Have you noticed the Forest under the Flyover?
The space beneath the Marylebone Flyover was brightened and lightened up in 2016 by a virtual forestscape stencilled to the underside of the imposing structure.
Entrepreneur, innovator, artist and maker Manou Bendon was commissioned by Transport for London (TfL) to create the surprising piece of public art in the midst of ever-busy Marylebone Road.
The project uses the concept of reverse graffiti or ‘Clean Art’ , cleansing the image out of the dirty surface. To create a high contrast for the artwork the flyover’s underside was slightly darkened using homemade natural milk paint; Casein from milk was combined with water and ground charcoal to produce this, mimicking the colour created from the exhaust fumes of the traffic.
It’s hard to believe today but over 1,000 years ago the Edgware Road was a track through Middlesex Forest. Inspired by this history the artist has used the pillars of the bridge to create a concrete silhouette of the trees of the past.
Furthermore, the bridge is constructed from board formed concrete. Imprinted into its surface are the grains of the wooden planks that shuttered the concrete as it was poured. The forest is therefore a reminder of the trees that helped create the flyover.
Manou told us “The artwork aims to create a space of serenity under the bridge. Marylebone flyover is a noisy and busy place and while making we were all aware of the flow of traffic and constant movement. I wanted to get people to stand still and think about the spaces they pass through on a daily basis and connect with their environment…. I hope it offers a chance for shared interest, amazement and conversation. I want people to stop and contemplate; what better space to do this than a forest?”
Read about the construction of Marylebone Flyover here.