The Camberwell Society

Society for those living, working or interested in Camberwell

Big Yes to landmark art piece on the Green


Tony Coleman reports on positive public consultation among residents

On two cold, wet and windy December Saturdays it was heart-warming to discover just how many people really like living in Camberwell, and just how much.

Most touching were those who had recently moved in .They were finding out about the joys of Camberwell with a sparkle in their eyes as if they had just discovered the key to life.

So it was not surprising to find deep enthusiasm for the idea of an iconic art piece to be installed on the Green. Something that would provide a landmark for all – a beacon to mark the centre of our community.

We met many local people to hear their views, thanks to SE5 Forum for using its stall. What we found was massive support. Yes, a few caveats and suggestions that have been noted but overall, 97 per cent of the 90 who responded were either in favour or strongly in favour; 3 per cent were neutral and no-one was against.

The next stage is to start identifying and talking to artists able to take on such an important project. Before launching a fundraising campaign, we need to know how much we have to raise.

Our initial estimate is £500,000 including the art piece itself and all the ancillaries such as the physical installation, lighting, finishes and a pot to go towards the first five years’ maintenance. We will only be approaching arts funding organisations to bring new money into Camberwell and avoid conflict with the much-needed social funding sources.

We have already consulted our local Councillors and they are all in favour. We will now also consult Camberwell Arts and other users of the Green such as Camberwell Fair to make sure that any installation does not restrict other activities.


Tony Coleman consulting on the Green

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The Camberwell Society was formed in 1970 and is the recognised amenity society for those living, working or interested in Camberwell.

The Society’s objectives, as defined by our constitution, are: to stimulate public interest in Camberwell, to promote high standards of planning and architecture in Camberwell, and to secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of features of historic or public interest in Camberwell.

We are a charity and raise money for local charities. In the past we have raised money for Southside Rehabilitation Association, St Giles Trust, Cambridge House, the CamberwellCommunity Choir, the HollingtonYouth Centre and the Camberwell Arts Festival