A Brief History Of Retail On Wood Street

Sarah Stewart
By Sarah Stewart Last edited 48 months ago
A Brief History Of Retail On Wood Street

Verity-Jane Keefe's mural, "Wood Street Retail Survey (An Artist's View)", at the corner of Wood St. and Vallentin Rd.
Verity-Jane Keefe's mural, "Wood Street Retail Survey (An Artist's View)", at the corner of Wood St. and Vallentin Rd.

East London-based artist Verity-Jane Keefe has created a mural in  response to a 1963 survey of retail on Wood Street in East London.

Her work compares the retail found on Wood Street in Waltham Forest in 1963 with its modern counterparts present on the street today.

Wood Street is unique.  Out of more than 200 shops, only four are from major retail chains. Data from the 1963 survey has been combined with recent data collected by Verity-Jane. The resulting mural is the culmination of 18 months of research by the artist, with the collaboration of signwriter John Singh of Alpha Signs. The mural now depicts a slice in time of the retail present on Wood Street, carefully hand-painted to echo the 60's-era survey.

The mural is part of  Verity-Jane's project The Quest for Bronze Tanning, which explores Wood Street through the viewpoint of its residents and architecture. In addition to the mural the project includes three fanzines and a film. The work forms part of Wood Street Inside Out, a project led by East Architects to regenerate the street and highlight its interesting public spaces and heritage buildings.

Take a leisurely stroll to the opposite end of Wood Street to view artist Vic Lee's mural Tall Tales, which features a typographic exploration of urban legends and local history of the area, which is also part of the Wood Street regeneration project.

Wood Street Retail Survey (an artist's view) can be found on the corner of Wood Street and Vallentin Road in Walthamstow.

Last Updated 29 November 2013

Rob

I have to confess, that having seen this mural many times since it was put up a few months ago, I never understood the point of it. The story here makes it seem quite interesting but there's nothing actually on it mentioning 1963 or why it exists. I will investigate the artists project further now but I suspect this mural may be lost on most people.