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Splash of colour helps transform dingy Edmonton subway

Artists paint mural after drawing inspiration from local school pupils

The Tanners Lane pedestrian subway before (left) and after (right) it had been brightened up by street artists from 34 Bus
The Tanners End Lane pedestrian subway before (left) and after (right) it had been brightened up by street artists from The 34 Bus Collective

An “unsafe” underpass near North Middlesex Hospital has been brightened up thanks to a team of local artists.

Built in 1975, the pedestrian subway links Tanners End Lane, on the north side of the North Circular Road in Edmonton, to the south side where it connects with the hospital – but has long been decried as an “unpleasant place” where people often did not feel safe.

Now a new mural has helped to provide a splash of colour and brightness to the walkway. Artists from The 34 Bus Collective, who have also been responsible for a series of murals in nearby Pymmes Park, were commissioned to paint the mural after drawing inspiration from local school pupils.

A Brighter Passage comprises a series of coloured paper origami shapes which then transform into butterflies. Artist Amaechi Anolue said: “In recent years this heavily-used walkway had become an unpleasant space to be in, it felt unsafe and uncared for, and was plagued by peeling paint, cobwebs, dirt and blocked drains, causing the tunnel to flood under heavy rain.

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“With funding from the the Meridian Water Community Chest and support from TfL [Transport for London], Brewers Enfield, Tanners End Lane Priory and Enfield Council, The 34Bus Collective were able to take on the challenge of making this walkway somewhere which brings a moment of joy to a regular commute to work, a trip to the hospital or a walk to school.”


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The design for the mural was developed over a series of three workshops with art students from Aylward Academy, headed up by Matt Steven.

Amaechi said: “These workshops inspired an idea for how to break up the space, which evolved into a world of origami. The artwork takes the viewer on a journey of transformation as coloured paper folds and unfolds, playing with scale and light, finally forming into paper butterflies which fly off into an unfolding sky.

The entrance to the newly-painted underpass in Edmonton
The entrance to the newly-painted underpass in Edmonton

“We are so glad we did this project as it has brought a smile to the members of the public that use it on a daily basis.”

A Brighter Passage was painted in September with help from local volunteers. To complete the transformation of the passageway TfL has also now unblocked the drains, repainted the handrails and are making other improvements in and around the underpass.


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