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‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ Street Art

In collaboration with artist Louis Masai and local photographer and culture campaigner Cindy Sasha, Love Wimbledon enhances the allure of Wimbledon Town Centre with a recently-installed street art feature. Named ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’, this stand-out art is inspired by the need to raise awareness of the decline of British birds in London, particularly the House Sparrow, which is renowned for its birdsong and seen as a vital part of urban life.

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.

 

Support Local Businesses this Christmas

In light of the fast-approaching Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas Day, Love Wimbledon is urging businesses to encourage their employees to shop local this festive season and help to support small local independent businesses, charity shops and markets in Wimbledon Town Centre.

It is evident that online shopping has become increasingly popular in recent years, with buying behaviour changing rapidly too. Now more than ever, consumers are buying and returning more items online, with next-day delivery and free returns becoming the new standard. Often shoppers buy clothes online with the expectation of returning them, with recent figures suggesting that almost half of what consumers spend online, is returned.

What is often forgotten is the environmental impact of these few mouse clicks, which is becoming increasingly relevant given the current state of climate change. Despite its advantages, shopping online has a large impact on the environment. Shopping online often means receiving more packages within multiple deliveries, typically from delivery trucks or vans, with excess packaging used, including single-use plastic. Compare this to shopping locally, where consumers tend to use their one trip to their local town centre to combine tasks, e.g. purchase Christmas presents, grab some groceries and browse through a bookstore.

 

Photo Credits: First Mile

 

Shopping local, also means that the money spent stays local. In other words, rather than adding to the profits of multi-national chains, this money goes into the pockets of your neighbours in the community. By choosing to shop local, this money could be helping a family-run independent business, who’s owners are trying to fund a new bike for their child. Local businesses tend to be smaller, produce less waste than their enormous counterparts, and usually buy locally, live locally, and therefore create less air pollution and traffic.

Love Wimbledon is passionate about sustainability and as a business, we look wherever possible to reduce our environmental impact. Whether this is through managing a single-use plastic free market or using local businesses as suppliers, we ensure we have sustainability on our agenda within all our planning.

 

“By shopping locally at our independent businesses, charity shops and our market stalls, you are helping to keep the character and diversity of our town centre alive. Shopping online also means losing out on receiving great customer service and often, local businesses offer good value and outstanding, personal service all year round, bringing a warm, welcoming personality to a town centre whilst building that all-important sense of community and belonging”

– Helen Clark Bell, CEO of Love Wimbledon.

 

Go one step further this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, by resisting the urge to sell more and instead opting for recycling or reusing initiatives instead, which help reduce the demand for new products and their associated carbon footprint. Your business can be more efficient by considering sustainability issues. These can include your supply chain, reducing your overhead costs, interrogating your waste streams to improve your recycling rate and generally support the business community in the Wimbledon Town Centre.

Love Wimbledon has teamed up with award-winning, zero to landfill, recycling and waste company First Mile, to help businesses make terrific savings through waste collections and recycling. To find out more information on sustainable cost-saving schemes offered by Love Wimbledon, visit our website.

 

Photo Credits: First Mile

 

Shop smart and shop local this season, and urge others to do the same. Wimbledon is full of great independent stores including Fayre & SquareFieldersAubergine Art GalleryHealth Zone and Phokas Barbers, as well as charity stops, including the National Institute for African Studies charity shop,  Cancer Research and Oxfam, and is home to our highly successful Christmas Markets. Opt against contributing to overproduction and the environmental impact of this, by going green this Black Friday and supporting our independent businesses on Small Business Saturday, Saturday 7th December.

 

Join our vision to ensure a brighter future for Wimbledon and help to strengthen our town centre businesses.

ALL Wimbledon’s bars, pubs and clubs offer FREE water refills

Over 20 venues now offer FREE water refills in Wimbledon Town Centre.

All of Wimbledon’s pubs, clubs and bars and many of our restaurants and cafes are now listed on the Refill app, with more going live soon.

Get your business listed on the Refill app!

If you’re a business with a publicly accessible tap, then all you need to do is provide Refill with a few details to create your FREE profile on the map. Once your station is live you’ll be ready to welcome thirsty refillers and benefit from increased exposure and footfall as a result.

Read more about Love Wimbledon’s work on sustainability in our Town Centre, and see which businesses are currently listed.