I was welcomed in to the hub of activity that is Brixton, vibrant with people on a lovely sunny Saturday ready to explore the newly official Design District. Julia from Squire and Partners gave me a small tour of the trail and gave her personal recommendations on what not to miss. This District might be in its infancy and basic in its organisation but had a lot of heart.
It’s also got a real message behind the chosen partners, installations and shows trying to highlight the needs of its community and express its diversity. Brixton has a bit of a bad name in terms of crime and both needs and wants to improve, making it a destination to visit, live & work.
I started where my visits to Brixton usually do, in the market.
PAJAKI – ‘SPIDER of STRAWS’
BRIXI & Bobbin and Bow
Karolina a lovely Polish folk artist made her home at BRIXI demonstrating her skills in making her version of the Pajaki, a traditional chandelier decoration. With a giant plastic version hanging above her high in the eves of the arcade, Karolina offered people the chance to make their own paper pom pom.
Eley Kishimoto with Dolman Bowles funded by Brixton BID
Continuing their pattern tradition, this years focus was on a prominent local junction at the hear of the community, that is a hazard as well as a hub of activity. 4 separate crossings in vibrant colours drew focus and made people pause to think.
Arches brixton creatives
Bureau Of Silly Ideas and Valentia Studios
This was a little hidden away secret, a hub of artists studios for you to have a nosy around getting to see original works of art and where they are created. If its wasn’t on the map you wouldn’t know to even go down there, I think this is where the tour came in handy.
Brixton street gallery
Squire and Partners
Squire and Partners have returned to Brixton Design District, transforming Stockwell Avenue in a large scale interactive canvas. Drawing on the trail’s theme ‘Rebel Rebel’, the project included artwork by local artists Kaylene Alder, Azarra Amoy and renowned street artist Unify.
Included in the gallery where a selection of The People’s Posters designed by The Campion Agency using quotes from the public. They were selling nothing but people’s honest truths about the surrounding area.
We stand as living monuments
2MZ Design Studio & Black Cultural Archive
The heritage centres courtyard has been transformed by this installation inspired by the words of Len Garrison, co-founder of the archive. Mirrored cubes allow the visitor to become the subject and engage with the poems words on their own level.
Animali Domestici Italian Art & Design
This fusion of international names brought a level of luxury to the trail, celebrating their third decade in Brixton, contributing to the richness of the borough. Their showroom, workshop, courtyard and garden all filled with magic made from wood, ceramics, glass you name it. The venue was worthy of exploring and very enjoyable.
There were lots of other interesting features scattered around the centre of town and other fantastic events on specific days of LDF that was worthy of a visit. So Brixton Design District gets slipped in to the diary for next year for sure.