Wembley Park art trail
During the summer I visited the Wembley Park art trail whilst photographing a series of artworks part of the London Mural Festival. The Wembley Park art trail consists of a number of artworks across a number of mediums, including paints, digital mixed media and upcycled materials.
Working with leading artists and community contributors, Wembley Park’s boulevards and areas are a vast free public gallery of art and culture. Enhancing the area’s global reputation for sport, music and live entertainment, the public art highlights Wembley Park as a diverse, distinctive and vibrant neighbourhood.
The Wembley Park art trail is completely free and ran from Sept 2020 till the end of Nov 2020 although many artworks still remain.
The 360 photos taken of the Wembley Park art trail were taken as part of my London In 360 street photography project.
Photos by Michael Shilling @LondonIn360
Text descriptions by Wembley Park
Beton Ginnel Mural by Muzeo
Conceived by the team of artists at Muzeo, the creative process behind the Beton mural was marked by their interest in making this ginnel – Geordie for alleyway – an interactive space for residents and passers-by. In exposing the concrete which gives name to the building — Beton, in French — and including the name itself within the composition, Muzeo bring together both the real and the representation. This has been a central topic of discussion throughout art history and it becomes even more interesting in the context of our everyday world of internet and social media. Producing the name with an anamorphic effect was also key in bringing the artwork to life. Whereas it looks distorted from one angle, as the person walks down the ally, it changes and becomes a clear, straight name.
Better Together by Pref
As an opening highlight of the inaugural London Mural Festival, Brent-born graffiti artist and designer Pref created Better Together, a large-scale street art intervention. Pref is known for his multi- layered, three-dimensional lettering and Better Together showcases this signature style. Inspired by recent social and political events, the design highlights the importance of community and unity.
Bobby Moore Bridge Tile Mural
Designed in 1993 by the Architectural Art Service of the Langley London firm, the Bobby Moore Bridge tile murals are located on the walls beneath the Bobby Moore Bridge, welcoming millions of annual visitors to Wembley Park at one of its key gateways. Fully restored in 2019, the central scene on the bridge’s east wall shows England footballers, playing in front of the old Stadium, and celebrates Wembley’s iconic football history.
Cartographer’s Fugue by Vivien Zhang
The unorthodox shape of the canvas references the 1923 Goode map projection, an attempt to more truthfully depict the relative sizes of landmasses than the traditional Mercator global projection. The organic lines of the projection, which is often referred to as the ‘orange peel’ map, are presented in contrast to the crisp geometric shapes of the surrounding space while reflecting the iconic Wembley Stadium’s arch. The title of the work plays with the double meaning of the word fugue: relating both to a musical motif in which a phrase is repeated by two or more voices and begins to change; and to a psychological state of memory loss and the urge to travel to establish a new identity.
Crossover by miriamandtom
Commissioned for the newly refurbished Bobby Moore Bridge on Olympic Way, Crossover is a light installation by architectural design collective, miriamandtom. Taking its colour palette from the surrounding area, the artwork brings a daily sense of celebration to the residents of Wembley Park, visitors to the neighbourhood, and the steady crossover of people and events that the Bobby Moore Bridge is witness to.
Fire and Water by Suiko
Fire & Water is a new street art commission for Wembley Park’s Elvin Gardens, designed by Japanese graffiti artist Suiko. One of Japan’s most celebrated graffiti writers, Suiko has a unique style that blends bubbling shapes with dynamic lines and vibrant colour schemes. At Elvin Gardens, Suiko wrote two words, “水” (aqua) and “光”(solar) in Chinese / Japanese calligraphy. He feels these words inspire the development of the neighbourhood and the Wembley Park community’s enjoyment of the pocket park.
Legends Calling by Louisa Smurthwaite
In Arena Square, Brent heroes George Michael, Twiggy, Arthur Wint, Amy Johnson and Jayaben Desai are celebrated in this unique phone box art installation. Legends Calling, created by renowned artist and lighting designer Louisa Smurthwaite, sees figures of these icons float as blue lights within three traditional phone boxes, representing the continuing reverberations of their achievements. Smurthwaite, who works from Second Floor Studios in Wembley Park, has previously collaborated with the likes of Sam Smith and Florence & the Machine.
Much-loved British artist Mr Doodle, who describes his style as “graffiti spaghetti”, has transformed 12 concrete blocks in Wembley Park’s Market Square and around the neighbourhood into a spectacular street art installation. Look closely and admire a triumph of idiosyncratic characters, inspired by iconic Wembley moments, from music events to football triumphs, all hand-drawn into an elaborate pattern by the doodle man himself.
One in Four by Frank Styles
Since 2018, the Spanish Steps have become an open-air canvas for public art commissions. The latest of the series, One in Four, was produced by North-East based spraycan artist Frank Styles in March 2020. The artwork, co-commissioned with mental health charity Mind, raises awareness about the importance of mental health, a topic that has only increased in importance since the COVID-19 pandemic. A series of 12 portraits run down the steps; viewed from head-on, three of the portraits on each section of the stairs are visible, but the fourth can be seen only if you look over from the adjacent flight. The work symbolises that it sometimes requires a shift in perspective to understand mental health problems and how they can affect one in four of us
Square of Fame
On the doorstep of The SSE Arena, Wembley, is London’s answer to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Wembley Park’s Square of Fame in Arena Square features a series of bronze plaques imprinted with the handprints of notable performers who have delighted fans at the iconic venue. Artists include Kylie Minogue, Sir Cliff Richard, Status Quo, Kylie Minogue, Dolly Parton, Bryan Adams, Lionel Richie, Westlife and most recently Dame Shirley Bassey. Can you spot them all?
Tilia Tree Totems by Stephen Stockbridge
In Summer 2018, Wembley Park residents and visitors had the opportunity to contribute to the rich culture of the neighbourhood by participating in a series of creative workshops coordinated by arts charity Emergency Exit Arts. The Tilia Tree Totems are a result of a series of wood carving workshops, delivered by acclaimed wood carving artist Stephen Stockbridge. They were produced using upcycled trunks derived from trees removed during the regeneration works of Olympic Way, now reinstated with 48 new trees. The totems’ name is drawn from one of the species of trees – Tilia, or Lime Tree – which they are made of.