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Brent Cross Town’s first public artwork

October 12, 2021

Brent Cross Town’s first piece of public artwork has been unveiled, and the design has been more than 200 years in the making!

The mural, which shows a blossoming flower being held by three different hands set against a bright blue sky

The large-scale mural covers the gable wall on the parade of shops on Claremont Way, showing a blossoming flower being held by three different hands set against a bright blue sky. Finnish-born London-based artist Annu Kilpeläinen was commissioned to create it, and took inspiration from the work of botanist William Cattley, who lived in Barnet at the turn of the 19th century.

The piece has been designed to inspire positivity, celebrate the local community, and encourage people to be active. It also marks the gateway into Brent Cross Town for visitors, alongside the growing number of shops, the Exploratory Park, and the Visitor Pavilion which will open shortly.

Members of the community were consulted on the design, and asked for something that was vibrant, welcoming and positive, and connected to local history. William Cattley’s name is already part of both local and horticultural history, as the Cattleya genus of orchids is named after him, and there is a blue plaque on his former home in Wood Street.

People also wanted the mural to be sensitive to the community’s demographics and diversity, and to feature nature and bright colours. In addition, the design reflects Brent Cross Town’s pledges to create a great place to take part in active sport and play, and a flourishing new town that champions inclusivity with neighbourliness at its core.

The temporary mural is the first piece to be delivered as part of Brent Cross Town’s investment in local public artwork. The series of new public artworks aim to reflect the local identity and culture, whilst bringing long-term interest and linking the existing Brent Cross community with the new town.

Cllr Daniel Thomas, Leader of Barnet Council, commented: “The new artwork, which celebrates a piece of Barnet’s history, is a wonderful addition to the area. I look forward to seeing more public art come forward as part of the development and hope our local communities will continue to be part of the artistic process.

Nick Searl, Partner of Argent Related, said: “The feedback and contributions of the local community have been essential to the creation of this fantastic piece of artwork and Annu has done a remarkable job of encapsulating all if it. The mural revitalises the parade of shops of Claremont Way and we hope it will become a local landmark for the development signifying the bold beginning of the new Brent Cross Town neighbourhood.”

Artist Annu Kilpeläinen added: “This has been a fascinating project to work on. I have really enjoyed delving into the history of the area but also interpreting the feedback from members of the local community and I hope that they feel the mural is reflective of their want to have a joyful piece of artwork that shows the diversity of their community at a key moment in its growth.”

Watch the video below to find out more about the inspiration behind the artwork:

Read more about Brent Cross Town here.