I was fortunate, in Summer 2014 to be selected to design a mural for the champfered corner of a new apartment block under construction in Wenlock Road, Shoreditch, N1. The mural was to be just under 14 metres high by three metres wide.
I tend to think in stories. It's not easy to design for a vertical surface, and so for inspiration, I looked around for a narrative. I found this account online:

In the early hours of Tuesday 10th September 1940, local families left their homes in Shoreditch to take refuge in a public air raid shelter set up the basement of Wenlock Brewery. That night an air raid took place that continued until the early hours of the morning, when violent explosions blocked the exits of the shelter. Some of the brewery workers who had been trapped discovered their one escape route to be through small glass gratings set in the pavement above. They formed a human pyramid to climb to safety.

(You can read more about this incident in Brewery History the online journal of the Brewery History Society http://www.breweryhistory.com/journal/archive/112/bh-112-003.html)

The image of the human pyramid caught my imagination: symbolising teamwork, co-operation and human strength, and in that particular case illustrating a significant part of our history; a period of unrelenting daily terrors, hardship and endurance.

The Proposal:

In recent years the human pyramid has been a symbol for celebration and cooperation. What better motif for a new building emerging out of the recent years of austerity and financial insecurity?

I proposed a mural design that would connect all these ideas, and give the community a talking point, a waymarker: something to take ownership of. I thank Hackney Borough Council for approving my design, One Housing Group for offering this unique opportunity, United Living for providing the ‘canvas’ and Formation Architects for steering the brief and championing my work.

Follow the installation of the mural here

 

the final design

 


 

 

1-3 Wenlock Road, N.1



visual artist/curator

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patricia wilson smith

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I really enjoy these large-scale projects, and it's very stimulating to work with professionals in architecture, design and construction. I can always be sure of a challenge!

 

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'ESSENCE' 6m x 1.5metres digital print



In autumn 2011, I was delighted to win the TAP* commission for the Art Wall of the new Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury. After an intense and short period of work, the banner was installed in time for the opening of the theatre in October of that year.

*TAP is a Canterbury City Council Arts Development scheme that supports
artists living/working in the district.



'Wind Compass' 2m x 1.5metres

Early in 2011, I won a commission
to design an art work for the reception
area of Vattenfall at the offices of their
Thanet off-shore wind farm in Ramsgate
This was a Ramsgate Arts Project.