Artist brings a splash of colour to town

ARTIST AND RESIDENTS: (From left) Mike McGeary, Louise Dean, Matthew Bailey and Michael Holman

LOUISE DEAN recently left her art studio in Langton Green to take up residency on the streets of Calverley Road, where she has been transforming two green utility boxes into public pieces of art.

Louise told the Times that she has been “surprised” by the amount of attention her work has received.

“The level of engagement has been overwhelming. I’ve never done such a public art project. From day one, so many people just had such a positive response,” she added.

The artwork has been created to inspire adults and children alike, and follows a “playful and whimsical” brief, with influences from Tunbridge Wells’ architecture and heritage.

Louise recognises how the community plays into this particular piece of commissioned artwork. She explained: “It’s important to talk to people when they engage with it. People have really appreciated watching the process of how it develops.

“It’s also made me realise there are so many friendly people in our town, and how thrilled everybody is that there is something pretty.”

The pedestrian area in Tunbridge Wells town centre certainly needed a bit of a boost, but several people have expressed concern that the newly painted boxes might attract graffiti. To combat this, Louise has used ‘graffiti proof’ paint and varnish so it can be easily washed off.

Refresh Tunbridge Wells, the local charity behind this initiative, aims to rejuvenate and ‘refresh’ the town by encouraging the provision of public art.

The funding for the scheme, which was initiated by RTW Town Forum working group member and former councillor Matthew Bailey, has come from a variety of sources. Donations have been given by South East Water, the BID, and the charity itself in order to pay for this creative make-over project.

Professor Michael Holman, Chairman of Refresh told the Times that this artwork is “just the beginning” of a larger project to make the centre of Tunbridge Wells more exciting and inviting.

The next phase – the date of which is still to be confirmed – requires more money, so Refresh will be putting out a public appeal for further donations.

The charity, which was set up in 2016, is behind two other schemes in Tunbridge Wells: the time-line mural on Tunbridge Wells Station by local cartoonist Chris Burke and the restoration of the ‘Love Fountain’ in St John’s Park and Meadows (previously reported in the Times July 13, 2023).

If you would like to get in touch with Refresh Tunbridge Wells, you can contact Michael at

You can also find Louise, who regularly runs art workshops, at @louisedeanartist on Instagram, or book an art workshop at:

Share this article

Recommended articles


Please enter a search term below.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter