Illegal graffiti can be a challenge for many town centres, including Wimbledon. But Love Wimbledon has collaborated with The Wombles creating a high-profile piece of wall art, as part of a wider environmental campaign, to articulate how we can all ‘Love Where We Live’.
The wall, where the new 3.5-metre high and 15-metre long mural sits, was previously a hotspot for illegal graffiti. This project has hugely enhanced the experience along the busy railway path, providing a great selfie opportunity for pedestrians with Great Uncle Bulgaria. Following their return from hibernation in January to raise environmental awareness, the artwork depicts all our favourite Wombles characters hard at work painting the wall to cover up the graffiti underneath.
This type of imagery resonates with the local community and creates a highly-engaging, fun piece of artwork which features characters that many will remember from their childhood, both on a local and national level – The Wombles are back in Wimbledon and out of their burrows spreading their eco-messages!
The image above shows what the wall used to look like
A modernised style was chosen to appeal to the new generation with a more urban-suburban stylistic aesthetic. The mural is located adjacent to the busy rail and tram lines, south of Wimbledon Station, which bring in residents, travellers and commuters from surrounding areas and the South West of the country. The presence of such prominent and vibrant art along the railway path, acts as a unique identifying feature, helping to differentiate Wimbledon from other town centres and strengthening the bond between the town and those nearby.
As well as being another strong addition to the budding art scene in Wimbledon, this mural meets the wider aim of bringing free art for all into the local community and developing a gallery without walls within our town. Wimbledon is already home to a street art feature titled ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ which aims to raise awareness of the decline of British birds, and the UK’s first Rainbow Crossing, which was installed to celebrate the town’s inclusivity and welcome its first LGBT+ bar.
Having such vivid art in our town, associated with a variety of cultural and environmental notions, is key to placemaking and strengthens the identity of Wimbledon as a town centre. Now more than ever, consumers need encouragement to #LoveLocal and in order to continue the positive footfall trend that Wimbledon has seen in its recovery from Covid-19, we must work hard to enhance the vibrancy of the town. Having free art which is situated outdoors and is open to all, does exactly that.
This project is the second of its kind, through a partnership between Love Wimbledon and The Wombles, which aims to bring the positive message of community environmentalism right to the heart of Wimbledon Town Centre. The first campaign saw large display boards take over the main ticket hall at Wimbledon Station, with encouraging sustainable messages for consumers including ‘Travel Smarter’, ‘Reduce/Reuse/Recycle’ and ‘Go Green’.
Helen Clark Bell, CEO, Love Wimbledon added ‘It is good to see our old friends around town again, we’ve missed them! When people think of Wimbledon, some may think of the tennis, but we know many of us immediately think of ‘The Wombles, after all, it is their home.’
Love Wimbledon, is a Business Improvement District (BID) Created in 2012, it is funded by and accountable to the businesses of Wimbledon. Love Wimbledon is one of the original member BIDs in IPM's special Interest group The BID Foundation. The BID aims to improve the centre of Wimbledon through effective placemaking, management, marketing and lobbying for the businesses it represents.