David Bowie: Love from Brixton
By Mark McConville
HEART-WRENCHING tributes left at the London mural that became the mourning site for now-deceased music legend David Bowie have been published in a new book.
Pictures show the hundreds of emotional messages, flowers and gifts left by fans who were mourning the star at the Aladdin Sane Mural of Bowie created by Australian artist, James Cochran (aka Jimmy C).
The site at Tunstall Road, is a paved road off Brixton High Street, a stone’s throw from where Bowie grew up.
The book, David Bowie: Love from Brixton, has been released by author D Francis, from London, who wanted to document the outpouring of grief from devastated followers.
Author, D Francis remembers the time fondly.
“There was very much a welcoming atmosphere,” she said. “The area was crowded with people who wanted to be at the Aladdin Sane mural to celebrate David Bowie’s life and what his life meant to them.
“Buskers played and sung David Bowie’s most popular songs and the crowd sung along.
“There were three generations of fans attending, stories were told to friends, family and children of the impact David Bowie had on them.
“People stood against the walls reading messages, or crouched down on damp pavements reading the thousands of messages that had been left with floral tributes, handwritten or typed tributes, photographs of David Bowie throughout his life-time and there were empty champagne bottles holding single multi-coloured roses.
“I felt it was important to document what I saw for the fans.”
The author and photographer explained how the book came to be published.
“The idea of the project was the result of a contact on social media, who could not attend the Brixton mural,” she said.
“She was pleased to see that people had left messages and tributes to David Bowie and drew comfort from that.
“I thought it would be a nice thing to do, to document for the fans, the messages left at the Brixton site for posterity.
“A copy of the book has been lodged at the British Library so I feel that it has some permanency, should anyone want to look back to recapture a time, place and an emotion.”
Bowie, born David Jones, grew up in Brixton and D Francis explained how it was fitting that this was the place he would be remembered so well.
“David Bowie has very talented fans judging from the incredible artwork that was exhibited at Tunstall Road. Many poets too,” D Francis said.
“What I see in the images – the desire for individuals, friends, family groups, work colleagues to come together to say thank you and good bye to David Bowie; not only for his achievements in and evolving music and fashion, but also for him being part of their youth for each generation.
“The messages were very moving. Bowie was thanked for enabling people, not to feel alone in the world, and that it was okay to be different, to find self-acceptance and celebration in their difference. What a wonderful commemoration of the man’s life.
“The tributes were not just left for the public persona, David Bowie, but more so to David Jones the Brixton lad. There were of course condolence messages for his family.”
The book, David Bowie: Love from Brixton, is available to buy now from Amazon.
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