When exploring the histories of London’s murals, there are many with complex and unique background to their creation and execution but only one mural has an association with a rock band. Hidden in the back streets of South East London, located next to Deptford Creek, is a large mural called “Love Over Gold”, the title of a Dire Straits 1982 song and album.
Mark Knopfler and several members of the band grew up in the local area and performed their first gig at a festival in Crossfields Estate, which is situated opposite the mural.
'there was just some graffiti that was on the wall in Deptford really that stuck in my mind when we were living in this condemned estate. Someone had written "Love Over Gold" on the wall as an idea and it stuck with me'.
The mural was developed and created by Gary Drostle in 1989. It is located on the Cockpits Arts building on Creekside. At the time of execution, the building was used by Outset UK, an organisation dedicated to the training and personal development of disabled people (which is no longer in existence).
Gary worked with the local primary school children to create a mural that depicts "the local area, issues of wealth distribution and the environment as well as disability and equality of opportunity". The mural shows scenes of the local area, incorporating St Pauls church, the creek and the railway. It has lots of references to disability whether that is children in wheelchairs playing hockey, through a collection of signing hands at the top spelling ‘love Over Gold’. It is very successful in incorporating children’s paintings to create a coherent strong image.
If you look carefully at the mural, you will see a little portray of a wall with the ‘Love over Gold’ graffiti on it. Is it the same wall as the one which the mural is on? Well, we can’t be sure! We are hoping that the next year will see the mural being restored. The doors were recently replaced loosing part of the mural however plans are underway to re-paint the doors so the mural narrative is back in place.
So fingers crossed that this delightful piece will be repaired for future generations of locals!