North London's Cultural Guide

Seen the Gospel Oak Overground mosaic yet?

Artist Maud Milton is making eye-catching roundels for stations along the Gospel Oak-Barking line

So this, like all the others popping up on stations from north to east London, is pretty gorgeous.

Should Gospel Oak’s crisp new mosaic not already have caught your eye, we advise you to head forthwith to the Overground at the northernmost tip of NW5.

The roundel in question is the baby of artist Maud Milton, whose collective Artyface works with schools, communities and organisations to create public mosaics and ceramic artworks across the capital.

Founded by Milton in 1999 to provide “legacy public art”, Maud says community involvement is integral. “We estimate we work with 4000+ people per year, bringing all ages and abilities together to create art that can be enjoyed for generations to come.”


The London Overground roundels project was born out of a Fellowship grant by London’s first Borough of Culture, Waltham Forest with some cash chucked in from Arriva Trains and the Trinity Buoy Wharf Trust as well.

It basically stretches from east London stations including Leytonstone High Road back west through Walthamstow Central to Upper Holloway Gospel Oak, all happily connected on the Overground. There are also others further out in places like Chingford.

Despite the difficulties of public workshops not being able to run due to Covid-19, as a community enterprise hundreds of local households and care homes have nonetheless still taken part in distanced tile making this year to help complete the works.

Milton also distributed takeaway boxes full of wet tiles so that participants were able to press their own designs guided by instructional Instagram videos. These tiles were distance-dropped back, then fired and glazed.

Look closely at the above roundel, with its autumnal orange leaves and water-blue central mosaic and you’ll see local references, too such as the lido, Hampstead Heath, Parliament Hill – and, um, a geographically appropriate fox. Yep, there are plenty of them round here.

“And many of the transfer tiles have secret initials and names on the back, tucked away forever behind a beautiful leaf or butterfly,” says Maud.

So next time you’re running, mask on, to get the train at Gospel Oak – pause for a moment to absorb this small, but powerful, piece of democratic street art.

Follow @maudmilton to see which stations are lined up next. Also check out roundels for Walthamstow Central, Leyton Midland, Chingford, Thornton Heath and more.

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The award-winning print and online title Kentishtowner was founded in 2010 and is part of London Belongs To Me, a citywide network of travel guides for locals. For more info on what we write about and why, see our About section.