Some good news came to light this week when Australian artist, James Cochran was commissioned to upgrade Brixton’s David Bowie mural, the focal point in the days following his passing in 2016. Cochran was originally commissioned to paint the beautiful art in 2013.
Over the past two years, fans from all over the world have made the pilgrimage to Brixton tube station before taking a short walk to lay flowers, mementoes, messages of admiration or to simply have their photo taken next to some seriously beautiful artwork. My first of many visits came in March 2016 with Bowie’s death still a recent memory for all of us. Since then, I have carried out a further 5 treks to pay respects, chat to others fans from around the world or simply stop to reflect in silence and ponder just how much this particular Londoner has impacted and affected my life and that of countless others.
With each visit, you are almost certain to bump into locals passing by for a quick moment of reflection or fans from far flung places such as Argentina, Japan, Germany, Thailand and Russia who were all touched in some way by Bowie’s charisma. I have to admit here and now, I have shed a few tears whilst visiting the mural. On the plus side, I met a lovely young lady, Jess who was there with her grandfather from the north of England and met the wonderful local, Clive who pops down almost on a daily basis to chat with fans and play music. All the music is Bowie’s of course!
It’s been said that within hours of Bowie’s passing, thousands of fans descended upon the mural to celebrate the life of Bowie and judging by the footage I saw on the news, they had one hell of a party! From that day on, the Brixton mural, just a stones throw (or four) from Bowie’s first home in 1947 has become the unofficial memorial site. The perfect location!
Last year, I met a Japanese fan who had flown all the way from Osaka to partake in his very own Bowie pilgrimage. It was his first time in England and his father had seen Bowie live all the way back in 1978 in Tokyo. Sadly, the young mans father had also been taken by cancer only a few months earlier.
To outsiders, we (Bowie fans) must seem like a strange bunch. But we were Bowie’s bunch and he was our hero. There will never be anyone quite like him again and Chris Cochran’s mural in Brixton is a place where we can all appreciate and remind ourselves of the wonderful thought that we were alive on planet earth at the same time as David Bowie…..