Marley and Us


A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to Bring Back Bob by creating a new piece of street art (above) to replace the one lost as a result of the redevelopment of 180 Brockley Road (below). The work will be created as part of this year's Brockley Street Art Festival and delivered with the support of the Brockley Max team, who were behind the original mural. They explain:

Residents of Brockley, south east London, are coming together to launch a crowdfunding bid to bring back a Bob Marley mural that was lost during demolition for a new housing development.

The mural will become the centrepiece for the first ever Brockley Street Art Festival, which will take place from 29th May until 6th June 2015.

Festival organisers need to raise £5000 to cover artist fees, materials and equipment for this and other planned murals. They are appealing to art-loving Londoners to help through a crowdfunding campaign to be launched on 14th April 2015.

Brockley Street Art Festival was created following a successful public vote as part of an initiative led by London mural specialists Global Street Art and popular London blog Londonist. Organisers will work with local, national and international artists to transform vacant walls and shop shutters in the Brockley area.

Images of the musical legend, who would have celebrated his 70th birthday this year, have been at the heart of Brockley's arts-minded community for decades. The original mural of the reggae icon was created over 40 years ago. This was replaced in 2005 as part of a Brockley Max black icons cele-bration but demolished in 2014 along with artist impressions of Maya Angelou and Jimi Hendrix.

Established street artist Dale Grimshaw has been lined up to paint a brand new image of Bob Mar-ley, with organisers securing permission for painting just yards from the original mural site on a wall belonging to The Brockley Barge, a pub owned by JD Wetherspoon.

Richard Marriner, Area Manager for JD Wetherspoon said, “We are delighted to support Brockley Street Art Festival this year. These murals have been part of Brockley for 40 years and we are de-lighted to help the community preserve some of the artistic history from this area.”

Brockley Street Art Festival is being held in conjunction with established arts festival Brockley Max, an annual, community arts festival which combines music, art, performance and exhibitions. Brockley Max festival runs from Friday 29th May to Saturday 6th June 2015 in venues all over Brock-ley, Ladywell and Crofton Park, south east London.

Brockley Max festival director, Moira Tait, has been involved in numerous local projects that have represented artists in the local area. She added: "A Bob Marley image has been part of Brockley for so many years now so it will be fantastic to see it back again, and we are thrilled that the painting will begin at the Brockley Max Opening Night."

The full festival programme will be published at brockleystreetart.com and brockleymax.co.uk and will be released in due course.

While we're a massive supporter of both the Festival and the Brockley Max, we're not sure this is a particularly good idea.

To be sure, the original graffiti was one of Brockley's best-known and loved icons and its destruction was a sad day. But as many football managers can attest, trying to recreate past glories is usually a mistake.
And, though the artwork was good, as an icon Bob Marley is like Che Guevara or an "I like the Pope, the Pope smokes dope" poster. Brockley of 15 years ago was like a student bedsit, but the place has changed.

We should celebrate Brockley's afro-Caribbean heritage, but we're not sure that Bob Marley represents it. A black hero with a local connection would have been a more powerful statement than to recreate an icon so ubiquitous that no backpacker can escape his lilt.

Click here to help with the fundraising.

25 comments:

Headhunter said...

Talking of resurrecting past glories, the painting of a white on black background "S" on that new wall on Jerningham Rd, replacing the original WW2 sign indicating the way to a bomb shelter which was demolished as part of a redvelopment seems utterly futile!


Surely the whole point of the original was just that - it was an original piece of WW2 signage, somehow repainting it on a new wall built in 2011 or whenever is pointless...

chalseylodger said...

5 grand?! That must be some expensive paint

RudeBoyDefectif said...

Shaggy. Mmm I'm tellin ya

brockleyJim said...

There is no link with Bob Marley - why do something again just because it was done before? if it is truly about street art then pay young local artists £5k to do something that might further their individuality careers - let the be creative. something that we might be talking about positively in 20 years time.

this is the same as middle class students in the 80's/90's (of whom i was one) putting posters on their wall of the Clash, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix etc because they thought it was cool. despite the poster being made by Athena specifically for uncool middle class students.

hand it over to the next generation. let the younger artists in Brockley decide what is relevant. black white or other but please god not Bob - if you want a picture of him i am sure i can find you an old poster - probably still with blue tac on the curled up corners but surely we can be more relevant than this.

Headhunter said...

Ooh Athena... I remember those when I was a kid!

RB said...

It's artisan paint.

Ju said...

It doesn't have to be a physical link does it! The point is that when so much of the local area is being eroded, it would be nice to retain something that made Brockley so special before it became for the trendy wendies!

Robert said...

"Brockley of 15 years ago was like a student bedsit"


No it wasn't,

Wait! I've got and idea.... said...

Athena! You need look no further for popular art appreciated by a huge numner of the people who bought posters. I vote for a picture of a pretty woman tennis player scratching her bare bum on the tennis courts. Could be someone famous.....One of the Williams sisters, maybe?

Lots of symbolism there. It would capture the aspirational demographic liberating Brockley from its repressive past, yet casting a nod and a wink to its Victorian founders and social reformers like Octavia Hill who gave us Hilly Fields.

anon said...

Not sure why Bob Marley... artist with no inpiration

Brockley Nick said...

It was a bit, let's be honest: Cafes called Toads Mouth and Moonbow Jakes. Rubbish everywhere. A new stone circle had just been installed in Hilly Fields. Lots of "informal" businesses. Loads of drugs. And loads of actual student bedsits.


Not a criticism by the way, an observation. And it remains somewhat true even today.

Ju said...

Oh I forgot Brockley needed saving 💤

Breakspears Eagle said...

I would say the blue/pink/orange/green mural on the other wall had more artistic merit and would be much more worthwhile recreating. It also actually featured Brockley so was actually relevant to its surroundings!

art critic said...

Yes, I quite liked that. Much better than the portraits.

anon said...

Not much has changed with the exception of two restaurants and 3 caffe shops, the area is still predoinantly a bedsits area

Brockley Nick said...

Except, that's not true either.

terrencetrentderby said...

Why make it look like a ghetto again? Isn't Brockley on the up? What about one of those Belfast style murals of Bobby Sands to celebrate the Irish community?

anonymouse said...

First world dilemmas?

brockleydad said...

If they want a Afro-Caribbean musician, then how about Desmond Dekker - assuming there's truth to the rumour that he used to live on Harefield Road.

Tamsin said...

That was indeed something fiasco - the developers seemed to get rather carried away about what they thought they had to do - and then made a total mess up of it. Wrong lettering, even more wrong distance! The only amusing thing was when someone very neatly put a couple of lines through it to turn it into a dollar sign. One of the wittiest pieces of graffiti I have ever seen.

neanderthal d said...

Caron Wheeler, Soul II Soul vocalist - remember "Back To Life"?


Dunno if she is a Brockley girl, but the first tune she recorded was "I'm In Love With a Dreadlocks" as part of Brown Sugar on the Lover's Rock label - recorded in a basement on Upper Brockley Road.

Headhunter said...

From what I've seen on the market, Brockley seems to be dominated by 2 bed garden flats and houses... Haven't seen a bedsit on sale on Zoopla or Rightmove for a long, long time...


Agree though, Brockley definitely used to have more of a "hippy"/studenty feel to it. The average person on the streets round here has drastically changed even in the 8.5 years I've been here... There are now a lot more "young professionals" and family types with kids.


When I first moved in it was studenty looking peeps and older arty people. No judgement on either population type...

sotty said...

Please just bring back Bob, it was a well appreciated mural that was destroyed. There's a lot of over complicated comment on this.

terrencetrentderby said...

The muggings have definetely gone down, the women are slightly more attractive and a bedsit costs 200k. Where do students live now, Catford?

Headhunter said...

Penge...

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