Four large-scale murals brighten up canal underpasses in Thamesmead

Underpasses are hard to love – especially in Thamesmead, where one was used in one of the most controversial scenes in movie history.

Four new large-scale murals have been commissioned to transform Thamesmead’s network of canal underpasses into colourful and vibrant spaces for everyone to enjoy.

Five artists, including one local young designer, have come together during lockdown to create the murals at eight underpasses which connect Thamesmead’s four-mile network of picturesque canals.

Print and textile designer Paige Denham, who has lived in Thamesmead all her life, won a design competition held by Peabody, in partnership with Moniker Projects, as part of its Thamesmead Canal Mural Programme.

Paige joins internationally established artists Louis Masai, Jo Peel, Hixxy and Xenz who spent November’s second lockdown creating the murals which will enhance the canal walkways that are being used increasingly as part of people’s daily exercise.

The murals feature the area’s wildlife and natural inhabitants reflecting its original ‘residents’.

The permanent artworks will be accompanied by way-finding signs to guide people to local landmarks and open spaces.

Paige, 24, was selected as part of an open call competition by a judging panel including representatives from the Nature Forum, Youth Eco Development Council, Peabody and Moniker Projects.

Her bright and joyful interpretation of Thamesmead’s landscape can be seen at the underpass by Woodpecker Close.

Paige said: “Painting a large-scale piece of art, which will be there forever, has been a career goal of mine.

“To be able to paint a mural in my hometown alongside such inspiring and well-respected artists is an absolute pleasure.

“It is an incredible opportunity to share my colourful outlook on the world with the residents of a town that I treasure so much.”

The programme has been coordinated by Moniker Projects, which was commissioned by Peabody as a part of its wider cultural programme in the town.

They spoke to residents at the Thamesmead Market events as well as local community groups and schools in developing the murals.

Thamesmead was the setting for several scenes from controversial Stanley Kubrick movie A Clockwork Orange – withdrawn by the director himself from 1973 until his death in 1999.

Pictured top: One of the canal underpasses in Thamesmead

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