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Olympic Park art project creating more than 2km of murals now complete

Adriana Marques closes the Living Walls arts project at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Adriana Marques closes the Living Walls arts project at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Thursday, September 4, 2014
3:48 PM

An art project that has seen more than 2km of commissioned paintings, mosaics and posters created in the Olympic Park is now complete.

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The Living Walls initiative brought in upcoming and established urban artists from across the capital to create up to 400 pieces of exciting new work on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s many hoardings covering up ongoing building developments.

Artists commissioned by the London Legacy Development Corporation, in partnership with art houses Moniker Projects and Create, included Jo Peel, Ben Eire, Mark McClure and David Shillinglaw, some of whose work spanned up to 400 metres in length.

Yet more artists created posters advertising local businesses in a bid to draw the community back into the park, which only opened to the wider public for the first time since London 2012 earlier this year.

Artwork will remain in place over the coming years while development work continues.

The project took roughly two years to bring to fruition, according to head of arts and culture for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Adriana Marques who spoke with Parklife at the closing event on Tuesday, September 2.

She said: “It’s all very well putting the idea out there but to have artworks that are really so poignant. They aren’t just beautiful but they are about the area – I think that’s what has been so important and that’s where I feel so particularly proud.”

She added the timing of the project had been important in ensuring “the artwork is there first” and in “raising the anticipation of what’s to come”, adding: “It starts with the art and it needs to end with the art.”

Artist Jo Peel created a film entitled Meet Me In The City for the project, animating her painted mural using a stop-motion technique.

She said it took her four weeks to complete, and was based on the local area. “It is basically a story about messages getting lost in an ever expanding city,” she added.

“It is based on a little love story when someone is trying to get a message to someone but every time it just gets lost because it’s so busy.”

“It’s funny, you walk down the street in Hackney and there’s always a new shop. Everything just changes so quickly.”

She admitted she didn’t like thinking about what happens to her artwork beyond the process of its creation, adding: “It’s kind of weird to think that it will be around for a long time.”

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