The River Runs Above And Below Railton Road

Staff Reporter (11 August, 2021)

The artwork is a striking ode to Herne Hill past and present

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A new community artwork in Herne Hill’s Railton Road has been revealed to the public today.

The Arch Company, working in partnership with the Herne Hill Forum, commissioned the artwork at 315 Railton Road where a substation is based to power the recently developed spaces.

The artwork celebrates the local area and history of Herne Hill and is part of a series of neighbourhood-based artworks that landlord The Arch Company has supported.

This includes recent works in Vauxhall and Purley as they continue to bring units back into use across the estate.

The artwork’s distinct design was created by local artist Luke Warburton aka Mr Dane, who previously worked with the likes of Sir Paul McCartney. Eager to collaborate with residents, he researched references as well as gathering stories from those who live and work in the area. Mr Dane created three design options for consideration, announced on the 21st June, and the Herne Hill Forum hosted an open call for locals to vote for their favourite. 

The winning artwork – The River – is a striking ode to Herne Hill past and present. The design was inspired by the much-loved heron that is often spotted in nearby Brockwell Park ponds (and where the name ‘Herne’ was allegedly derived from) and also features ornate green Victorian ‘stink pipes’ that can still be found on Dulwich Road, that channelled gases from the underground river Effra, that runs below Herne Hill station towards Brixton Water Lane.

Jasia Warren from the Herne Hill Forum said, “we are lucky to have such an engaged and passionate local community, and this artwork’s setting on Railton Road means it is an important addition to the heart of Herne Hill. It was great to see a strong response and feedback supporting our efforts. We appreciate The Arch Company’s role in championing community artwork and funding the project, and it was brilliant to see Mr Dane’s creativity realised.”

Locals were an important part of the creative consultation, with artist Mr Dane advising he received “a great response, with more than 760 people from the local community getting involved. The designs I created were my response to ideas that either caught my attention, made me smile, or inspired visual concepts.”

Railton Road’s new community artwork revealed | The Arch

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Mr DaneSir Paul McCartney