Dalston Portrait Collective

Sat 28th May 2016, 11am – 1pm
Dalston Children’s Festival
Dalston Square, Hackney, E8 3BQ

Tues 31st May 2016, 9.30 – 11.30am
Mapledene & Queensbridge Children’s Centre
54 Mapledene Rd, London E8 3LE

Mon 8th Aug 2016, 4.30 – 6.30pm
Young Hackney Forest Road
28 Forest Road, London E8 3BL
A portrait drawing class for 12-19 yrs

Commissioned by

The event is part of

Dalston Portrait Collective

Dalston PORTRAIT Collective wants to capture the face of Dalston as seen and illustrated by the people who inhabit it. We gathered a giant scrapbook of hand-drawn portraits by parents, teens & kiddo’s for inclusion in a collective, public artwork, designed and printed for the windows of Dalston CLR James Library. The project was commissioned by The Hackney Cultural Programme 2016/18.

Who can take part?

You don’t need to be an artist to take part!
Local families were invited to draw each others portrait. You could be living, working or just passing through Dalston to participate.

When can we participate?

Public participation is now closed. During three public events we received a great many of the local community to our public drawing table. Armed with pencils, pens, charcoal and paper we had plenty of materials for participants to illustrate the friendly faces in their life.

What happens next?

Once the drawings were collected and scanned, it was our turn to work on the mural design for the library windows. A selection of portraits were chosen to illustrate the character and community spirit of Dalston in an expressive and playful way. We wanted to show the many faces that represent the diverse cultural mix of Dalston across the ages from the teeny tiny to the seasoned hand!

When can we see the result?

We collected fabulous portraits from all those who attended our three public events in Summer 2016. We would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who contributed their drawings. These have now been placed into a mural design. The final design is a fun, collective, community artwork which will be installed on the windows of Dalston CLR James library from January 2018. If you subscribe to our newsletter, we’ll keep you informed… Any queries about the project, please do send us a line

All Activities: Our public events were FREE to attend and all materials were provided.
Note: Artworks could only be accepted from participants who attended our public events.

Official Opening:

The Mural is up and on public display! THANK YOU AGAIN TO ALL who took part in the project. We’re celebrating the installation of our community mural with an official opening on Saturday 26th May 2018 at 1.30pm. Meet us in Dalston library foyer for a drink, a group photograph and an opportunity to say hello to the other artists involved. The mural can be seen on the external windows of Dalston Library, facing Dalston Square. There is also a second mural upstairs on the first floor, inside the children’s library – See the ‘Story Den’ or Under 5’s reading space.

Past News – Dec 2017

We have installed the window vinyl test strips. This allows us to try out different printing options and colours so that we can be sure that the one we choose works well in the space. Some work better than others. Here’s a few pics taken at different times of day. Which style of printing do you prefer?


Photos from Dalston Square

Here, our first public event of the project at Dalston Square, part of Dalston Children’s Festival, Summer 2016. Photos: Sean Pollock

Stats about this project

  • drawing 100% 100%

Applied art disciplines

Number of participants