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Students brighten up the streets by Shopping Centre

July 22, 2021

Local life is being celebrated on local streets by local artists, thanks to students from Whitefield School. 

A large-scale community mural is being created to run along the hoardings near Brent Cross Shopping Centre by GCSE art students. It is part of a collaboration between the school, the shopping centre and Barnet Council.  

The striking and colourful design will reflect three themes: celebration, the local community through a young person’s eyes, and forests. The forest theme comes from the exact location of the mural, on the site of Christmas tree store Pines and Needles. 

The design was chosen after a school competition where students could either create a brand-new artwork or choose one of their existing artworks which they felt related to the themes. These were then digitally merged to create a colourful, mixed-media collage of their creations.  

The mural, which is due to go on show this month, is intended to enliven the area and to discourage graffiti at the site. Tina Harris, Deputy Headteacher of Whitefield School, said: “It is always exciting to work with a blank canvas, and our Head of Art and Design Ms Hodgson thought of creating a digital mural. By using images of the students’ artworks to revamp the area, it connects them to the local community as well as showcasing their talent. 

“As well as submitting pieces for inclusion, students have also been directly involved in the composition of the final piece, and they’ve expressed their excitement at showcasing their art at such a central location.” 

Students from Whitefield School have taken a keen interest in the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration programme, and recently visited the site of the new park town Brent Cross Town. As well as touring the workshop and new Exploratory Park, students learned about the benefits and opportunities that the development will bring to the community. 

And the school has already visibly benefitted from the project thanks to the Brent Cross South Community Fund. Last year the Whitefield Sensory Garden was one of the scheme’s selected for a share of a £30,000 fund, which helped to create an outdoor sensory garden for students, staff and visitors to enjoy. 

The community mural project will also be documented on Barnet Council’s youth Instagram page, @BarnetYouth_.