Bowie’s death shocked the world on 10 January 2016, as he lost his 18-month long battle with cancer just two days after his 69th birthday. Not only were the people of the world moved by this news, but Brixton residents were exceptionally distraught by the loss of their beloved hero. Hundreds flocked to see the Bowie tribute on the side of Morley’s department store in Tunstall Place, which was created by James Cochran in June 2013. The mural depicts Bowie from the 1973 album cover of Aladdin Sane in bright, vibrant colours, shining in all his glory. This little street mural was in for a shock when well-wishers and fans flocked to it to lay flowers and tributes for the late artist.
The spot has overflowed with gifts in memory of the star, with the area becoming such a central point for bereaved fans that Lambeth Council not only announced that it will be protecting the mural by making it a listed site, but it will also be renaming the street after Bowie. The council has been in contact with Bowie’s family to arrange a permanent memorial for him, such as statues or place names, in order to drive home the love Brixton feels for this artist and the impact he has had on this town.
This ‘Brixton boy’ influenced the world with great hits, including Let’s Dance, Space Oddity and Life on Mars? — all songs which will inspire the music industry for generations. Bowie will always be one of our Heroes, and this Brixton memorial shows how huge his impact was — not just on Brixton, but on the world.