Over the past few years, residents of Lewisham have noticed their high streets getting more colourful. Across the borough, local businesses and even empty units have had their shop-fronts rejuvenated by local artists, who have used the shutters as canvasses, transforming once-drab frontage into lively street art.
1. Aga's Little Deli - Forest Hill
One of the areas where this art is thriving is Forest Hill. Aga’s Little Deli, an artisan Deli on Dartmouth Road, showcases its lovely shop with a giant cheese on their shutters, whetting locals’ tastebuds for the wonderful artisan food served inside. When the shutters are up, you can enjoy the real thing instead and sample an array of cheeses, meats, olives, bread, cakes and coffee.
2. The Archie Parker - Forest Hill
Even The Archie Parker café - loved locally for its pastries and cakes, (as well as resident dog Archie!) - has got involved with a simple piece declaring ‘This is Not a Tesco Express”. This welcome message was painted on the shutter to tease locals when the café was being fitted, highlighting the importance of supporting our independent and local businesses.
3. The Butchery - Forest Hill
The Butchery on London Road makes it clear what’s on offer behind their shutter via a giant, bold chop (probably pork) painted over blue and white stripes – similar to the pattern of a traditional butcher’s apron. Created by local artists Supermundane and Butch, the piece was part of the SEE3 project in 2012, which aimed to make the high street more engaging.
4. Tony's Butchers - Catford
Artist Butch, who co-created The Butchery’s shop-front, was also responsible for a number of pieces in Catford, including the colourful cows outside Tony’s Butchers on Catford Broadway. He also painted the stacked houses on the shutters at Jack Studio Theatre, helping to highlight the arts venue attached to the Brockley Jack pub, which patrons may not be aware of. This piece was created as part of Brockley Street Art Festival, which has transformed several shop-fronts and walls around the area.
5. Longhorn - Brockley
Not too far from the Jack is one of Crofton Park’s newest eateries, Longhorn, which specialises in hearty, American-Italian diner-style food – think burgers, pasta, hot dogs, ribs and, of course, New York cheesecake and sundaes. Longhorn has also got in on the arty action with a simple yet startling rendition of a long-horned animal skull (we’ll guess cow, or buffalo if you’re feeling exotic), thanks to local artist Lionel Stanhope.
6. The Proud Sow - Brockley
Talented Lionel, famed for creating the much-hyped ‘Straight Outta Crofton’ piece (Dr. Dre and Ice Cube would be proud) near the station, is also the man behind the pig that cutely adorns nearby butchers’ The Proud Sow. The Sow has been serving the community for over 100 years, and is famed locally for its range of sausages (sorry, cute cartoon pig) plus artisan breads.
7. The Workshop - Brockley
Across the road, made-to-measure and alterations outlet The Workshop is also brightening up Ewhurst Road with an enchanting fox’s face that wraps playfully around the entire shop frontage – paying a cheeky tribute to some of London’s furriest and most mischievous residents – and you can feel safe in the knowledge that this one won’t be raiding your wheelie bin anytime soon! This delightful piece was painted by Mimi Soan, who’s also behind some of the art on Brockley Road.
8. Out Of The Brew - New Cross
Over in New Cross, hip new cafe/ bar/ gallery (with a bonus garden) Out of the Brew livens up a busy corner near arty Goldsmiths University with an eye-catching, open-mouthed colourful character set against a psychedelic background. This was painted by London artist PLIN in his trademark style.
9. Gennaro Delicatessen - Central Lewisham
In central Lewisham, local favourite Gennaro Delicatessen has paid homage to owner Antonio’s Italian heritage with a beautiful scene from his home village. When you next visit to stock up on authentic, homemade Italian produce, look out for a photo of the village that inspired the design of the shutter.
10. The Calabash of Culture - Sydenham
Finally, to The Calabash of Culture, one of several Sydenham shops that has recently embraced the shop-front art. The environmental, health and spiritual focus of this vegan café and shop is reflected in an enchanting piece, titled ‘The Heart of Nature’, created by local street art collective Aeroarts.
And remember, there’s much more fantastic shutter art to be discovered across the borough, so let us know in the comments section where your favourite shutter-art pieces reside! With Brockley Street Art Festival coming up soon there's undoubtedly going to be even more brilliant pieces popping up all over the borough...