It's that time of the year when I feel extra proud of being a Brixtonian. The Brixton Design Trail, part of the larger London Design festival. It's literally like a treasure hunt of sorts, you never know what stunning piece of art you might stumble upon while walking through the lanes around Brixton Market.
It's also great fun to see curious Brixtonians with little maps hunting for that special mural, touristing the neighbourhood and meeting local artists.
Apart from the pieces that belonged the festival, I ended up discovering whole lot of street art which have been around for years, met a local artist Linett who is the face of the newest mural in Coldhabour Lane, resident designers of Convey at Pop Brixton who opened up their workspaces for us, and even gate crashed into the recording studio of Reprezent, the local Radio station, for a cheeky photo with the local RJ Reece before being 'politely' kicked out by the station manager, and lastly a much overdue visit to the Black Cultural Archives.
Starting in the expansive Windrush Square, and a bunch of colourful chairs. Take a Seat uses 'Razzle Dazzle' a camouflage technique developed for warships in WW1. It draws attention to the ship rather than hiding it. By painting these seats they wanted to draw attention to how we dwell in a public space and relate to each other.
As part of the 'Open Studios' of the trail, we then got a chance to meet the lovely designers at the Convey Design Studio, their quirky workspace in one of the shippingcontainers at Pop Brixton. The video display of Love in Motion, stresses on the power of story telling and aims to put the viewer on an interactive journey.
We then walked to the 'Hubb', one of the main installations. 'Hubb' meaning love, invites the locals to stand under it. Replicating the feeling of a 'minaret' from inside, the Hubb is a cocoon of sorts, echoing faint verses from the Koran. Inside, you can spend a few moments of solitude and reflecting. The theme of this year's Brixton trail is The Power of Love, and this perfectly exemplifies that emotion.
The team Awma.co, behind the Hubb installation. They intend to take this installation across mosques in the country.
Next up, this rather cheerful candy coloured hearts. It is an interactive installation, a fun game. At the ‘Love Stop’ you will be invited to pick a random card from a deck, which relates to an aspect of your well-being for example, ‘send a thank you card to someone who deserves it’, ‘ cook a surprise dinner’ or, ‘sleep for at least 8 hours one night this week’.
'The Silent Arch', by duo Bharat and Jean create a colourful pastiche of the local railway arches to reflect on the recent developments in the area. The regeneration of the legendary Brixton Arches has been a topic of much discussion in the area. There are good arguments both for and against it.
Inspired by the traditional construction of arches, the installation is entirely built of lightweight acoustic panels and assembled by interlocking joints. Visitors are invited to walk through the tunnel like arch, as a tribute to the supporting structure to the community. The bright colours are characteristic to Brixton.
'Brixtopia' Bringing Brixton to Dalston. I'm so lucky to have lived in both these places in London. Dalston is one of the few areas in North London that reflects the same diversity and vibrance.
Posters based on the topic 'Love is Power' at Chill Create, a graphic design practice in the area.
A seven metre long tapestry inspired by the colours of the Mediterranean. By Animali Domestici and artist Zuzana Lalikova. Also seen here are backlit illustrations by Elli Popp, of cosmic landscapes and interplanetary travel, inspired by Jules Verne’s tales.
'Reflections of Brixton' a mirror installation by local artist Jo Gibbs, encourages us to view the area from a different perspective.
The Black Cultural Archives. A must visit, celebrates the history of people of African descent in Britain. The exhibition catalogues the history of Black British Music 'Black Sound' The story of 100 years of creativity and DIY ingenuity in overcoming the music industry’s status quo, and of the players, promoters, producers and punters who changed Britain’s culture.
They have quite an eclectic collection of books in their bookshop, so quite worth checking that out as well.