Sound Arts Media


Portobello Wall

Rhythm & Sound

On the Wall

The Portobello Road Arts Project is an annual public art commission for a stretch of brick wall linking two of the most vibrant and well known market areas in London: Portobello Road and Golborne Road. Since the introduction of this project in 2009, successful installations have created a visual link between these two unique markets, and attract over 1.3 million visitors each year. The theme for this year’s commission challenged artists to represent the rhythm and sounds woven into the rich cultural heritage, identity and place of North Kensington. This edition marks the twelfth installation to be commissioned for the Portobello Wall Public Art Project. The project is commissioned by The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Arts Service




An installation has been created forging digital links between historic and present day images representing ‘Rhythm and Sound’ using QR codes and augmented reality to bring the sounds of Portobello Road and the surrounding area in North Kensington to life. Co-curated with key figures in the creative community, the project showcases work from across the arts spectrum, juxtaposing illustration with photography, electronic with acoustic sounds, ballet with carnival parades. In this way the installation seeks to capture the incredibly diverse musical heritage of North Kensington, and to celebrate it as a place of great and pioneering prestige in the creative arts; from the dance-steps and steel-pan beats of Notting Hill Carnival to iconic performers, groups and venues in the Portobello neighborhood

The Portobello Wall Public Art Project ‘Rhythm and Sound’ is a public display of static wall-mountedul art with an interactive twist triggered via your smartphone. Scan the array of QR codes and use Snapchat on your phone to unlock an innovative selection of information or of Snapchat AR filters, via the codes situated around the art display. Make music on an AR steel pan or play a floating 3-octave rainbow keyboard in mid-air! Unlock these codes to open a whole new world of mind-boggling Augmented Reality. The art display might look static but it isn’t: the interactive layer is designed to evolve over the 12 months so expect new content and to be surprised throughout the twelve months. The installation is accompanied by a rolling programme of musical events and participatory opportunities from 2019-20.

Contributors, Partners, Supporters, and Sponsors.

With Thanks: Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Arts Service, Carnival Village Trust, Certain Blacks, The Audio Engineer Society, Portobello Radio, The British Association of Steel Bands, Coloursonics, Shannon Ribbons, and Jean-Paul Pirie for technical direction. QR Code illustrator: Martin Abel.

Photographers and illustrators: Stephen Spark, Wayne Crichlow, Jason Garcia, Benjamin Salmon, Carl Gabriel, Peoples Sound, Tara Hobson, Kevin Joseph, Nick Anthony Fiorenza, Moose Azim, Bread and Shutter, Collin Hill, Jim Linwood, John Joe Coffey, Oxford Gardens Primary School, Benjamin Salmon, and Victor Novais.

Special thanks to Janet Kendall, Emelia Thomas and Greg Hunter.



On the Wall

Portobello Radio
Certain Blacks
Carnival Village Trust
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Colour Sonic