Emslie Horniman's Pleasance
Please note no barbeques are permitted in the park.
About Emslie Horniman's Pleasance
Emslie Horniman's Pleasance is a staffed park with the following facilities:
- children’s play area
- all-weather floodlit sports area
- changing rooms
- several works of contemporary art
- public toilet facilities
The formal Voysey Garden has been completely restored to its original design. There is a kiosk during the summer months.
Bosworth Road W10
7.30am until dusk
Vote for your Favourite Mural Design
Which mural do you want in Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance
Kensington and Chelsea Council collaborated with the team behind the annual Kensington + Chelsea Art Week (KCAW) to run a series of community workshops to help with the creation of a mural on the wall of the newly refurbished Emslie Horniman Pleasance playground.
The project aims to make a positive contribution to the area’s urban landscape and celebrate the histories of the borough with original works by local artists, chosen by public vote. Before making a selection, voters are encouraged to visit each artist’s website and Instagram, to find out more about them and the work they create.
The proposals including a short explanation statement, together with optional sketches and further details are further below.
We invite the public to review the proposed designs and vote by 11:59pm on 27 February 2023.
The proposal which gets the most votes will be re-created as the mural.
Following a public consultation about the refurbishment of the playgrounds within Emslie Horniman Pleasance, the council proposed to include a mural in the design.
Local community groups were asked to join a series of workshops to help finetune ideas for the design, the key themes, to suggest local artists and the execution of the mural to go on the main wall of the playground.
The proposals comprise of one lead image to fit the scale of the wall (technical drawings supplied) with a short-written statement of 200 words, additional sketches are included in the gallery, and are supplied to support the idea.
Three lead artists have been nominated by the community for this project. Each artist was invited to create a proposal comprising of one detailed design and a statement based on the consultation results.
The artists are invited to choose one or multiple themes and ideas generated from the Public Consultation and to use the visual dossier of the workshops, as well as, the children’s drawings supplied to create the proposals.
- Bugs, beetles and butterflies of kensington by Paprika Skala-Williams
Children often observe the world in much more detail than grown-ups.
Maybe its because of their height or an inquisitive, curious mind? I noticed from the consultations and the drawing by the children they included nature and the park in their ideas so I wanted to focus on that, I’d like the artwork to act as a magnifying glass over a grassy meadow.
It is a colourful wall of grassland and small blossoms tangled in the lush shades of greenery, in my style.
What adds value to my project is the actual engagement of the playground attendees. I specialise in 'public art, being actually public' meaning-making together.
I am a painter and ceramicist and developed the model of on-site pop-up workshops, where the public may be involved in the process of art making, preparing the elements then added into the mural. For this project, because it is impossible to have a wall fully made of ceramic tiles, I would still like to integrate a small ceramic element into the final design.
I'd like to invite families to make botanical observations of the park and surrounding the playground. Learn about most common Bugs, Beetles and Butterflies residing in the flora of Horniman Park and then to create small ceramic pieces to add to the painted fauna picture on the warm contrasting background.
Paprika is a local mum of 2 growing boys, a regular attendee of all the North Ken playgrounds. As a Ceramic Design graduate and Grenfell tower neighbour, she engaged the community in Silent Art @Grenfell Art Relief. (An ongoing self-funded ceramic offering hearts mandala-making workshops) her mission is to support the local arts, ecology, and education.
I’d like to invite families to make botanical observations of the park and its surroundings. Children see more and nature should be our inspiration. Bugs, beetles, and butterflies reside in the Horniman Park. My design is a warm wrapping foliage backdrop for created together ceramic pieces to add to the painted fauna picture. What adds value to my proposition is the actual engagement of the playground attendees.
Facebook: Grenfell Art Relief
- Our children are our rising starts by Junior Tomlin
My design for Horniman Pleasance locally referred to as Teletubbies Park, brings together elements of the environment, and encapsulates historical, social, and aspects of the borough I live in.
Every child is a star - they are a constant reminder of where we all started, so I wanted to show that in my proposal – there are lots of stars and they are the children. In addition, I included musical symbols to reference the rich cultural heritage of our community. Here is an abundance of musical talent and the fact, every year, Panorama Steel Pan is held in the park. This was flagged as one of the important themes in the workshops with the community members. Hence, I included references to the steel pan in a diagrammatic style. The wavy lines represent the journey we all take from childhood to adolescence and it is a nod to a flow of music. I also play in a band locally and this journey is also mine. I also included a cheeky silhouette of a Teletubby to reference the nickname of the Teletubbies Park, with his hand on the steel pan.
I used the shapes of the circular windows to place a child on top of one because they are our future. I was inspired by the workshop at the Ark Brunel Primary Academy, and my proposal is to invite all the children to add their handprints to the final mural painting. The children were forever ready to answer questions in class so their hands were important to the design. I also used elements of their drawings from the workshops which referred to kindness and sharing. So, I included a line of text in the design from my visit that inspired me to make a sentence “Be kind to one another and respect life and help others in need”.
In the workshops, the community referred to nature, so the design refers to ‘the passage of time which is shown by four Sycamore leaves representing the seasons.
Local artist, Junior, was the founding member of the London cartoon workshop. His numerous artworks include covers for dance labels, rave posters, and dance music. He worked for Panini, known for its football stickers, licensed to produce Marvel comics in the UK, with Junior creating the digital colouring on a variety of comics including Spiderman, Transformers and Actionman.
My design encapsulates historical and social aspects of the borough. Every child is a star – they are a constant reminder of where we all started, so I wanted to show that in my proposal. In addition, I included musical symbols to reference the rich cultural heritage of our community. My proposal is to invite local children to add their handprints to the final mural painting.
- Unity through pattern by Lucy Oates
To begin the design process I asked myself, what are parks used for?
They are points we meet, think, play and exercise. Key themes that resinated with me from the public consultation notes were; a theme of unity and kindness, heritage of the area, songs/dancing, and lastly inspirational quotes.
I really enjoyed the quote “Somewhere in all of us is the power to change the world”
I felt it important for my design to include forms that represented hands as this was a common motif in the sketches and designs the children drew in the workshops. Extending on this- silouhettes of people dancing inspired by references to panorama the steel band that kicks of carnival. The people shapes are also representative of people doing sport.
Alongside this I wanted to tie in the existing infrastructure of the wall by using some of the sculptural designs in the circular recesses as a way to generate some of the shapes included in the design. I also referred to the play equipment in the park to draw some of my squiggly lines.
I felt it appropriate to include a green heart in reference to Grenfell, but for this not to be main aspect of the mural. My main aim of the mural is to display unity, positivity and movement.
Through my use of playful marks, colours and squiggly patterns I hope that my mural design will inspire others to create and enhance park goers moods by uplifting the space.
Within my practice I often paint murals with local communities. I find engagement from the public a special aspect of painting murals as murals are accessible to everyone. This is why if I am to be successful I would love to help paint and deliver the mural and speak with those who come to the park! I want my mural design to say this park is for everyone!
Lucy is a mural artist from West London. She studied and completed her MA at the Royal College of Art. In 2020 Lucy was awarded the Chelsea Arts Club Trustee Award which has enabled her to facilitate printmaking and mural workshops in London.
Key themes that resonated with me from the public consultation notes were a theme of unity and kindness, the heritage of the area, songs/dancing, and lastly inspirational quotes. I felt it was appropriate to include a green heart in reference to Grenfell, but for this not to be the main aspect of the mural. My main aim of the mural is to display unity, positivity and movement.
Workshop, Art Day and Online Questionnaire
Two workshops were held at the Venture Centre in September 2022: the first workshop was held to introduce the project and to seek recommendations such as the theme for the mural. The second workshop was held to review key themes and the outcomes from the initial questionnaire and the first workshops.
An anonymous online questionnaire was sent to the local community and all members subscribed to KCAW newsletter (14,000) to request artist nominations and feedback on the mural, to support the conversations during the two public workshops held at the Venture Centre. Around 150 people engaged in the consultation process.
Art day with Ark Brunell
Art Day: Children (ages of 5 to 11) from locally-based Ark Brunel Primary Academy, were invited to explore a range of key themes offered by the community during workshops and from the online questionnaire. These drawings have been added to the research folder for the nominated 3 lead artists to use as inspiration.
With thanks to all our partners and collaborators:
With special thanks to our collaborators the children of Ark Brunel Academy, Venture Community Association, Royal College of Art and Kensington and Chelsea Art week.
Emslie Horniman Pleasance Playground Consultation 2021
Over the last few months, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has been consulting with the local community about potential improvements to two playgrounds within Emslie Horniman. This has been collected through an initial ideas and feedback period and a structured formal consultation (survey) with the wider community.
Read the summary of the consultation results.
The full results of the consultation can be found in the report below:
Book to play sports
You can book the sports area at Emslie Horniman's Pleasance.
To book or for more information call 020 7602 2226 or email [email protected]
History of Emslie Horniman's Pleasance
There was a meeting of the London County Council on the 14th March 1911. In this meeting, a letter was read out containing an offer from politician and ex-council member Emslie J. Horniman:
‘’Recently I have been able to secure nearly one acre of land, which I consider suitable to lay out as a public garden, with sand-pit, etc., and, having now completed the purchase, I have much pleasure in offering the same to your council, and am ready to make over the freehold, the only condition being that the land be dedicated in perpetuity to the people of London as a recreation-ground. I propose to clear the land and lay out same at my own expense."
Emslie Horniman lived in Chelsea but was inspired to create the park which today bears his name in North Kensington by Sister Ruth. She was a local nun who worked with the poor of Kensal Town. Emslie Horniman had an interest in the arts. She gave the commission to design the park to the architect Charles Voysey. This is why it is called ‘Voysey Garden’.
Nowadays the park hosts 20,000 people over the August bank holiday. It is the official launch pad of the Notting Hill Carnival.
View the contact details for parks.
Last updated: 23 January 2023