Brought to life by street artist Louis Masai, who is often best-known for his dynamic and inspiring wall murals of endangered animals, this new art features a male and female house sparrow inferring the question of ‘where has the sparrow song gone’. As well as adding to the visual appeal of Wimbledon Town Centre, this art carries a strong environmental message, reflecting how birdsong has reduced over time, due to the population decline of this bird species.
According to The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), there has been a severe decline in the UK House Sparrow population, estimated as dropping by 71 per cent since 1977, which has led to the classification of these birds as a species of high conservation concern. Based on the hit single ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ by Icelandic musician Björk, the title for this art directly links to the disappearance of this species and their birdsong which could have a profound impact on human health. These natural sounds have been linked to improved mental and emotional health amongst humans, acting as the perfect antidote to the pressures of modern life.
This installation also ties in closely with Love Wimbledon’s commitments to changing the landscape of Wimbledon so that it is a popular, attractive and interesting place for all. As said by collaborator 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!”.
The presence of this street art helps to add to the appeal of The Broadway and energises the Wimbledon Town Centre. Enhancing the vibrancy of the town, directly benefits the businesses situated within the area, through means such as increasing footfall numbers. This is even more important given the current situation facing high streets across the UK, with more and more consumers leaning towards online shopping from large e-commerce retailers. Bringing a free piece of art to the streets of Wimbledon strengthens the arts and culture scene in the area, as well as acting as a driving force to encourage consumers to leave their homes and visit the town centre.
Love Wimbledon create and fund a variety of cultural and environmental notions in Wimbledon Town Centre, including previously installing the first rainbow pedestrian crossing in the UK, in partnership with Merton Council, to show support to the LGBTQ community in the area. This addition of this new wall art helps to enhance the Wimbledon experience and adds to the notion that there is more to Wimbledon than what meets the eye.
“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.”
Sally Warren, Love Wimbledon
Find this new street art piece on Alwyne Road, off Wimbledon Hill Road, in Wimbledon Town Centre, and help to support this message.