A new public artwork has appeared in the heart of Brixton that, at first glance, looks like an advert for yet another new wave of “luxury” flats, but a closer look reveals the other side of the story.
Local artist and long-term Brixton resident Ellie Laycock created the artwork Low Income Displacements in response to experiencing the sharp end of gentrification after being evicted by a large-scale property developer.
It was commissioned as part of Artworks Of Resistance (#ARTWORKSOFRESISTANCE) by Save Nour Art Fund for Brixton communities to experience artworks in public space that aim to amplify local voices and experiences of gentrification.
Save Nour was formed in response to the threatened eviction of Nour Cash & Carry in Brixton’s Market Row by the Amsterdam-based company dominated by US finance giant Angelo Gordon that now owns both of Brixton’s large covered markets.
Hondo Enterprises, a partner of Angleo Gordon, runs the markets on a day-to-day basis. Many long-term businesses have been forced to leave as it has increased rents and changed business terms.
Hondo’s plans for a development including a 20-storey tower on Pope’s Road and Brixton Station Road near Brixton’s conservation area has drawn fierce opposition, with more than 8,000 signatures collected in Save Nour’s “Fight The Tower” campaign.
The plan is being reviewed by the Mayor of London, but his officials have recommended that plans for the tower be allowed to go ahead.
The billboard is in the centre of Brixton between Brixton Village and the Dogstar. It will be on show until next Monday (11 October).
Ellie said: “Brixton is my chosen home, but the changes that have occurred mean I feel less and less like I belong here.
”A strong motivation in the work that I make is a call for justice, for fairness, for equality for all.
“Now, more than ever, local voices seem not to be heard. Now is the time to amplify them!”
See more of Ellie’s work on gentrification in Brixton at her website.
Find out more about the billboard (and see behind the scenes) on Instagram.
You can follow Save Nour’s campaign on Twitter and Instagram @Save_Nour.