Located just off Tottenham Court Road is the Fitzrovia mural, a piece, created in 1980 by artists, Mick Jones and Simon Barber, which tells the stories of the people of 1980’s Fitzrovia. This sorry looking painting damaged by sunlight, mould and graffiti, now has a second chance of life as locals from the Fitzrovia area want to restore it!
The project is led by the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association whose aim is to get the mural repainted for future generations to enjoy. I met them back in July to lean about what they wanted to do and how they were going about it.
Work was being done on drafting a application to the Heritage Lottery Fund, they had contacted one of the original artists and the project was attempting to get support from the local neighbourhood.
Interestingly there are no other groups in recent times who have restored a mural. A small handful of London murals have had some restoration, the majority executed in the 1980s when there was still funding for mural artists. So the project team have their work cut out testing the water to figure out what does and doesn’t work.
The mural wall will have to be repaired and realistically the mural re-painted. The London Mural Preservation Society suggested it would be worth setting some money aside for regular maintenance to the mural. We also put the project in touch with some other local mural artists. These artist understand the labour costs, the benefits of different paint materials and the work needed to be undertaken and so they can offer advice on what needs to be done.
The project has got local press and has held a local meeting – a handful turned out and it was great to have the original artist, Mick Jone, talk about the meeting held in the same building all those years ago to discuss the content to be put into the original mural. The posters about the meeting were in many local shops which shows an interest from the local community to put the mural back up there.
At a time of cuts and financial uncertainty, these mural restoring pioneers have an uncertain road ahead, but whatever they do, they will help future groups who want to restore their murals by having investigated the different options available to them. If you are interested in what they are doing or want to know more, contact them through their blog: