I wanted to highlight the area’s history and far-reaching legacies… the refuge given to countless generations escaping political persecution, [and] the grassroots movements that have gone on to shape Britain and the world.
– Shiraz Bayjoo
Tower Hamlets Council in partnership with Whitechapel Gallery are proud to present a new public art commission by artist Shiraz Bayjoo in Globe Town, Bethnal Green, East London.
Installed on the side of Clynes House in Globe Town in July 2023, the work is a large colourful photographic collage of archival materials that speak to the rich history of Tower Hamlets and the contemporary character of the area and its residents.
Bayjoo’s proposal for the site was selected by a public vote and the final design draws upon discussions between Bayjoo and the Globe Town community during the summer of 2021. Conversations between the artist and local residents focused on the memories and connections inspired by archival images reflecting social, cultural and religious histories of the area. The project is supported by the High Streets team at Tower Hamlets Council as part of broader work to improve the Globe Town market square.
The Globe Town mural by Shiraz Bayjoo combines over twenty different images sourced from archives around London and internationally. The images reflect a range of different historical themes that have been vital in the development of the local area, including: protests and political movements; trade, industry and empire; and sporting, cultural and ecological references. Qualities of courage, resilience, invention and humour can be felt across the layered imagery. The work invites stories, memories and connections with contemporary issues. The form and layout of Bayjoo’s work are inspired by Victorian industrial murals and the style of contemporary Bollywood film posters. The images are layered and brightly coloured in orange, blue, pink and green to emphasise contrast and vibrancy.
An annotated list of the images included in the work and their related copyright details is available here.
Shiraz Bayjoo is a Mauritian artist living in London. His work considers ideas of nationhood and identities, often tracing histories of people and places through archival sources – including maps, images, and texts. He creates painting, photographs, installations as well as public artworks and collaborative projects.
Bayjoo’s mural is located on the facade of Clynes House in Market Square, Globe Town, London E2 0RR. The exact location can be found here.
It is approximately a 30-minute walk (1.6 miles) from Whitechapel Gallery.
The nearest tube station is Bethnal Green.
Artist Shiraz Bayjoo
Commissioner Tower Hamlets Council
With special thanks to: Laura McLean (Tower Hamlets High Street Team), Paul Trevor (Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives), Hew Locke, Wells Fray-Smith (former Assistant Curator: Special Projects, Whitechapel Gallery), Emily Butler (former Curator, Whitechapel Gallery), Lydia Yee (former Chief Curator, Whitechapel Gallery), Iwona Blazwick (former Director, Whitechapel Gallery), and the LSE.