I've spent the last couple of months working on something rather special, creating a photographic mural for Brixton's new police station. The mural is made up of contemporary and archival photos of Brixton, the community and the police in a bid to reflect the vibrant culture and history of the area. It will be situated in the main entranceway, and is designed to promote good relations between the police and community.
The photos I have chosen to use showcase the works of many talented photographers who have generously allowed me to use their images for free, giving public access to stunning documentary and portraiture that capture the independent spirit of the community. There are landmarks, some easily recognisable and some a little more obscured. I'm hoping that as a local looks upon it they spend some time trying to work out where each image is from. This is especially in the case of the historical footage, matching up old photographs, postcards and maps with the modern landscape around them.
Each image shows Brixton at it's best- coming together for the Olympics, creating stunning works of public art, celebrating at local festivals and county shows and displaying the many individualistic shops, buildings and parks. Also included are some of murals that are located around the centre. When I first started looking for photos I picked up on them because the were nice examples of public art landmarks. It was much later that I discovered that many had been commissioned by the council after the riots to create something positive from so much destruction. I'm not comparing the mural I have been working on to those, only stating that community art made for the public is a wonderful thing. It gives people hope, gets people thinking and it makes the neighbourhood feel like more of a community. It's why I love what I do.