Fulham’s historic market street gets a playful nighttime facelift

Six independent shops in Fulham’s North End Road have had their shutters brought to life by artist Helga.

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Helga stands outside The Furniture Shop, against her bird optical illusion shutter art

Six independent shops in Fulham’s North End Road have had their shutters brought to life by local artist Helga Stentzel, best known for her 2021 hungry house mural.

This was commissioned as part of our efforts to make Hammersmith & Fulham’s high streets more eye-catching and attractive to visitors.

“It’s been great to see Helga’s colourful, playful vision come to life,” said Cllr Ben Coleman, Deputy Leader of H&F, who helped select the winning artist.

“During the day North End Road is full of the market and shops selling everything you can think of. It’s great to bring some of that energy into the road overnight – definitely worth a visit.”

Helga painted the six shutters in SW6 with her colleague Jake Attewell over two weeks. They worked when the shops were closed, starting at 7.30pm and often finishing as late as 3.30am.

“It was super exciting. I’ve never done any nighttime projects in my life,” said Helga.

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Helga stands next to the washing machine face of On Time Tailoring and Dry Cleaning's painted shutter

‘Fantastic community’

Throughout the work Helga and Jake were welcomed by North End Road’s locals.

Residents stopped to ask what they were doing and to watch them work. Shop owners offered them coffee and access to plugs for their portable lights.

“As an artist, it was a huge pleasure to work on this project and everybody on the road was very supportive,” Helga explained. “The community there is fantastic.”

Helga finalised each of her designs with help from the Fulham shopkeepers, visiting each business.

“I found their passion astonishing,” Helga said. “After speaking to everyone I knew I wanted to be a part of it and make their shutters bright and colourful.”

Fun visual illusions

The shutters are packed with amusing visual illusions referencing the shop’s business.

Tensu, owner of Bella Hair and Cosmetics, loves her shutter’s design, which includes a bird made up of the afro hair and hair products they sell.

“We were involved in the design from start to finish. Helga and Jake went above and beyond”, said Tensu. “We really wanted earthy tones and they spent a lot of time finding the perfect shades. I’m really pleased with it, the overall look is perfect.”

Why not create a photo of yourself “sitting” on Helga’s favourite, the Upholstery Service’s sofa (see photo below)? Or look out for On Time Tailoring and Dry Cleaning’s washing machine eyes and toothy grin.

The Furniture Shop’s ostrich has a little antique clock as its head and sail boat for a foot, both chosen by owner Catherine. And can you spot Ghion Café’s Ethiopian lion, with tea pot eyes and a coffee table for a nose and mouth?

You can see the shutters up close here on Flickr.

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Cllr Ben Coleman (left) 'sits' with local artist Helga Stentzel on the Upholstery Service's painted shutter

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