Important mural feared damaged by Camberwell blast

The Hokusai Wave in Camberwell taken before the blast by the London Mural Preservation Society

An important mural painted to celebrate the Camberwell Art Festival in 1998 could be destroyed by the explosion and fire that injured three people in Denmark Hill today.

The Hokusai Wave, pictured here, was painted in 1998 and is found on the side of a building that firefighters say was partly destroyed by the blast at about 2.15pm today.

More than 30 firefighters are at the scene and Denmark Hill is closed in both directions as rush-hour traffic causes severe traffic problems. Three people have so far been taken to hospital by paramedics.

Ruth Miller, from the London Mural Preservation Society, which has worked on a number of Brixton murals, told the Blog:

The same view taken this afternoon by @Crizzy_crizz on Twitter

“It is a version of Japanese Artist Hokusai’s Great Wave off Kanagawa reversed to make it appear as if the wave is about to crash into the alley.”

The piece was created in 1998 for the Camberwell Arts Festival by artist Dominic Swords who lived in the building at the time.  The mural is painted directly onto the bricks and is in fairly good condition.

Miller added: “If the explosion didn’t affect the main building, then the mural will have smoke damage – this may be repairable but it depends whether anyone would want to do it and where the money would come from.”


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