If you wind through the imposing late-1960s concrete walkways of the Ingestre Road Estate, you’ll be rewarded with a mesmerizing new work by architectural artist Laurie Nouchka.
Can’t picture the location? The easiest access to this hidden corner is from Highgate Road and up cobbled Georgian Little Green Street.
It’s worth taking the time to find it. The mural itself, tucked away behind the estate car park, catches the morning sun, when its mix of rectangular, hard-edged shapes match the brutalist surrounds symbiotically.
“My practice explores how identity and wellbeing are linked to architecture and physical spaces,” says Nouchka. This site-specific project is what she calls “a creative inquiry into the relationship between architecture and identity through audio-visual exploration and community participation”.
For the work she teamed up with Arts Council England and Covent Garden’s h club (sic), formerly the Hospital Club, to explore ways in which areas of the estate could be animated, and “to engage residents and help to improve the look and feel of their shared spaces.”
But whatever its raison d’etre, you can of course simply enjoy the clean lines and patterns of the mural, without the need for any deeper meaning.
So if your interest is at all piqued, head down to the forthcoming afternoon community event (15th June), when Nouchka is collaborating with musician and producer Auclair, architect Emma Tubbs, dancer and choreographer Ryan Munroe, and Central Saint Martin’s Research Fellow in social, spatial and co-design, Marcus Willcocks.
Oh, and if you’re a fan of an unexpected urban nature reserve – as we are – while you’re there don’t miss a wander through the bucolic paths and confines of the neighbouring Ingestre Woods, gorgeously tranquil on our sunlit weekday visit.
Main image: Stephen Emms