Save Brixton Arches: threatened traders use street art to publicise their plight

Save Brixton Arches: threatened traders unite and use street art to publicise their plight

Traders facing evictions under Network Rail’s plans to redevelop the arches along Brixton’s Atlantic Road and Station Road have come up with a novel way to raise awareness of their situation.

Using skilled street artists, the shutters of all the threatened businesses will be painted with striking original art, all linked by containing the #savebrixtonarches  tag.

Above, you can see the latest artwork on the Budget Carpets store on Atlantic Road, which was completed over the weekend by the London based illustrator & street artist from Norway, Zina.

Save Brixton Arches: threatened traders unite and use street art to publicise their plight

Jose Cardoso of A & C Continental deli – one of the affected businesses – told Brixton Buzz more about their campaign:

We came up with the idea to paint up all the shutters of the businesses that were affected by Network Rail in order to publicise our plight and also demonstrate a kind of unity.

Our initial idea involved having a linking hands kind of motif on all the shutters, so that it might appear like a human chain forming a protective chain around the perimeter of the proposed redevelopment site. I called the artist (PINS) who painted the two pieces that we have had on our shutters and he got behind us 100%.

He suggested that, in order to get all the shutters done cost effectively but with high impact, he would organise a group of trusted & talented artists to take a shutter or two each and allow them creative licence. Every shutter would have #savebrixtonarches tagged on them, linking all the pieces together.

In this way the artist will be happy to do their work for free, or at most, have the cost of their materials covered, (approx £25-£30 a shutter) Artists will be working over the next few weeks, covering (virtually) all the shutters affected.

Each artist is well connected through social media and so we’re hoping to raise our profile through this creative community project. There is scope for each shopkeeper to have some input into the content and also veto anything they feel might not be appropriate.

Although the finished collection of art will not be obviously shouting unity, the way in which these artists are expressing their individuality, side by side, under one banner, hopefully is a metaphor for the way in which the shops themselves express the individuality and diversity of the people behind the shutters who form a part of Brixton.

Network Rail want a clean uniform look, sterile and hollow, that will help to “increase footfall”. This is a way of celebrating the opposite of that.

Find out more:
Save Brixton Arches: online petition
Facebook:  Brixton Community United
Twitter: #savebrixtonarches
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