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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  2014  /  December 2014  /  Modernising 1895 London for charity

Modernising 1895 London for charity

Rediscovering late Victorian industry

Modernising 1895 London for charity

Every year the development and disaster relief charity Article 25 places a 10×10 grid over part of London. The 100 resulting squares are allocated to prominent architects and artists, who create artwork inspired by their square. The pieces are auctioned and the proceeds fund the charity’s work.

Drs James Cheshire and Oliver O’Brien (UCL Geography) were asked for a second year to produce a work, which went on to secure a winning bid of £160 in the auction. While this is a modest sum compared to some of their fellow artists, including Anthony Gormley, Norman Akroyd, Lord Norman Foster and Renzo Piano, it was more than last year’s submission, so their work is clearly in the ascendency!

Oliver and James’ artwork reinterprets an 1895 Ordnance Survey map of Borough/Bermondsey in a modern way, recolouring and highlighting key features to present a new view of a historic and culturally rich neighbourhood.

When studying the original map, they were struck by the quantity and variety of industry in the area 119 years ago. Each factory has been carefully relabeled in a modern font while retaining the old spelling. From leather tanning to chocolate making, by way of a brewery, the artwork invites the viewer to look again at a familiar part of London.

It was printed on canvas by Miles Irving in the Geography Drawing Office.

You can read more about the work here:


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Oliver and James’ artwork

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