Hackney Wick’s The Walls Have Ears mural

Collaborating with the local community, Bread, a creative collective based in East London, has just completed a 100 metre long typographic mural along a street that leads to London’s Olympic Park…

Collaborating with the local community, Bread, a creative collective based in East London, has just completed a 100 metre long typographic mural along a street that leads to London’s Olympic Park…

Bread essentially wanted to brighten up an unloved, bleak street called White Post Lane and managed to secure funding from the London Legacy Development Corporation to paint the mural which is, according to Bread’s Victoria Walmsley, based around the industrial past of the area (Hackney Wick). “The six-month project involved various workshops, interviews, research and a blog-style website and social media to engage the local community,” she explains.

The mural, entitled The Walls Have Ears, features words and phrases suggested by local residents that hint at the area’s history. ‘Parkesine’, for example was the name of a company established in Hackney Wick back in 1866 which has the trademark for the first man-made plastic.

‘Fridge Mountain’ references the area’s biggest landmark pre-Games: a 20-foot high pile of defunct domestic appliances which had the dubious honour of being the biggest heap of fridges in Europe.

‘Mint Creams’, in case you were wondering, references Hackney Wick-based company Clarnico which was the biggest confectioner in Britain just after the second world war. The word ‘pickles’ appears because of the “wonderful aroma of pickles in the air” which used to greet residents before the Brother Bungs factory was demolished in the early 1970s to make way for a council estate.

This short film shows the mural being painted:

The Walls Have Ears – Hackney Wick 2012 from Bread Collective on Vimeo.

Find out more on Bread’s site here and also at the-walls-have-ears.tumblr.com.

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The August Olympic Special issue of Creative Review contains a series of features that explore the past and present of the Games to mark the opening of London 2012: Adrian Shaughnessy reappraises Wolff Olins’ 2012 logo, Patrick Burgoyne talks to LOCOG’s Greg Nugent about how Wolff Olins’ original brand identity has been transformed into one consistent look for 2012, Eliza Williams investigates the role of sponsorship by global brands of the Games, Mark Sinclair asks Ian McLaren what it was like working with Otl Aicher as a member of his 1972 Munich Olympics design studio, Swiss designer Markus Osterwalder shows off some of his prize Olympic items from his vast archive, and much more. Plus, Rick Poynor’s assessment of this year’s Recontres d’Arles photography festival, and Michael Evamy on the genius of Yusaku Kamekura’s emblem for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

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