‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ is new wall art installation in Wimbledon Town Centre, created by Love Wimbledon, in collaboration with artist Louis Masai and local photographer and culture campaigner Cindy Sasha. This piece aims to raise awareness of the decline of British birds in London, particularly the House Sparrow, renowned for its birdsong and seen as a vital part of urban life.
Brought to life by a London-based artist, often best known for his dynamic and inspiring wall murals of endangered animals, ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ features a male house sparrow and female house sparrow inferring the question of ‘where has the sparrow song gone’. Based on the hit single ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ by Icelandic musician Björk, the art reflects how birdsong has reduced over time, due to the population decline of this bird species.
The disappearance of birdsong could have a profound impact on human health. The natural sounds of birdsong have been linked to improved mental and emotional health amongst humans. Hearing birdsong allows us to connect with the natural world and can be the perfect antidote to the pressures of modern life.
According to The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), there is a severe decline in the UK house sparrow population, estimated as dropping by 71 per cent since 1977. This has led to the RSPB now red-listing House Sparrows as a species of high conservation concern.
Rather than adopting the newer patchwork style, seen in much of Louis Masai’s more recent work, the artist drew on a more realistic, older style of painting to embody the central message of this piece – the critical situation facing British birdlife. Louis Masai is a London-based painter, sculptor and street artist, who uses his art in the form of murals, paintings and installations to highlight and initiate discussion surrounding climate change, endangerment of species, conservation and species equality.
Wimbledon has seen a renaissance in cultural experiences ranging from music, theatres, art galleries and literary festivals. It is a place where there is often more than what meets the eye. As said by Cindy Sasha, “street art can change a landscape of a town centre. I love it when the love spreads through art and sends such a positive message – we need more of it!”. Love Wimbledon create and fund a variety of cultural and environmental notions including the first rainbow pedestrian crossing in the UK, in partnership with Merton Council, to show support to the LGBTQ community in Wimbledon Town Centre. Find out more here.
“This collaboration has brought an important message to Wimbledon, whilst also developing a stronger and more vivid cultural strategy for visitors to experience the town centre. The art is impactful, meaningful and has had a positive response from business, visitors and local residents. We were pleased to hear we have a crew of House Sparrows in Wimbledon Town Centre – something to be truly celebrated.”
Sally Warren, Love Wimbledon
Find this new street art piece on Alwyne Road, off Wimbledon Hill Road, in Wimbledon Town Centre, and help to spread this message. Watch the public reaction to the art.