Enfield Council issued a rallying cry to all local artists to get in touch with ideas to create a special exterior artwork for display at the Dugdale Centre in Enfield Town.
Among the vibrant entries received, one idea stood out from the rest by Edmonton artist Kareen Cox, because its design had unique Enfield character.
Kareen’s design which is named The Hug incorporates several local elements including Forty Hall, parks, wildlife and cycling.
The giant artwork is a way for the Dugdale Centre to continue its mission to provide Enfield residents with inspiration and joy, to celebrate the creativity and resilience of the borough and provide a giant symbol of hope in the coming months.
The typography featured has been hand-drawn and the words act as a gentle reminder to keep safe, enjoy yourself and to always be kind.
Kareen Cox said: “My vision for the exterior art for the Dugdale Centre was always going to be colourful. It really is what I do best. My illustrations are sometimes a little quirky. Generally fun with a bit of seriousness thrown in for equal measure. I wanted to create a joyful scene of hope, love and solidarity.
“Due to the large area my thoughts were that a layered illustrative scene would work well. I wanted to feature Forty Hall as it’s such a recognisable building in Enfield.
“For most of us, our homes have been our staycations for the past year. A place where our home life merged with our work life. And where some of us were truly able to gain a work/life balance. A place where we got to spend more time with the family and maybe enjoyed a video call or two with extended family and friends.
“Enfield parks have been our salvation - helping us to get out in the fresh air and stay local with much needed open space around us to keep us as safe as possible.
“We had to find new ways to get our exercise quota in when the gyms had to close their doors. The canal on the east side of the borough is a lovely area to cycle along and see the families of water birds.
“I wanted the art to depict hope (with added typography) that things can get back to a new kind of normal. It’s also a celebration to what we’ve all managed to achieve in these very difficult times. We should all give ourselves a pat on the back. I know first-hand that it hasn’t been easy.”
The project is in line with the borough’s new culture strategy that was launched in November 2020, to ensure everyone in Enfield has culture in their lives every day.
The new £28,000 artwork has been funded by the Dugdale Centre in lieu of its regular programming and will be installed next week.
Cllr Ian Barnes, Deputy Leader at Enfield Council, said: “Last year Kareen created an artwork for a crossing in Edmonton Green which has been hugely popular, so we are happy to be showcasing more of her amazing work.
“We were delighted to meet Kareen again to hear her ideas, view her proposed artwork design for the Dugdale Centre and to hear her thoughts about how we could inspire and bring culture and art to our residents in Enfield as part of our culture strategy.”
The Dugdale Centre is the central hub for culture in the borough, including the Museum of Enfield and a platform for local creatives and place to enjoy great music, dance and theatre from across UK and beyond. During lockdown it has been largely closed but is currently being used as a coronavirus vaccination centre.