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Kids and artists rally with mosaics to bring East End spirit back after riots

PUBLISHED: 15:17 16 August 2011 | UPDATED: 16:16 16 August 2011

Children add finaltouches to 'white horse' mosaic before it goes up

Children add finaltouches to 'white horse' mosaic before it goes up

Artyface arts group

Neighbours have rallied in the wake of last week's rioting with colourful mosaics on the wall of a primary school to brighten up the 'streetscape' and put community pride back into London's East End.

They joined artists who have been creating the colourful works at Bethnal Green’s Globe Primary—with the help of children during term time who returned to school during the summer holiday to help put them up on the walls.

“This is London at its best, when so much has been destroyed,” said Artyface arts group director Maud Milton.

“After helicopters hovered over Hackney within earshot and sight, with sirens whizzing past, the community’s reaction this week to the unexpected improvement to their streetscape was overwhelmingly positive.

“People on bikes, mobility scooters, cars, mopeds and on foot have been stopping, photographing and admiring the work in this caring and community-minded neighbourhood.

“All day people have stopped and chatted to us—from every generation and culture. The mosaics will last for generations to enjoy.”

Passers-by have been turning up to admire the mosaics as the big voluntary clear-ups and other community actions got under way following last week’s disturbances.

The artists from Artyface and volunteers were working everyday for the past week putting up sparkling, colourful mosaics along Globe Road. Around 600 worked on the designs and made the mosaics with the children.

The theme was animals from around the globe—as it was for Globe Primary School. Everything in the design was drawn by children working with artists in workshops earlier this year—then stored carefully until building work at the school finished and the mosaics were put in place on the walls. The volunteers then grouted and polished them.

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