Thamesmead Codex

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Thamesmead Codex

July 19 @ 8:00 am - September 5 @ 5:00 pm BST



By artist Bob and Roberta Smith

24-metre long artwork that celebrates the words of Thamesmead residents.
A collaboration between Peabody and Tate Modern.

Produced by Illuminate Productions.


Friday 25th June – Sunday 5th September.

Opening hours

Thursday-Saturday 1pm-7pm, Sunday 12-5pm.


Cannons Retail Park, 6 Twin Tumps Way, Thamesmead town centre, SE28 8RD

Over the last year, artist Bob and Roberta Smith interviewed people who live on the Thamesmead estate. He talked to some of its very first occupants and young people growing up during the Covid-19 pandemic. Smith then turned their conversations into placards.

A ‘codex’ was the ancestor of paper books. Here, the artist presents a modern-day codex or manuscript. He records the histories and identities of Thamesmead and its inhabitants.

From shop keepers, musicians, religious leaders, healthcare professionals, local entrepreneurs, students and artists, their first-hand tales and experiences, together weave a picture of how the area has transformed over the decades. The placard paintings reveal the often hidden stories behind a community: fascinating pasts, surprising presents and hopeful futures.

Alongside illustrative transcripts of these conversations, Bob has also painted images of the historic estate as it might appear in a dream, perhaps the one imagined by the first architects for Thamesmead.

“We can look at Thamesmead and create false assumptions about the area based on stories we may have heard or read about,” said Bob and Roberta Smith. “We could feel excited or oppressed by its utopian architecture, but by listening to the people who live on the estate or who are associated with it, who have diverse histories and stories to tell, we can get a clearer and more resonant impression of what the area is really like. That’s what we want to achieve with this exhibition.”

Alongside Thamesmead Codex, we have designed a series of free workshops and events to inspire and help us reconnect with the natural environment and each other.

All workshops are led by professional artists and experts in their fields.

Free entry, booking is essential on event website below:




July 19 @ 8:00 am BST
September 5 @ 5:00 pm BST


SE28 8RD
6 Twin Tumps Way,
Thamesmead, SE28 8RD United Kingdom
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