Adébayo Bolaji chosen for new public art sculpture at Acton Gardens

Published on 20/04/2022

Artist Adébayo Bolaji has been selected to create a significant new piece of public artwork following a design competition at Acton Gardens, L&Q and Countryside’s regeneration of the former South Acton estate in west London in partnership with Ealing Council.

Adé’s designs were selected by the Acton Gardens judging panel following a design commission for a new piece of public artwork, which will form the centrepiece of the re-design and enhancement of Central Plaza, alongside an exciting new children’s play area that frames Phase 8.2 and Phase 6.1. Adé’s bid focuses on a sculpture in the form of a throne, with a mural displayed on the reverse which will be designed with help from the local community and the youth centre, which Adé used to attend.

This design will represent the local community, with the sculpture incorporating seven key values about Acton Gardens. To ensure this engagement with the local area, Adé will be hosting a series of workshops in the Acton Gardens Community Centre to develop his ideas, as well as working closely with those interested in the arts to create the sculpture.

Adé is a London-based artist with a burgeoning profile, who has recently returned from a show in New York, and his work has previously been featured in the New York Times and Forbes Magazine. Adé draws inspiration from his time spent living on the South Acton estate and is looking forward to returning to the area.

The new sculpture will be the focal point of the new Central Plaza, which sits at the heart of the development and will be a prominent meeting point for the community, with places to sit, play and exercise. Phase 8.2 has been designed to enhance connections across the development, with Central Plaza framing the new primary link from Strafford Road to Avenue Park Road which will link the Acton Gardens Community Centre at the heart of the neighbourhood with the recently completed Phase 7.1 to the north.

The artwork is planned to be installed upon the completion of Phase 8.2, which is anticipated to take place in early 2024. The new sculpture builds on existing public art at Acton Gardens, which includes the ‘South Acton Tree of Life’, a mural created by internationally renowned artist Carrie Reichardt working alongside community groups.

Darren Parker, Director of Development and Regeneration at L&Q, said:

“We’re delighted to announce that Adé, a former resident of the South Acton estate, will design the Central Plaza public artwork. It’s important that the artwork reflects the history and experiences of people living in the area, and we look forward to seeing how the community shapes the mural that will accompany the sculpture.

“Adé’s experience and passion were evident in the amount of detail and care put into his proposals, and we are confident he will deliver something truly special to the people of Acton Gardens.”

Daniel King, Managing Director, West London and Thames Valley, Countryside, said:

“Following a competitive interview process with some impressive designs, we are delighted to announce that Adé Bolaji will be designing the Central Plaza public artwork, which will frame this public space and become a key focal point for the Acton Gardens community. Adé’s designs really stood out and so we are delighted to have secured an artist of his calibre to deliver an exciting new piece of public art that the local community can take pride in.”

Adébayo Bolaji commented:

“This project is more than a project, for me. South Acton will always feel like home. I feel so lucky to have been selected to be a part of something that recognises just how necessary, powerful, life-changing and creative community can be. I don’t feel like I’m making this alone, I feel that all my early experiences from South Acton, the inspirational voices that contributed to any success I’ve had, have given me a clearer perspective on how to execute this moment to build something memorable.”

Acton Gardens is a 52-acre comprehensive redevelopment of the former South Acton estate – a £800 million investment creating 3,463 new mixed-tenure homes. The development delivers 50% affordable housing and more social rent homes than previously existed on the estate before the project commenced.

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