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International artist selected to engage community and deliver lasting tribute to Bangladeshi independence on Brick Lane

Mayor and Members in front of wall at Hopetown Street

Cllr Shad Chowdhury, Cllr Sabina Akhtar, Mayor John Biggs and Cllr Motin Uz-zaman stand at the site of the new mural on Brick Lane.

  • International artist Mohammed Ali MBE chosen to paint permanent new artwork on iconic Brick Lane, Tower Hamlets
  • Mural will be informed by local residents as part of the council-funded fiftieth anniversary of Bangladeshi independence celebrations
  • Key part of a wider Brick Lane regeneration programme

A section of the East End’s iconic Brick Lane is getting a makeover in-keeping with its reputation as a destination for both visitors and migrants.

A new permanent artwork will be installed at 14 Brick Lane during Autumn 2021, next to the Banglatown Arch, which for many marks the start of the historical, culinary, and cultural scene now synonymous with the street.

This follows a recent consultation by London Borough of Tower Hamlets, which invited local people to view a shortlist of three artists before nominating one of them to deliver a mural on a vacant wall owned by Tower Hamlets Homes.

The selected artist was Mohammed Ali, an award-winning street artist with international experience, who has been awarded an MBE for services to art and community cohesion.

Mohammed (pictured below) will soon be immersing himself in the local community in and around Brick Lane to draw out their stories and perspectives, which will inform his artwork.

Mohammed Ali [2]

Mohammed Ali MBE, said:

‘I’m passionate about making street-art that speaks to local communities. The mural will provide an unexpected visual encounter with the people living in and around Brick Lane, celebrating the migrant story, the Bangladeshi community and this important anniversary.

“The working class, immigrant narrative is very personal to me and reflects my own heritage. I always aim for such voices to become embedded into the fabric of the city’

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said:

“Brick Lane is known around the world and represents some of the very best that London has to offer.

“The mural, near to Banglatown Arch, will be a great addition to Brick Lane and will also serve as a lasting legacy of the council’s celebrations marking the fiftieth anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence.”

Ends —

For media enquiries, write to communications@towerhamlets.gov.uk or call 020 7364 4389 for more information.

Notes to editors

About Bangladesh at 50

From March to December 2021, Tower Hamlets Council has funded and supported a number of events celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the independence of Bangladesh.

www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/bangladesh50

About Mohammed Ali MBE

Mohammed Ali MBE is an award-winning street-artist, curator and a trustee of Birmingham Museums. He has been commissioned to work internationally with leading galleries, festivals, arts centres and theatres to produce large scale murals in open spaces in the communities where people work, live and play. 

Mohammed is the founder of Soul City Arts, a leading independent arts organisation based in Birmingham that has worked with artists, academics and activists from around the world to present innovative exhibitions, performances and digital installations. He has worked extensively around the globe in places like Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne, New York and South Africa.

www.artofmohammedali.com | Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, search: aliaaerosol  

About Tower Hamlets Homes

Tower Hamlets Homes is the council-owned company responsible for managing and maintaining Tower Hamlets Council's 22,000 rented and leasehold homes.

www.towerhamletshomes.org.uk

Consultation

The consultation to select the winning artist ran online from 16 July to 9 August 2021.

The mural is funded by the Brick Lane regeneration programme led by Tower Hamlets’ Council’s High Street Team.

Visit https://talk.towerhamlets.gov.uk/bricklane for more information.

The selection of the artists to shortlisted to complete the mural was informed by a panel chaired by Councillor Motin Uz-Zaman with Councillor Sabina Akhtar, a representative from the Whitechapel Gallery and Swadhinata Trust.

Brick Lane regeneration programme

Due to be completed in 2022.

The Brick Lane area is one of Tower Hamlets’ most historic neighbourhoods and Banglatown is a symbol of the East End’s diversity and dynamism.

In 2017 the High Streets team began developing the Brick Lane regeneration programme and secured funding for much-needed investment to make Brick Lane a more attractive and enjoyable place to live, work, and visit.

During 2018-20 the team spoke to residents, businesses, visitors, councillors, and landowners to develop feasibility studies led by architects, artists and lighting designers.

The improvement proposals were consulted on from October 2020 to December 2020 and include plans to:

  • Improve signage and wayfinding, including renaming Osborn Street to Lower Brick Lane, to help promote footfall in the southern section of Brick Lane and links to Whitechapel
  • Create a welcoming and visually appealing streetscape, particularly in the ‘central area’ between Wentworth Street and Fashion Street
  • To help improve air quality by adding urban greening and places to rest for visitors
  • Improvements to pavements to make walking and cycling safer
  • To enhance the identity of the area, drawing on the connection with textiles as well as its diverse local communities
  • Highlight Brick Lane’s historic buildings using architectural lighting
  • Refurbishing the Banglatown arch to bring it back to its former glory
Posted on Friday 3rd September 2021