Stories Behind The Art: Kennington Park’s Exotic Animal Safari!

August 28th, 2019

The Brandon Estate in Kennington Park was in 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 surrounding Kennington Park represented the bygone days of gang culture and violence, a time the community were keen to leave behind. 

Brewers Decorator Centres in association with local group Bee Urban undertook an ambitious community scheme alongside the Brandon Tenants Residents Association to restore the community’s spirit and unity by painting a massive mural along a 60m wall, making it one of London’s longest murals.

Brewers Peckham 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.

The 12th Hexagon was designed by Year 3 students from local school, John Ruskin Primary School. The students wanted to design the animals they wished populated the park and came up with some imaginative designs, creating something similar to a safari! 

The fountain of Kennington Park becomes the centre of an exotic watering hole scene, depicting fantastical beasts straight from the plains of sub-Saharan Africa! 

Making impeccable use of the school’s workshop, the students designed each of the animals themselves for artists Jack and Tom to then scale up and paint on the wall, working alongside the children to create incredible levels of detail, a testament to the talent children and artists involved! 

Many of the kids, who so delicately created all sorts of animals; from lions to elephants, and cheetahs to unicorns, wanted to celebrate the animals of their dreams and who, they hope, will one day occupy the park. If you listen closely some say the roars of the lions can now be heard echoing through the park!