Project reveal: “Please Keep Apart!” by Patrick McEvoy


With government guidance remaining that people try, where possible, to stay 2m away from others in public spaces, our changing public realm during and post-lockdown poses a variety design challenges. In response to this, Patrick McEvoy’s “Please Keep Apart!” sees a unique new series of social distancing graphics painted on pathways throughout the Royal Docks’ amazing Thames Barrier Park – a natural enclave within the rapidly changing post-industrial docklands.

In a creative take on the now commonly seen social distancing graphics, these stencilled designs redefine the recommended separation distance in units that embrace the distinct local context of the park, requesting passers-by to stay 4 gulls, 3 barrels or 4 buoys apart.

In addition to helping to remind us to keep a safe distance apart, the designs hope to showcase the area’s strong maritime ties, and offer a nod to the area’s history – the barrels for example, have always been a significant feature of the Royal Docks, with historic photographs of the area often showing how hundreds of these were used in the import and export of goods.

The stencils make use of the same type of paint used by utility companies and will last up to 6 months before they are gently worn away by foot traffic. With a number of different designs located across the Thames Barrier Park, why not see if you can spot each of these inspiring graphics on your next walk around the Royal Docks, and don’t forget – please keep 7 carp apart!


Images © Luke O’Donovan

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