Brixton, Thursday 16th March
Dear #ZiggyZag supporters,
If someone had told us a year ago that we’d raise 50 grand from nearly 700 wonderful people in just three weeks we wouldn’t have believed it possible. Thank you from the bottom of our Bowie-obsessed hearts for supporting us.
Of course, £50,000 doesn‘t go anywhere near realising the ambitions of the ZiggyZag. It will be no surprise to anyone that this crowdfund isn’t going to hit its target. As with any all-or-nothing campaign, no money will be taken from pledgers.
I hope you’ll be glad to hear though that we have no plans to go away.
We are still determined to celebrate David Bowie, in Brixton, with a challenging and appropriate piece of public art. We’re just going to have to approach the fundraising in a different way.
Trying to raise nearly a million in just four weeks was always an incredibly tall order. We took a risk in adopting this approach to raising the cash, and while we know that with time we would eventually meet enough moonage daydreamers like us to make this happen, extended time is one thing that the crowdfunding model doesn’t deliver.
Along the way, we’ve learned a hell of a lot. And we’ll be able to plough that learning back into the project, and return with a ZiggyZag #2 that’s even better (and hopefully a bit cheaper).
We’ve also experienced the most amazing encouragement. From you, the pledgers. From David Bowie’s people here in London, and in New York. From people and the press around the world. The lovely people at Crowdfunder tell us they’ve never had pledges from so many different countries.
While we know that what we are proposing is difficult for many – especially as people have deeply personal emotional connections with Bowie – we also know that we are coming from a good place, that we are being motivated by the right reasons, and there are plenty of you who share our desire to do something striking to celebrate David. And that’s why we will be back.
Thank you again from everyone on the ZiggyZag team in Brixton and beyond.
When David Bowie died, the world lost an irreplaceable talent.
In a fifty year career he blazed a trail that brought joy to millions, changing lives and opening minds. Many of us would not be the people we are, were it not for Bowie.
When David Bowie died, Brixton also lost a son.
David Bowie, our Brixton boy.
Now, in consultation with David Bowie’s team in New York and London, the Brixton community is building a permanent memorial in the place of his birth.
And then some.
Recreating the iconic lightning flash from Duffy’s Aladdin Sane LP cover in gravity-defying red and blue-sprayed stainless steel, this is a monumental piece of public art.
Just as an otherworldly David Bowie landed in our lives, the memorial (is it too soon to call it the ZiggyZag?) stands embedded in the Brixton pavement – a three storey tall bolt from above. A nine metre missive from another dimension, hurled from afar.
Unexplained, yet utterly familiar; a poignant reminder that life does exist beyond the everyday. That music and art and curiosity are vital, positive contributors to our collective existence.
Our location could not be more iconic.
Five streets away from Bowie’s Stansfield Road birthplace, and situated next to Jimmy C’s internationally famous Aladdin Sane mural – smack-bang-opposite Brixton tube – the memorial will be the first thing most visitors see when they come to Brixton.
In the morning, the rising sun will shine directly on the structure – welcome respite for all us commuters. By night, Brixton Academy/Electric/Windmill gig-goers will be welcomed by a dramatically-lit scene.
Standing across the road from the equally famous Electric Avenue, the memorial will be a defining part of this most iconic neighbourhood.
At once completely out-there and utterly down-to-earth.
The artists, This Ain’t Rock’n’Roll have brought together an amazing team of people, drawn from the local Brixton communityand world class specialists in sculptutal engineering and fabrication.
The Artist, This Ain’t Rock’n’Roll
This Ain’t Rock’n’Roll are lifelong Bowie obsessives (you got that from the name of course). An award-winning Brixton-born creative consultancy, they designed the internationally fêted Brixton Pound currency, featuring one David Robert Jones on the B£10 note.
Co-producer, Binki Taylor
Binki is Brixton. Curator of Brixton Design District, part of the London Design Festival, she is a passionate advocate of public art for communities. As a local business champion – and chair of the Brixton Pound – Binki eats, sleeps and dreams SW9. Unless of course, she’s dancing the blues in her red shoes. Everyone needs a break.
Project Manager, Tom Carter
Tom has over 20 years experience creating monumental metal art. He has worked with both the Bronze Age Sculpture Casting Foundry and Benson Sedgwick Engineering, developing and producing sculpture projects for world-class British and international artists.
His favourite projects include William Pye’s spectacular new font for Salisbury Cathedral, the amazing east window of Trafalgar Square’s St Martin-in-the-Fields (he’s good with places of pilgrimage!) and these rather nifty iron gates.
Structural Engineering, The Structure Workshop
Kennington’s Structure Workshop are responsible for all the behind-the-scenes under-the-hood technical wizardry. What happens below ground and inside the structure itself. They defy gravity! They make the seemingly impossible seem effortless. Remind you of anyone? ;)
Fabrication, Benson Sedgwick Engineering
Benson Sedgwick’s CV is a veritable Who’s Who of major British artists. For over 40 years they have been constructing monumental art for people like Sir Anish Kapoor, Sir Anthony Caro and The (as yet un-knighted) Chapman Brothers.
To test their creds, look no further than the Memorial to the Women Of World War II on London’s Whitehall.
These guys are heavy metal!
Architectural consultancy and Planning, Zac Monro Architects
Local architect and broadcaster Zac Monro has been a vocal supporter of the project from the beginning, and his architectural and planning expertise is vital to the project. Zac was once World Air Guitar Champion (we’d love to see his Earl Slick), but is now more likely to grace our TV screens courtesy of Channel 4’s Grand Designs and Inside Out Homes.
Paint, Bradleys Metal Finishers
The world’s most iconic red and blue lightning bolt deserves the world’s finest metal finishers. Bradleys (est. 1936) take a bow! Once Benson Sedgwick have built the memorial, Bradleys will sandblast, prime and paint – ensuring the memorial is not simply stunning in its looks, but easy to maintain.
Install, Mtec Freight Group
Last but not least, what Mtec don‘t know about installation isn’t worth, well, installing.
The team are working with the full endorsement of Lambeth Council, who have supported us from inception with planning and communications.
A permanent memorial means just that. Permanent.
From the foundations to the finishing, this is a major project, and will be undertaken with painstaking attention to detail.
The specialists above are absolutely the finest practitioners and technicians in the industry.
The monument will even be designed to compensate for wind resistance. The wind isn’t generally that wild in London, but we’ll leave nothing to chance.
Please support us
in any way you can
We’re under no illusions, this is a BIG project. But could it be anything other than that?
The core team has been working on the project – completely voluntarily – for nine months. But now we need to pay for things.
It’s quite simple. The crowdfund will enable us to buy the raw materials, and pay for the crucial professional services that will bring this brilliant, bonkers project to life.
We believe this is a wonderful opportunity for the international David Bowie community to come together to deliver a heartfelt thank you.
A thank you to a man who changed our lives, and changed the world.
A thank you not from government, nor from industry, but from us. The people. The fans.
Us ordinary weirdos who were never quite the same again after meeting the Thin White Duke.
A year on from the worst news imaginable, it’s time to come together and do something wonderful, something joyous, something totally brilliant.
Let’s do this thing! Please, join us in:
A massive thank you to everyone who’s already helped us get this far. FIN London, Mike and everyone at Southbank Centre, Jo and Lawrence @ Lambeth Council, Helen Green, Mike Urban and everyone at the Prince Albert, Rob, Dave, Sus, Phil, Verve Display, Sandie @ The Duffy Archive, Total Blam Blam and Bill Z – and everyone who’s tweeted or posted, argued or listened, believed or encouraged!
The target hasn't been reached - will I get charged?
Absolutely not! This is an all-or-nothing crowdfund.
I'd still love one of the rewards – can I purchase them?
If you’ve pledged on art from Daniel, Jon or the Brixton Pound we'll be in touch, as these works exist. Other rewards would only have gone into production on a successful conclusion to the campaign.