This mural is located in the Humleby neighborhood in Copenhagen. The painting is made for this particular location, drawing on the neighborhood’s unique cultural history.
I wanted to work with the history of this particular place, how the neighborhood was built. I also wanted to focus on how the stories about places shape our view of our urban space, and how those stories are constantly developed and rebuilt.
The name Humleby (Hops Town) probably gives many people the impression that the neighborhood somehow originated from the Carlsberg brewery that has been located close by for close to two centuries.
But Humleby originally grew out of The Workers’ Building Society (Arbejdernes Byggeforening), which was started by the workers at the B&W shipyard in Copenhagen as a way of providing healthy housing for the workers who were otherwise relegated to miserable conditions. The mural is inspired by the launchings at this particular shipyard, and central to the painting is a ship flanked by a jumble of scaffolding, beams and ladders. I wanted to point back to this working-class culture in which the area has its roots.
On top of the ship and scaffolding I have painted intertwined hop plants. The hop plant grows rapidly and spreads quickly over the place where it is planted. New inhabitants and stories have long since taken over the traditional working-class neighbourhood, and the original connection has probably disappeared for many passers-by on Vesterfælledvej. Today very few shipyard or brewery workers can afford a house in Humleby, but that is a different story.
Thanks a lot to Vesterbro Local Committee and L.F. Foght’s Foundation who have supported the project. And thanks to Riwal, who provided me with the lifter – and last but not least thank to the residents in the house who have been very helpful.