Saturday 3 December 2016

Australian artist brightens up Southwark railway arch with Shakespeare image

Published 31/10/2016 | 00:16

Street artist Jimmy C has created a mural on a wall on Clink Street, under the tracks to Cannon Street station, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death (Network Rail/PA)
Street artist Jimmy C has created a mural on a wall on Clink Street, under the tracks to Cannon Street station, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death (Network Rail/PA)

A railway arch has been given a dramatic makeover after it was emblazoned with a colourful image of William Shakespeare.

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Network Rail said crowds of people gathered to see Australian artist Jimmy C spray the portrait of the playwright onto a wall near the Globe Theatre in Southwark, south-east London.

Jimmy C is best known for producing a mural of David Bowie in Brixton which became a shrine t o the musician after his death in January.

He said: " This year we're celebrating 400 years of Shakespeare and I thought it would be the ideal time to do a portrait of him on the street. As far as I know I've not seen a picture of him on the street before so it's also unique.

"I've been looking at this wall over the years and I found out it was owned by Network Rail. I asked permission and I was very surprised when they met me on site and they said 'yes, please do it'. I was thrilled and really excited.

"We're in the heart of Shakespeare territory right here. The Globe is nearby, the Rose Theatre was nearby and his brother is buried in Southwark Cathedral so this is the ideal spot."

The artwork is located on Clink Street under tracks near Cannon Street station.

Network Rail's Eddie Burton, who worked with Jimmy C on the project, said: "It's great to see this wall looking so good and I'm really pleased we could do this. We're always happy to talk to artists about their ideas and we help them where we can.

"There's a process we go through before we grant people a licence to do the work, including making sure they have the right insurance in place and a safe plan for doing the work, and we also have to make sure it won't damage the structures or stop us from inspecting them.

"Any artists who are interested in working with us should get in touch."

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