Wise Men of the Sound System. Illustration © Benjamin Salmon

This year marks the twelfth commission for the Portobello Wall Arts Project which was launched in 2009 – with a particularly appropriate theme ‘Rhythm and Sound’. Public art has become an important part of the visual make-up of North Kensington, with a stretch of brick wall linking two of the most well-known market areas in London, Portobello Road and Golborne Road, lending itself well to the project. 

Shaban, Krew B Boys

Commenting on this year’s exhibit, Councillor Gerard Hargreaves, Lead Member for Culture, Leisure and Community Safety in Kensington and Chelsea said: ” This work is a celebration of community art and artist that creatively interprets the theme, drawing inspiration from the distinctive and diverse nature of the area.”

This year attracted a record number of applications with local Notting Hill-based artist and musician Tony Thomas selected as the winner at a meeting in May this year.

The wall has now been unveiled with this year’s winning exhibit and is located at the meeting point between Oxford Gardens and Portobello Road. 

The artist Tony Thomas said: “Portobello Road reflects the diverse community of London and it has been great to be welcomed by these people and engage them in my work.” 

The project, that has been co-curated with members of the creative community, showcases the diverse musical heritage of West London and forges digital inks between historic and present-day images that represent rhythm and sound ‘using QR codes and augmented reality to bring the sounds of the area to life. 

The area is one of London’s best-loved landmarks and attracts more than 1.3 million visitors into the borough each year. 

Pan Man © Kevin Joseph

Celebrating Rhythm and Sound in Portobello Art Project