Portobello Road Arts Project

The Portobello Road Arts Project is a series of year-round artist commissions for the Portobello Road North Wall linking North Kensington’s Portobello Road and Golborne markets.

The project aims to help regenerate the Golborne area through creating a visual link between Portobello Road Market and Golborne Road Market. The project hopes through this to encourage visitors to continue their journeys further up Portobello Road to discover the vibrant Golborne area.

Call for proposals

Deadline Friday 12 February at 12 noon

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea announces the next commission for the Portobello Road North Wall public art project. On this occasion, the installation will be a co-commission with the Council’s InTRANSIT Festival of Arts, which marks its tenth anniversary in 2016. InTRANSIT has always encouraged artists and organisations to make art and performance outside of traditional exhibition spaces, so this co-commission for the Portobello Wall Public Art Installation is particularly appropriate.

The theme for InTRANSIT 2016 is ‘Strange Bedfellows: The Attraction of Opposites’ so we are keen to encourage submissions for this commission across a wide range of appropriate visual arts media that engage with this theme or the distinctive character of InTRANSIT Festival. The work will be installed for nine months, with a provisional launch date of 17 June 2016, to coincide with the opening of the festival.

Current installation

Peter Dunn

Heart of the Community

The series of photomurals celebrates key personalities, history and events of the Golborne and Portobello area over the past hundred years and explores identities through history. Heart of the Community is the eighth in a series of original art installations commissioned by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on the Portobello Road North Wall, and will remain in situ for six months.

Peter Dunn won international recognition with his pioneering use of billboards and photomurals during the 1980s. He later moved into three-dimensional public artworks and digital installations, ranging from a 5m tall Tree of Life which generates power from the wind to interactive projection systems engaging thousands of people and linking two towns.

Heart of the Community marks Peter’s return to the medium of the photomural.

Please visit Arte of Change.

Carnival Parade

Previous shows

Fiona Hawthorne

Aspects of Carnival

Aspects of Carnival by locally-based artist Fiona Hawthorne captures a particular aspect of the distinctive life and the vibrancy of North Kensington and celebrates the legacy of Notting Hill Carnival.

The new multi-media artwork is a celebration of life in the Portobello area through fourteen striking panels, portraying the people that live there, capturing diversity and with a focus on Carnival.

Fiona uses digital paint software which enables innovative juxtaposition of bright colours merged with photos, patterns, textures and unconventional marks.

Aspects of Carnival is the seventh in a series of original art installations on the Portobello Road North Wall.

Fiona Hawthorne has a history of involvement in street art. Featured in the Thames and Hudson’s book "Design After Dark" she was painting the young London jazz scene at the same time as Derek Yates was creating album covers for Soul II Soul, and Ian Wright creating xerography portraits of Grandmaster Flash for NME.

Fiona first painted the actor Colin Salmon when he was a busker on Portobello Road. Her art also featured in the fly-posting campaign to Save the Electric Cinema. Her recent portrait of Barack Obama hangs in the Library of Congress. More information here.

Fiona Hawthorne's ‘Aspects of Carnival’

Nadia Hammoud

Tea and Coffee

A co-commission with Nour Festival of Arts, this work is a mix of documentary photography and scenes of fiction. Covering different periods in history, it offers an insight into the journey of teas and coffees from the countries of their source to the current cafés of Ladbroke Grove, paralleling journeys made to the UK by past and present North African and Middle Eastern residents. Tea and Coffee celebrates the drinks of first meetings and old reunions, rivals and lovers, enemies and friends, the poor and the affluent. The smell and taste can remind of you of home, holidays and endless moments.

Atom Rooms

2 April 2012

After a three month absence, The Atom Rooms was recently restored to the North Wall of Portobello Road.

The 40 panel, 100m artwork, which was removed in January following a spate of vandalism, will now remain in place until May 2012.

It forms part of the Council’s Portobello Road Arts Project, a series of temporary commissions for the North Wall which links the Portobello with Golborne market. 

The Atom Rooms is the fifth in the series and replicates the works of artists formerly exhibited at the nearby gallery of the same name.

Amongst other things, the Portobello Road Arts Project aims to promote the work of local artists and encourage visitors to continue their journeys up the Portobello Road so that they discover the lesser known but equally vibrant Golborne market.

Natasha Mason and Teresa Crawley

Portobello ReCollection
14 October 2010

The fourth commission of the Portobello Road Arts Project is ‘Portobello ReCollection’ by the artists Natasha Mason and Teresa Crawley.

The artwork transforms the 100-metre long wall at the northern end of Portobello Road into W11's own private record collection - a giant shelf of records representing the defining songs of Notting Hill, as identified through collaboration with DJs, musicians, record labels, stall holders and local historians.

Creating an explosion of colour and type design, this celebration of the rich musical heritage of Notting Hill emphasises the connection between the place, its people and its music.

Claire Morgan


1 April 2010

The third commission of the Portobello Road Arts Project is ‘Mandala’ by the artist Claire Morgan.

Morgan’s work is made up of around fifteen images, taken of a sculptural work made by the artist and consisting of fresh fruit from the Portobello market suspended in symmetrical patterns and photographed over a period of two weeks as it decays.

The images paint a simple metaphor, of life leading to decay and ultimately leading to new life in turn, a theme reflected in the title Mandala – translated from the Sanskrit word for circle.

Liane Lang

La Muralla

15 July to 14 September 2009

The next commission to be displayed on the wall is by local artist Liane Lang.

Lang’s work consists of a 60 metre long vinyl print displaying fifty consecutive images akin to film stills. The images show the Dominican Convent, now the Spanish School and the wall that surrounds it, which is opposite the site of the work. The images display fleeting scenes of the street taken from sunrise to sunset on Valentine’s Day 2009.

The only steady feature in the images is a figure, reclining on top of the wall, which remains unmoving throughout and the images depict varying responses from passers by. Some stride by, some pause, point or pose with the lonely figure, which is just out of reach. The result is a series of accidental portraits, capturing market traders, residents, shoppers, council workers and tourists who happen to pass this long stretch of road between the two walls that lead from Portobello Road Market to Golborne Road Market.

Hew Locke


24 April to 26 June 2009

The first commission to be displayed on the wall was 'Share' by the artist Hew Locke.

'Share' featured a series of giant share certificates with relevance to the mix of cultures, businesses and produce available in the local area.

The certificates have been investigated and transformed by the Locke to provide a commentary on the fascinating history and movement of money, power and ownership across the globe, linking our home and consumption with lands far away.

Please email arts@rbkc.gov.uk with any comments or feedback.