Monday, April 11, 2016

Wall Of The Ancestors


Found on a walk, somewhat inelegantly positioned at the Thameside edge of Aragon Tower, Pepys Estate, Deptford: sculptor Martin Bond's Wall of the Ancestors. Faces include those of Grinling Gibbons, Queen Elizabeth I, Tsar Peter the Great, Olaudah Equiano, and Sir Frances Drake, all past residents of the area now occupied by the Pepys Estate (Pepys worked nearby, at the original Trinity House). I like the Bridget Riley-style trompe l'oeil underneath it, too.

Aragon Tower was sold by the Borough of Lewisham to developers and the proceeds used to refurbish and regenerate the rest of the Pepys Estate. Residents in the tower, mostly council tenants, were moved out and the flats were transformed into upmarket duplexes and sold on the open market. An early example of the kind of displacement now common everywhere in London. Wrong kind of faces, maybe.

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