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New community artwork ‘The River’ unveiled in Herne Hill

A new community artwork in Herne Hill’s Railton Road was unveiled this week.

The mural is based at number 315, the site of a new electricity substation to power the newly refurbished commercial units in Herne Hill Square.

It was commissioned by The Arch Company, in partnership with the Herne Hill Forum and designed by artist Luke Warburton aka Mr Dane.

After working with residents and collecting local stories, the artists designed three options which went to a public vote.  In total, more than 700 people contributed to the project.

‘The River’ was the eventual winner and is described as an ode to Herne Hill past and present. 

It takes inspiration from a heron that frequents Brockwell Park and its ponds. The bird has an added significance as ‘heron’ is believed to be a potential root of the name ‘Herne Hill’. 

The artwork also features the ornate Victorian ‘stink pipes’, still visible on Dulwich Road, which channelled gas from the underground river Effra, which still courses through the area underneath Herne Hill station to Brixton Water Lane.

Jasia Warren from the Herne Hill Forum said: “We are lucky to have such an engaged and passionate local community, and this artwork’s setting on Railton Road means it is an important addition to the heart of Herne Hill. 

“It was great to see a strong response and feedback supporting our efforts. We appreciate The Arch Company’s role in championing community artwork and funding the project, and it was brilliant to see Mr Dane’s creativity realised.”


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