See Paddington is a narrative trail between South Wharf Road and Bishop’s Bridge. It incorporates pattern, imagery and stories drawn from Paddington’s heritage, culture, people and nature.
Following an open call in 2019, The Paddington Partnership appointed Steer and Jedco to create a series of graphic-led installation to animate the canalside path, bookmarking the gateways at each end. It progressively reveals Paddington through a coordinated package of interventions that integrate poetry and art across Paddington.
See Paddington is rolled out in the form a poem generated by the local community. Working with Poet in the City, poets Jo Bell and Sophie Herxheimer engaged Paddington locals and community representatives to listen to their stories and translate them into poetic phrases and imagery.
Participants included local residents, pupils from a St Mary's Magdalene primary school, staff from St Mary’s Hospital, the Canal and River Trust, Paddington Central, Merchant Square, GWR, Heathrow Express, GoBoat London, and a local councillor and staff from Westminster City Council. Part funded through Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), more than 20 organisations and representatives were invited to participate across October and November 2019. This was accompanied by poetry busking, where 30 passing members of the public were engaged in an open setting to share their perceptions of Paddington.
Seven different locations from South Wharf Road to Bishop’s Bridge host a series of perforated steel panels and stencilled additions revealing poetry around the themes of:
- Nature: Highlighting the natural environments, ecosystems and wildlife that weaves through Paddington.
- Heritage: Celebrating the archaeological and scientific pioneers that have made a significant contribution to Paddington and wider society.
- Personal connections: Uncovering everyday life in Paddington through the eyes of those who know and love the area most.
Transport weaves through all these themes in celebration of Paddington’s significant role in the past, present and future of transport. From movement of goods on the Grand Union and Regent’s Canal, through to Brunel’s iconic terminus, London’s first bus ride, the first Underground journey, the arrival of the dedicated Heathrow Express, to the arrival of the stunning new Elizabeth Line. As one of London’s most connected locations, the excitement and adventure of setting off on a journey from, or arriving at Paddington Station, continues to the current day.