park.

The star of the show is undoubtedly the dragon who soars over the mystical land the children designed, filled with giant blue cats, enormous bumbling bees and walking trees! The dragon was designed and panted by one of the students who showed real determination and hard work by visiting the all almost every day to help, oftentimes after school!