As the filming location for Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, TV drama Misfits and the music video for Come to Daddy by Aphex Twin, Thamesmead is perhaps one of London’s most recognisable areas that few have visited. Initially built in the 1960s, the housing complex near Greenwich is some distance from bridges to the northside of the Thames, and the underground stations once planned for the area never came to fruition.
Alongside residential housing and everyday amenities, the complex encompasses five major lakes, a nature reserve, as well as a four-mile network of canals which are interlinked by a web of underpasses.
Thamesmead is undergoing a major regeneration, and as part of this, eight of these canal underpasses have been given a makeover in lockdown thanks to artists Jo Peel, Hixxy, Xenz and Louis Masai, plus lifelong Thamesmead resident and designer Paige Denham, who have each created vibrant murals to decorate the underpass walls.
Despite the proximity to nature and wildlife in Thamesmead, the complex is known for its brutalist architecture. The new murals inject a warm dose of colour into the concrete landscapes, in a way that complements rather than conceals.