Wander along Kings Cross ’ Comer Street and you will find a large church dominating the road. Around the back of the building, you will find a little locked garden with 4 mosaic panels. These pieces were created in 1988 by artists, Diana Leary and Dave Bangs.
Originally, the artists decided to find a space to do a mural. The first wall they found was turned down by the church so it was moved to a different part of the church – a patch of wasteland at the back of the building. Dave Bangs had been working with the Cromer Day Centre for the Elderly which was based in the crypt of the church so it was decided to do this project with them.
Proposals for the mural content had to go through the diocese who agreed that the project could be performed as long as it was easy to remove the murals if necessary. The theme for the mosaics was peace in reference to the recent International Year for peace. The garden would become a peace garden.
Dave Bangs worked on some thumbnail sketches creating a shape for each panel which sympathetically reflected the arches nearby.
There are four panels, featuring doves, a Japanese Peace Crane, poppies, and a peacock ; this idea was chosen by the locals from the Elderly centre. Diana worked on the first two and Dave on the second. The elderly people helped make them from January to July 1988. The large panells are constructed of smaller pieces which fit together like a jigsaw puzzle so that a straight line won’t be seen breaking the design.
The garden was also re worked with mosaic designs in the paths and raised flower beds to allow people in wheelchairs to garden. The mosaics and garden was opened on September 29th 1988 by Actress Wendy Richards, who plays Pauline Fowler in EastEnders TV Programme.
Initially when the garden was opened it had low surrounding walls but now there is high fences making the garden look caged in. Most of the time it isn’t of open and so literally it has become a peace garden because no-one gets in it and the pleasure of this little green space is lost to everybody.