Mural of 2012: The Brixton Windmill Mural, by Gillian Da Costa

Of all the projects that the London Mural Preservation Society worked on last year, the Brixton Windmill Mural Restoration Project was the highlight of 2012. A restoration project that was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, it was a collaboration between the London Mural Preservation Society, Vinnie O’Connell (of New Leaf), Clapham Film Unit and Positive Arts. Not only was the project a wonderful team effort by these organisations, but it also brought out the enthusiasm of the local community that live around the mural and other volunteers.

Community in Action

Community in Action

Tracing back the history of the Brixton Windmill mural, the original was completed in 1983 by artists Mick Harrison and Caroline Thorp. The original project like the restoration, also had people from the local community getting involved and a few residents can even claim to have been around for both. While bringing the mural back to its former glory was the main idea behind the restoration, some new elements of the neighbourhood and residents were incorporated including the likeness of one little boy who will probably be pointing it out to all his friends as he walks home from school.

The Portrait

The Portrait

Here is a timelapse video of the project from start to finish including the plastering and priming of the wall, the first coat, the public painting days, and the final clean up. The sheer number of people involved in this project that had a limited budget and timeframe, stands as testament to those who kindly donated their time and efforts.

And it’s not every day that someone like me get’s to climb up scaffolding and paint on a wall in a purposeful way. As someone who made full use of at least two of the public painting days, I say with great certainty that I would do it again and again.

Painting the mural

Painting the mural

And that’s why neighbourhood projects like these continue to be so important. They bridge the gap between the old and the new, while allowing for stories to be retold and contemporized. And the meaning it gives to being part of such a project versus ‘liking’ street art and murals, makes it all the more special.

The Unveiling

The Unveiling

For 2013, the London Mural Preservation Society is giving its support to the Nuclear Dawn Restoration project which will hopefully garner the same kind of enthusiasm and community following. As we fleetingly move in and out of neighbourhoods and become more deeply involved with our virtual worlds, these murals are the tangible traces we leave behind for those coming after us. A trace of the things we have shared and care about. A sign that we were there.



For a look at the film which accompanied the mural please see our review

For more information on the process of the Brixton Windmill restoration see here

For more murals by Caroline Thorp and Mick Harrison see here

For BBC report on the unveiling see here

For more information about project ringleader Vinnie O’Connell see here

For more information about the great work Positive Arts do see their website

More information about the Nuclear Dawn Restoration can be found here

And finally, more information on our forthcoming restoration projects please follow us on twitter @L_mps and Facebook



About londonmuralpreservationsociety

The London Mural Preservation Society aims to bring murals created over the last 40 years back into the attention of the people of London and out further afield into the rest of the UK and the world.
This entry was posted in Brixton Windmill Mural Restoration, London Mural Preservation Society, Mural Events, Mural of the Month. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Mural of 2012: The Brixton Windmill Mural, by Gillian Da Costa

  1. Pingback: Hands on Brixton! Windmill Gardens Community Mural, by Gillian Da Costa | London Mural Preservation Society's Blog

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