Battle of Lewisham public artwork

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A permanent public artwork, shaped by local people, has been installed on Lewisham Way to commemorate the Battle of Lewisham

The mural was unveiled at a public event, with speeches by people from Goldsmiths and the local community

In developing a work of public art to commemorate the Battle of Lewisham, we wanted to create a wider public conversation to extend the collaborative approach we established for the 40th anniversary events in 2017.

During the 40th anniversary events, people of all ages and abilities created 40 vibrant collages to inform a future public artwork telling the complex story of the Battle of Lewisham.

Later that year, we established a community Advisory Group to lead the collaborative design of an artwork based on the public's collages.

The group included Goldsmiths Historian Dr John Price, local artists and representatives from Lewisham Council, while the design itself was created by Goldsmiths graduate Ted Low.

By early 2019, the community Advisory Group agreed on a provisional design and decided to seek the views of local people in order to shape the final artwork.

It worked with a number of community organisations to host pop-up consultations in the spring and summer of 2019. Over 100 people shared their views on the provisional design online and at community events and spaces including the Telegraph Hill Festival, New Cross Assembly, Moonshot Centre, Lewisham Library, the Hilly Fields Midsummer Fayre and Deptford Market.

A very powerful message that documents the events of the Battle of Lewisham visually very well. The use of the photographs is really good and the colours add even more impact.

(Councillor André Bourne, Downham Ward (Labour), Cabinet Member for Culture, Skills and Jobs)

These responses informed a final round of design changes. Read the consultation report report including recommendations for amendments to the provisional design.

Inspired by 1970s zines and punk and reggae culture, the final design draws heavily on many of the iconic images taken on 13 August 1977 by some of the most prominent social documentary photographers of the time.

Prominent in the design is the late civil liberties campaigner, Darcus Howe, in recognition of his role in the events of 13 August 1977 and wider impact on UK society.

The community advisory group included:

  • Mark Thompson (Lewisham poet)
  • Soft Wax (Local artist)
  • Ian Simons (Local artist)
  • Sarah Lang (Development Officer, Lewisham Council)
  • Will Cenci (Goldsmiths Public Engagement Manager)
  • Selena Bolingbroke (Goldsmiths Lead for External Engagement & Strategic Development)
  • Ted Low (Designer and mural artist)
  • Dr John Price (Goldsmiths Head of the Department of History)

Photographers who contributed images or whose work is featured include:

  • Syd Shelton
  • Paul Trevor
  • Homer Sykes
  • Chris Steele-Perkins
  • Chris Schwarz
  • Peter Marlow