The mural was described by Time-Out in 2006 as one of the top murals in London and it’s still a big presence in the area and culturally throughout the Capital. Painted in 1980 by London artists Simon Barber and Mick Jones, the mural covers the whole side of a building, facing Whitfield Gardens on Tottenham Street in Fitzrovia. It was commissioned by the London Borough of Camden, designed after having consulted locals and shows the rich tapestry of Fitzrovia life, taking a pop at certain sectors such as property developers. It was painted with rich colours and generous lines and mirrors the style of internationally renowned Mexican artist Diego Rivera.
Time-Out also described the mural as needing a ‘touch-up’. And they were right. Time, pollution and general urban wear and tear have meant it is in dire need of a facelift. The artwork is still a hugely recognisable part of the local landscape but a little faded and marked by graffiti. Thanks to pressure from the Fitzrovia community, the London Borough of Camden agreed to restore the mural as part of the wider regeneration of the Tottenham Court Road area. Thanks to the support of the Fitzrovia Centre, the project began in July 2015 with the mural being professionally photographed using a cherry picker crane. As a result, 21 images highlighting key sections of the mural were brought together for a special exhibition in January 2016. Find out more from project organisers Eazl on their dedicated mural hub http://fitzroviamural.org/
A special exhibition was held at Arup between 15 January - 10 March 2016 on the iconic Fitzrovia mural, including wonderful photos and information about its fascinating history and the restoration project. The photos are part of a wider project building towards the mural’s restoration, which will be paid for by London Borough of Camden.
At the end of the exhibition, visitors had the chance to buy one of the photos at a fundraising and information evening. This unique offer meant people could contribute to the cultural life of Fitzrovia (as well as having a beautiful reminder of the local scene to hang on their wall). Fitzrovia Centre patron Griff Rhys Jones spoke about his personal connection to the area and details of proposals for arts and heritage projects that had an impact on the lives of local residents were presented.
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