Herne Hill mural smashes world record for number of participants

Written by on 17 September, 2018 in Art, Celebrities, Children, Community, News, Schools, Visual arts - 1 Comment
Actor Mark Rylance with school children attempting to beat world record for painting by numbers

Local resident and actor Mark Rylance joins school children in colouring in the mural

Herne Hill residents and primary school children have set a new world record for the most contributions to a colour by numbers painting. The finished mural will brighten up the long underpass between Station Road and Milkwood Road at Herne Hill station. Children from eight schools working alongside local residents set what they believe is a new world record for the most contributions to a colour by numbers.

They were joined by local MP Helen Hayes, local dignitaries and Mark Rylance, movie star and local resident who said: “I regularly use this underpass – what was once a very unattractive space, will now be transformed.  It’s great that this space can be celebrated and has been decorated especially by the children.”

Previous record holders in Mexico achieved 1,119 participants across 3 days, Herne Hill school children and residents doubled this to 2,332 in just two days (12-13 September).

See previous brixtonblog story here.

Children colouring in mural in Guiness Book of Records attempt

Herne Hill Forum commissioned local artist Victor Szepessy to create a design for the 40-metre long mural, which it said has brought to life the spirit of Herne Hill, it’s community, key people, places fables and myths.

Organisers said: “Children from eight primary schools coloured in the whole mural with paint pens over two days – a whopping 1,161 primary school kids and 1,171 local residents, setting a huge new world record.

“The event was an epic effort from across the community, with everyone involved making this a day to remember – with kids from as young as four years old, people with a range of disabilities, climbing stairs to get access to the building, and volunteers working 24/7 to deliver the project on time.”

Local dignitaries attending included the Mayors of Lambeth and Southwark, David Statham MD of Southeastern, Cllrs Jim Dickson and Becca Thackray.

The record attempt was made possible with funding, resources and support from Aviva, Southeastern, Network Rail, Lambeth council and local businesses.

Children colouring in the mural that will go in the Herne Hill station underpass

Lucy Reynolds, Project Manager, Herne Hill Forum, “We are so excited that we believe we have broken the Guinness World Record.   The event has been a massive community led project that has brought together everyone, to transform our underpass into a space that is beautiful, right at the heart of the Herne Hill community.  And we all came together to make it happen, with queues of local kids, and residents forming in our station square to all add their colouring in skills to this beautiful work of art.

“The support we had was a true inspiration and reflection of the spirit of this community. 1,161 primary school children and a further 1,171 local residents, took part along with contributions from Cat & Hutch who entertained the children, to local volunteers, local politicians, businesses and our very own Town Crier, James Castle from the Society for the Protection of Unwanted Objects.”

Victor Szepessy, Illustrator and Muralist. “The mural is of its time, bringing together the fad for colouring in, street art, and utilising social media to get everyone involved.  It’s a living piece of art, reflecting Herne Hill residents’ knowledge of what makes the place unique, key buildings, the local Brockwell Park, as well as its history, and all the people that make this community including historical figures and local celebrities.  I have been overwhelmed with the number of people who have pitched in to make this happen, from those that have painted, to the volunteers who have helped organise today’s event.”

The new 40-metre mural will be placed on the wall that runs the length of the “piano” side of the underpass.  Over 6,000 colour-by-number sections were completed over the two days. The mural has been created on parachute fabric, which will then be pasted into place once completed, before being covered with anti-graffiti varnish.

The mural is one element of a renovation programme. Southeastern are investing in new strip lighting, removing anti-graffiti panelling, and providing a new lick of paint. The station side of the pass will also undergo a facelift, with new gallery space allowing the local community to display artwork, exhibitions and local information.

The event was held in the previously unused space above the station.  The residents were wowed to see this hidden space for the first time. The Herne Hill Forum is working with South Eastern to plan how they can develop the space as a new town hall and community centre for Herne Hill.

“The space above the station is huge, with beautiful views across Herne Hill. Our vision is to turn this forgotten place into a vibrant forum for events, activities and entrepreneurship, harnessing the demand for a new civic space right at the heart of our community. We would love to hear people’s ideas for how we might use this space,” said Lucy Reynolds, Project Manager, Herne Hill Forum.


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One Comment on "Herne Hill mural smashes world record for number of participants"

  1. Mike COLVIN 30 September, 2018 at 11:24 am · Reply

    As so often happens headlines overstate the content.

    Note carefully what the project manager Lucy had to say “we believe we have broken the Guinness World Record”.

    Note the important word “believe”

    Whether they actually have, or not, awaits a decision by adjudicators at Guinness World Record which could take a month or two.

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