One of south London’s most distinctive – and best-loved – graffiti artists has left his latest calling card in a overlooked corner of Charlton.
The Lewisham Natureman’s white stags – often adorned with that borough’s crown logo – have been spotted in locations including the River Quaggy in Lee, wasteland in New Cross, the old Catford dog track and underneath a railway bridge in Lewisham.
Possibly the most visible one is on a gate at Greyladies Gardens, a block of flats on the Lewisham flank of Blackheath.
From the Wildcornerz website:
The Lewisham Natureman is a legend thought to have its roots in South East London’s local graffiti scene. He has never been seen and is only represented by a small carving, that can be found [normally hidden] in the wastelands, train sidings and rivers of the borough. This has given way to the belief that this character is not human at all but actually a spirit of the wild; an urban incarnation of the Green Man or Cernunnos; the stag lord.
He also takes the form of a small white deer that can be seen wandering the desolate places of Lewisham, grazing on wild vegetation and drinking from the boroughs three rivers. The creature is also known as the ‘Wild Walker.’
It’s been a while since one of the stags have appeared – but now one has emerged in Bramshot Avenue, Charlton, on a wall next to land which until recently hosted a large advertising hoarding.
It’s not the Lewisham Natureman’s first appearance in Greenwich borough – one was spotted outside the former Thomas Tallis School in Kidbrooke two years ago.
Long-standing residents may remember horses grazing on this land until the 1980s – the Natureman’s reappearance may help jog some memories, as well as giving travellers stuck on the Blackwall Tunnel approach something to gaze at.