Winner of the Westfield 2021 Future Fashion Award creates artwork for Westfield London

Westfield has commissioned London based illustrator and Royal College of Art graduate, Elyse Blackshaw, to illustrate a 71 metre long mural at Westfield London. The artwork depicts a scene that is a journey through recognisable locations such as Shepherd’s Bush station platform, Shepherd’s Bush Market and White City Living, connected by imaginary green spaces in the hope of sustaining or even increasing natural environments within the area.

Elyse’s design inspiration was to cast a rainbow of positivity over the people who visit Westfield during unprecedented times, encouraging hope and positive change for the future. The illustration tells a story beginning a scene at Shepherd’s Bush station platform, with Westfield in the background. The scene welcomes new residents and visitors and the characters depicted are directly inspired by Elyse’s previous work.

Next is a fantasy scene inspired by an eclectic and romantic mix of influences. With key themes of the environment running throughout the work, this scene really emphasises the need for green, outdoor spaces – not only for climate purposes but for positive mental and physical wellbeing.

The central focus on the corner of the commission hosts the Congress Hall from the Franco-British exhibition. A venetian style of architecture that once existed on the Westfield site. A place for political, formal meetings, this building has been reimagined for the colourful White City where it can be accessed by all. In this world, the hall is more of a community centre for local people who want to make positive change for local residents.

Elyse has created a some of London’s most creative fashion designers’ catwalks shows using monochrome collaged faces to emphasise the colour, texture, and narrative of clothing. These figures are not assigned a clear identity, gender, sexuality, or race, emphasising the need for equality in a multicultural society. You can see this influence throughout the piece which mixes playful characters can be seen with greyscale skin tones. Elyse believes that in a perfect world, no one is judged by the colour of their skin but by the positivity they bring to their loved ones, communities, and environments. In addition to this, animals and plants are a significant element within the artwork Drawn in colour, as hybrids, and even human-sized, the creatures are presented as significant equivalents to humans living in harmony.

Elyse was the winner of the 2021 Westfield Future Fashion Award.  As part of this, she has delivered creative drawing workshops for Westfield Future You 2021 and a piece of artwork to celebrate the local area around Westfield, past, present, and future.

The mural will remain live in-centre until March 2022.

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