Many of the murals in London give a nod to the local history of the area often represented through pictures of local people.This mural is a patchwork of shapes, patterns, structures and symbols with the majority of them denoting local names and buildings.
The artwork itself was designed by the London Wall Mural Group in 1987 in association with local residents who were sent questionnaires asking about what they wanted to see in the design. According to one of the artists, they wanted birds, flowers and something non-political. The finished piece was a "semi-abstract" composition referencing the local area. (1)
The mural incorporated images of the now lost Empress Theatre, the green dome of the McDonalds on Brixton Road and the abstract patterns of the local church. There is play on the names as the bell represents Bellefields road and the gate, Gately Road. There a pile of bricks symbolising Brixton; this is similar to the design on the Victoria Line at Brixton underground station. (2)
Funding was raised from Lambeth council and Greater London Council (GLC). The mural was opened on 20th May 1987. (3) Original artwork can be seen at Lambeth achives including a number of other versions. (4)
1. War of the Walls, London Daily News, 28th May 1987, p.17
2. Mural questionnaire 2008, Lambeth Archives
3. Painting the Town, Red, South London Press, 19th May 1987,
4. Urban Artists who went to the Wall, South London Press , 23rd October 2009, p.36