Jamaican icons watch over Coldharbour Lane, Brixton

PROUD: Jon Daniels with the Jamaica 50 images he designed on Coldharbour Lane, Brixton
PROUD: John Daniel with the Jamaica 50 images he designed on Coldharbour Lane, Brixton

By Rashid Nix

An artist responsible for creating the iconic Jamaican images at this years Brixton Splash has made them available to buy due to ‘overwhelming’ public interest.

John Daniel’s giant 15ft illustrations were first seen at Brixton Splash where they dominated the wall of the Ritzy Cinema on the corner of Coldharbour Lane, Brixton.

He explained how he became artistically involved in this years event after being approached by the organising committee.

“It’s the 50th year and was an honour to be involved,” he said. “I drew upon my personal understanding of Jamaican culture and decided on images that represented some of what Jamaica is all about.”

On the international stage Jamaican icons are known globally, so what criteria did he use when selecting the final nine? He smiles: “The obvious and not so obvious!”

Images of Garvey, Marley, Bolt, and Mary Seacole form part of the set. But so do Grace Jones and former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding, so there really is something for all tastes.

Passers by on Coldharbour Lane can be seen stopping and photographing the giant illustrations on their iphones.

He said public’s response has been “awesome and overwhelming” so he we decided to make a limited run of copies available.

One passer-by, Marsha, originally from Jamaica but now residing in Austria, said the pictures made her feel proud: “ It’s a very special feeling to see these people displayed so bold and so proud…To know we are all Jamaicans.”

Her eight-year-old grand daughter, Gabriella, who is British born, especially likes the image of Usain Bolt “ because he’s the greatest and a Jamaican plus that’s where my family is from”.

From the cultural to the revolutionary, from sports to music, these images contain something for everyone and it is definitely worth taking a trip down to Coldharbour Lane in Brixton to view them before their removal.

Colour prints, sized 3ft by 2ft, are available at www.cafepress.co.uk/ja50.