Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right There’s a bloody great David Bowie memorial planned for Brixton
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There’s a bloody great David Bowie memorial planned for Brixton

David Bowie memorial planned for Brixton

What should London have as a Bowie memorial?’ we asked a year ago when the Starman shuffled off his mortal coil. Now we’ve got a proposal, and it’s three storeys high, bright red and… kind of fugly?

Consulting with Bowie’s people, designer Charlie Waterhouse (who also worked on the Brixton Pound) has come up with a massive red and blue metal lightning bolt that’s intended to sit on Tunstall Road, round the corner from the singer’s childhood home and James Cochran’s council-protected Bowie mural. In some ways it’s a fitting tribute to Ziggy-era Bowie, hoping to startle passers-by out of the mundane. It’s also got a suitably just-fallen-to-earth look. We can see what it’s getting at.

However it’s definitely, categorically not what we’d have come up with – brash and static rather than shifting and subtle. Isn’t it kind of weird to install a massive, solid, permanent chunk of metal to remember a guy whose main thing was constantly changing everything from his haircut to the whole shape of pop music? No? I guess that’s why they don’t get journalists to design sculptures.

Anyway, to make the Brixton Bolt happen its creators – the brand and design agency This Ain’t Rock ’n’ Roll – need to raise £1 million and get planning permission from Lambeth Council. You can help with the first bit by contributing to their Crowdfunder. If you’re feeling generous, you could also help Bromley Council restore their David Bowie bandstand. Go on – dig deep for Dave.

From Brixton to ‘Blackstar’: read our David Bowie tribute



urban s

This is a terrible idea. Bowie’s connection to Brixton is tenuous: yes, he was born there, but moved to Bromley at the age of six. And his time in Bromley was much more formative – so put the sculpture there. The sculpture’s disproportionate size intimidates, looming over the already congested streetscape. And adequate funds must be permanently ring-fenced to maintain what will inevitably be a major graffiti and urination magnet. But worst of all, the sculpture possesses no artistic merit. It’s mind-numbingly banal and literal, lacking any spark of artistic creativity.

And how can this non-functional 9 meter piece of ironwork cost as much as 1MW wind turbine ? The costs are completely out of whack.

That Bowie chose to be privately cremated with no service and then have his ashes scattered at a secret location suggests that a massive £1 million memorial is the last thing he would have wanted - spending the money a David Bowie Music scholarship instead.

Sara C

Could not agree more. However, there is a subtle tribute being paid - Zizzi's Beckenham, the site of the former Three Tuns Pub ( where Bowie ran his arts Lab and started his career) have just had two big murals painted to remember Bowie and his more human and artistic side - avoiding the usual iconology! I am the artist who painted them. Sara Captain