You know when you’re on the way out and spot a 40-tonne pile of construction sand so you pop back on your way home and carve it into a giant broccoli-eating cat sculpture?

Well, this is what a spontaneous Saturday night escapade looks like for a 38-year-old artist from Brockley.

South-east Londoner Zara Gaze has lived in Brockley for 15 years, and was in New Cross before that, so she's seen Lewisham's housing situation transform first-hand.

She said: “I’ve been in this corner of London since art school.”

“I’m not a massive political speaker on issues but I have noticed such a difference in the area and there has been a lot of graffiti popping up around Deptford and Brockley commenting on gentrification.”

When she saw the pile of sand next to a new development site, she felt compelled to create something out of it - and a fat cat devouring Brockley seemed apt.


She said: “It’s about companies coming in and profiting from someone else’s desire to have a roof over their heads.

“If my rent goes up any more, I might not be able to afford to live here any more.”

Ms Gaze snuck back in the wee hours of Sunday morning to create her masterpiece, but by the next day it had been flattened.

It was gone within six hours, she says, but not before she had the opportunity to share the picture on a community Facebook group, I love SE4, to glowing reviews from fellow locals.

And resident fat cat and local celebrity Olly the cat got in on the action too, posting an homage on his Facebook feed in apparent support of the social commentary on the housing crisis.

Ms Gaze told News Shopper: “I know Olly. He's a literal fat cat.

“I don’t want there to be any competition between the fat cats of Brockley!”

Olly the cat, who made a name for himself sneaking into Sainsbury's, declined to comment on gentrification in Brockley.