Street artist paints billboard to let residents affected by Grenfell tragedy know they are not alone

By Julia Gregory

A street artist who put up a hard-hitting billboard about Grenfell said he did it “so people know they are not alone”.

Dr D, also known as Subvertiser, pasted a billboard beside the Shepherd’s Bush market exit at the Tube station.

It features an image of the destroyed north Kensington tower block  where residents met their deaths and the slogan “If 72 Tories were dead someone would be in prison by now”.

He said it was a delicate subject but he has been reassured by the reaction from the community.

“It just shows the strength of feeling locally.”

“My art often makes people raise an eyebrow or at least has a social political message.”

Justice4Grenfell poster, Oct 2019, pic by LDR Julia Gregory, free for use by partners of BBC news wire service

In the months after the June 2017 fire, he put up mock Kensington and Chelsea Council compulsory purchase notices to draw attention to the Grenfell survivors in temporary accommodation.

The recent  poster took about an hour to make he said and has since been removed from its eye-catching spot. He said he later realised he’d covered a poster for local punk band Chubby and the Gang who have penned a song about Grenfell.

One campaigner told the LDR service: “They are brilliant.” They thought the posters should go up at Parliament and the new police HQ on the Embankment.

The Metropolitan Police investigation into the deaths of the 72 Grenfell residents, including 18 children, is on-going but any charges are only likely once the public inquiry ends.

The poster was part of a trio of artworks – the others refer to the Covid test and trace scheme in Kilburn and cheap fashion and the death of 1,134 textile workers when their factory in Bangladesh collapsed  in 2013. The poster was put up in East London.

Dr D said he created the Grenfell artwork because “I get so frustrated reading news story after news story”.

He added: “It’s too long, too little, too late.”

I just try to get involved in something to shine a light on something.”

He added: “nobody listens to the people down the bottom.”

Campaign group Justice4Grenfell used posters based on the  movie Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

And  bereaved and survivors group Grenfell United marked the second anniversary of the fire by projecting images onto the Houses of Parliament  calling on politicians to “end our cladding scandal”.

Combustible aluminium cladding was put on the 24-storey tower in a bid to improve insulation and make it blend in with  the  nearby new leisure centre and school  and is blamed for the disaster.


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