Electric Patterns Series: Emma Hayes

Wandered down Electric Avenue after hours recently? Noticed anything different?!

After overcoming multitudinous obstacles, the Electric Patterns Project (produced by The Brixton Project, funded by Lambeth Council and National Lottery Heritage Fund) is going live and brightening up a street near you with bold, colourful abstractions of Brixton’s essential spirit. So take a twilight stroll and keep your eyes peeled to spot every design. To find out more about the project please see here.

In each article of this series we will be highlighting these innovative heritage- inspired designs and letting you know where you can see them for yourself. To find out more about this local creative opportunity, the artists selected and what inspired their designs continue reading. 


Location: 17 Electric Avenue, SW9 8JP

Artist: Emma Hayes

The patterns in this design are inspired by Ankara fabrics, worn in Ghanaian cultures and sold in Brixton Market. These patterns have become synonymous with Brixton. The bold, colourful and striking nature of the fabrics make them stand out and instantly recognisable as African wax fabric designs. This design captures the characteristics of these patterns but gives them a modern twist. The pattern shows a series of lightbulbs that are ‘lit’ by the graphic pattern behind them, a modern representation of the original electric lights that gave the street its name from the 1880’s.

Emma Hayes is a local creative who has called Brixton her home for the past 5 years. She is a Graphic Designer by trade, working mostly within branding, with a passion for typography and pattern design. She’s inspired by all things creative and has a habit of rarely sticking to one medium.


  1. Love that design – very reminiscent in style and colouring of 1920s/30 Art Deco, so it works from a British context as well. I found similar (but more angular) so-called ‘jazz’ patterns and colour combination on fabric covering a chair in the old Governor’s Saloon railway carriage in Mauritius – the uphoolstery dated from 1938.

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