The Artist of Nunhead Creates an Angel of Edmonton

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Official launch on Sunday 26th May

All Southwark people know Rafael Klein’s street art but might not even realise. His fantastic sculptures can be found at gates to parks, schools, community centres and the railway station Nunhead(Where he lives). Places that we past through on a daily basis; we just need to take more notice of our surroundings, writes Michael Holland.

Right now, though, Rafael has been working on a commission from a North London borough who had seen the joy his sculptures bring to the locals here and wanted a piece of that for themselves. 

A while back, Enfield Council advertised a competition for someone to create public art that offered ‘genuine community collaboration and involvement’ as well as ‘skill development opportunities for residents’ – Rafael has been doing exactly that for years in his Southwark-based work. His submission was chosen by the Art Champions, a committee of locals interested in art.

As usual, Rafael intended to incorporate artwork produced by local people in art workshops, so in a disused doctor’s surgery on the Snell and Joyce Estate, in an area called Angel Edmonton, he ran workshops where, on a theme of ‘What does an Angel mean to you?’ models were created with the words ‘love’ and ‘purity’ on them, and symbols like birds, music and angels. These have been used in the sculpture.

Rafael also introduced himself to the local St John & St James School where more workshops were arranged.

The site of the sculpture was originally planned for outside the railway station before being changed to the estate. He says, ‘This meant I had to reinforce the technical design of the sculpture to make it much heavier and stronger. This new site would be more open to wind and the elements than the landscaped gardens around the rail station. In addition, however, it is much more vulnerable to possible tampering or climbing; I now had to appoint a structural engineer to do calculations, and the sculpture had to be more robust.’

One year on and the project is complete. The scale of the work meant a crane was needed to install it and the road closed. Residents’ response so far has been ‘quite lively and interesting’, says the sculptor.

An official launch for The Angel of Edmonton will be on Sunday 26th May at 3.30pm, Fore Street, N18 2TB, with refreshments at 4pm in the Living Room Library, 109-111 Fore Street, N18 2XF

Check out Rafael’s work on:


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