Residents on Bancroft estate worked with a local charity Magic Me and mural specialist ATMA, to create a piece of art that features plants from all the countries represented in their community.
Since a mural was painted on the Bancroft estate last year, the Bancroft Tenant Management Co-Operative (BTMC) has reported a reduction in antisocial behaviour on their grounds.
The mural, created in collaboration with a mural artist ATMA and the charity Magic Me, stretches across the entire side of Rickman House. It features a bouquet of flowers representing the countries the residents most identify with.
Rickman House, just off Bancroft Road and a short walk away from Stepney Green station, had previously attracted flytipping, loitering and littering according to the BTMC. Since the mural was painted in August 2022, residents have noticed a decrease in these behaviours.
‘It’s not associated as much with anti-social behaviour anymore, fewer groups gather in this area,’ a spokesperson for the BTMC said. ‘The mural shows people that someone values and cares about the area. There have been nothing but positive responses to it, so many people stop to take pictures.’
Magic Me, a charity based in Pott Street in Bethnal Green that focuses on intergenerational connection through community art projects, ran a community consultation with residents on the Bancroft estate to work out what form the mural would take.
They asked people who lived on the estate to decide together on what they thought defined their home. Words such as ‘vibrancy’, ‘pretty flowers’ ‘green vibrant plants’ ‘nature, ‘trees’ and ‘plants’ were put forward by residents and led Magic Me and ATMA to decide on the natural theme.
‘We were also inspired by the colourful plants and flowers we saw people growing on their balconies,’ said Kate Hudson, the programme manager. Magic Me’s emphasis on community bonds between all ages also informed the idea of having hands of varying ages holding the bouquet in this particular mural. You can catch a glimpse of it if on your right as you travel west down Bancroft Road.
Kate added: ‘The estate has now seen increased resident engagement with other aspects of the estate e.g. recycling management, younger people’s sports clubs, and their general meeting.’
In the final artwork, three hands hold a clutch of flowers including sunflowers, jasmine, agapanthus, hibiscus, chilli, Scotch Bonnets, and Morning Glory. It also features the Khodu, a type of marrow used in many Bengali dishes.