London Mural (private ownership in Leeds)
Year Completed : 1977
Size : 1.32m x 2.9m
Client : Chelsea Building Society
Location : Chelsea Building Society, Kings Road, Chelsea
Current Status : Bought in an auction and now in private ownership in Leeds
Since we first went into business together, Kennedy had been working out techniques of reproducing our work in editions. Artists have always done this: sculptors have bronze casts made of their original piece, printmakers work with etchings and lithographs to produce limited editions and painters have traditionally had engravings made of their work. He was determined that somehow our very labour-intensively modelled medium could be made more accessible and affordable.
So Kennedy, an inventor and always interested in technical challenges, worked out various original methods and we began to make repeating panels. To make these, clay was impressed into the flexible rubber patterns which Kennedy had taken from my intensely worked original pieces. The panels then progressed just as normal, with each one being separately glazed, fired and assembled into its resin backing. It was still a labour-intensive process, but with the modelling stage cut down so greatly it was more feasible to produce panels for the market. For several years we sold panels in limited editions through Tile Mart in Portman Street and through various exhibitions all over the country.
In the late seventies, we were approached by an agent who had offices in Cork Street, London. He was not an artists' agent as such but conceived the idea of working with us to produce some work which he could promote using his marketing skills. With this new challenge, we conceived the idea of designing and making a whole mural that was repeatable.
We designed a mural based on the famous landmarks of London. A cartouche containing some lines from a 16th century poem by William Dunbar.
The new owner kindly gave us some details about the history of this mural since it was purchased by the Chelsea Building Society:
This mural was originally bought by Chelsea Building Society and was in their office in Kings Road, Chelsea (presumably around 1977/78?). The mural was then moved to the head office in Thirlestaine Hall, Cheltenham where it was mounted in the reception area. In 2010 Chelsea Building Society merged with Yorkshire Building Society and this lead to the closure of the Thirlestaine Hall office in 2012. The mural was placed in an internal employee auction and that was how I became the owner. This is probably all a bit detailed so maybe just say it was owned by Chelsea Building Society and is now with a private owner in Leeds!
For obvious reasons the private owner of the mural would not be keen for us to pin-point their house so the blue marker is loosely placed on Leeds.
Lat/Long : 53.794408, -1.553068
Mural still exists but can't easily be seen due to resticted access to the site