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Kalisha Piper-Cheddie: Art Block Wallpaper

Kalisha Piper-Cheddie, 2024. Image: Lucien Ebongue

In 2024, we invited artist Kalisha Piper-Cheddie to co-design a new wallpaper for SLG’s Art Block with the young people who attend the space. Hailing from Peckham, Piper-Cheddie’s work revolves around creating archives for communities and exploring and memorialising local, forgotten and familial histories. The wallpaper captures the vivid sites, smells and sounds of Peckham filtered through the lens of the young people who live here. 

We sat down with Kalisha to discuss the project and give us an insight into the artistic process.


The brief for this project was to work with young people from Peckham to draw on their local area to work collaboratively to design a Art Block/Peckham-themed wallpaper. What drew you to this project? 


For me, a project which was focused on collaborating with young people to make something which celebrated our local area was something I was very excited to be a part of. As an artist born and raised in Peckham, the opportunity to be able to work with young people from Peckham and share our ideas about what we love about this area and community meant I was immediately drawn to the project and I feel extremely lucky to have worked with such an amazing group of people. 


What do you find interesting about wallpaper as a medium and repeated imagery as a format? 


I’ve always been interested in wallpaper as a way to convey ideas and meaning through pattern making. I am really drawn to how wallpapers can completely transform a space, becoming installations and art pieces rather than just backdrops. My interest in wallpaper as a medium is born from an interest in personal and domestic spaces to explore ideas around identity and how patterns can tell intricate and important stories. For me, wallpapers were reminiscent of the interiors of the homes of my Caribbean grandparents, and as I work with wallpaper and repeating imagery, it is clear how evocative patterns can be when thinking about identity and belonging.  


Did you have any expectations going into this project? What surprised you about what the young people wanted to include in their wallpaper? 


I tried not to have any expectations because the excitement of collaboration is you can never really predict how it will end up. I was surprised by how engaged the young people were with creating repeating patterns and there was an exciting energy when we were creating the designs. I also enjoyed that so many of the designs created included references to the local community, the people and shops who make Peckham what it is. 


How did you ensure the energy of the young people, and their artworks were represented in your final piece?  


Having the workshop where the young people created their own repeat patterns inspired by Peckham, and hearing the young people speak about their ideas and what they wanted to put into the designs helped to form the final piece as it was important that the result reflected all the ideas which were shared. I tried to take most of the imagery which is in the wallpaper from the designs of the young people, and I also wanted to reflect the energy and the busyness of their original designs. It was also great to get feedback from the young people on different drafts of the designs which I created, meaning the final piece is a real collaboration between myself and the young people.  





Kalisha Piper-Cheddie is a multidisciplinary artist who gained her foundation diploma from UAL Camberwell College of Arts in 2019, and BA in Fine Art with Contemporary Cultural Theory from the University of Leeds in 2023. Kalisha takes the honouring and retelling of contested or forgotten histories as the main emphasis of her practice.  

Kalisha’s family history is her starting point to explore wider histories of migration, colonialism, and intangible cultural heritage. Duality is central, the subjects which she tackles often exist within a dual or in-between space, trapped between two different veins of knowledge. Using family archives, interviews, video, text and printmaking to explore this. Focusing on the domestic space, Kalisha uses elements of domesticity to speak to wider issues of migration, family, femininity, loss, and the personal impacts of colonialism.  

Kalisha’s work has been shown in group shows including Mindjeres di Mundo, East Street Arts, 2023, AoCA Diaspora and Belonging Exhibition, Mother London, 2023, her work was nominated for the FUAM Graduate Arts Prize 2023 and she was interviewed for the a-n degree show guide 2023. 

 IG @pipercheddie


Art Block is the South London Gallery’s free space on Sceaux Gardens Estate for local young people and families to make things, be creative, and play.

Open Plan is supported by Freelands Foundation, with additional funds from Cathy Wills Charitable Trust, Southwark Council’s Cleaner Greener Safer Fund and Charterhouse in Southwark.