Elephant and Castle Subway Murals

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

I went on a tour of the subways in Elephant and Castle last weekend, part of excellent Elefest - a festival celebrating a part of London that many usually don't celebrate.

The tour was led by David Bratby, the artist who painted the murals in the subways.

I've long loved the colourful tiles in the subways.

But I - shamefully - had never really paid attention to the murals. I should have!

They show scenes from global celebrations, like carnival in Rio de Janeiro, a Malaysian festival and from local events like a fete in Kennington Park.

Other murals show imagined scenes from local history, like an elephant being delivered to Surrey Docks, scenes from Shakespeare and scenes featuring Charlie Chaplin.

David said that he wanted the murals to be positive, to be bright and colourful in the dark underpasses. They certainty are, and in their own way, celebrate the area and its people and show it off to great effect.