The big day arrived on Sunday –the North London Mural Walk -where the London Mural Preservation Society (L_MPS) would be taking a group, large or small, around the murals in the Kings Cross to Islington area. No-one was sure who might turn up: friends, fellow L_MPSers from the facebook group, random individuals who sought us via the internet, leaflets or posters – an idea of people mass was impossible. However when the wait outside the pub began, the people appeared.
We were approximately 15 people – many people coming after hearing about it from a post on Kings Cross Environment blog. We also had a muralist – yes, someone who had been involved in working or creating the paintings and mosaics we were about to see. So it was a good group of locals, mural creator and members of L_MPS.
We wandered the back streets of the area seeing old murals set in community gardens, restored murals and worn murals – some in paint, some in mosaic. For many of the walkers, it was the first time they had seen or taken a proper look at the pieces and now was as an opportunity to give them some of the stories of the pieces -not only the picture narrative and how that came about but also the creation of the murals.
I was privileged to speak to some of the artist and residents involved in the murals at the time so much of the information on the walk was fresh and can not be found written down in any book. It was great to share these stories and have a muralist, Diana Leary, on the walk who could expand on the events. She also brought some of the pictures of the murals in progress which created a lot of interest. Maybe having one of the artists on the walk bought it much more into the present. These are public art works created in recent times.
The walk finished in the pub which allowed people to mingle and talk about their interest in murals and the local area. We also had some people filming so they did a few more interviews. Leaflets, badges and questionnaires were handed out and wine and beer drunk. It was a good day and I think all of us learnt a little bit more about the local area, the people who live there and the murals.
Big thanks to those who came and those who helped make it happen!