‘Gunnersbury Gus’ pops up to say hello

Image above: Gunnersbury Gus

New artwork by local artist Helga Stentzel

Street infrastructure, no matter how essential, can look pretty boring. A plain metal box does not add to the beauty of the landscape.

Abundance London commissioned local artist Helga Stentzel to cheer up one of Virgin Media’s cabins, beside Gunnersbury station, and the result is ‘Gunnersbury Gus’.

Gus can be seen in the ‘parklet’ outside the Tube station in Chiswick High Rd, peeking out from one of the several electric cabinets that dot the area.

Multidisciplinary artist Helga has a significant Instagram following and works across a wide range of media including photography, illustration, videography, sculpture and mural design. She received “Food Art Creator of the Year” award in 2020 and has collaborated with Hermes, Amazon, BBC, Honda and O2, among others.

She has also participated in multiple group exhibitions in New York and London, and held a solo show in Seoul in 2022, as well as being a regular contributor to Artists At Home.

Images above: Some of Helga’s other work

“My art is about finding magic in the mundane”

Helga said:

“My art is about finding magic in the mundane, seeing beauty in imperfections, and connecting to our reality in a new way. I love noticing playful similarities – be it a sweater on a clothing line looking like a horse or a slice of bread resembling a dog’s head. It’s only the starting point though. From this moment onward the stories and visuals start buzzing in my head!

“I hope that my art will help people to connect with their inner child and rediscover the joy of savouring little visual delights inside and outside their homes.”

The project is part of Abundance London’s continuing artistic work around the area, which includes the Chiswick Timeline mural, and the W4th Plinth artwork at Turnham Green Terrace. Discussions have been taking place about renovating other pieces of street furniture, including dustbins.

The Gunnersbury ‘parklet’ (a few shrubs and a bench) is maintained by West Chiswick and Gunnersbury Society. It was funded by the Chiswick Flower Market, planters were supplied by Abundance London and the Chiswick Business Park. Virgin Media gave permission to decorate the cabin.