History of Exeter's landmark mural
The Twentieth Century Society is campaigning to save wall artwork, murals and paintings from the post-war building boom.
“We are losing a whole chapter of our art history,” warned campaign director, Catherine Croft.
But in Exeter one of the city’s landmark murals, on the wall of the Globe Backpackers Tourist Hotel in Holloway street, underwent a loving restoration less than three years ago.
The landmark was restored with funding from the city council.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
The mural is one of two which were painted by Andrew Stacey in the 1980s, the other is at the West Gate in New Bridge Street.
They are both recognised as high quality murals and were suggested for listing by the 20th Century Society.
The Holloway Street mural has greeted motorists, pedestrians and tourists entering Exeter via Topsham Road since it was completed in 1985 by Mr Stacey, helped by Deborah Mitchell.
After a search for the original models, many of whom attended Exeter College, where Andrew was a lecturer at the time, the restored mural was unveiled by then Lord Mayor Cllr Marcel Choules.
Several original models depicted on the massive mural came forward.
One of the most popular images in the mural is a young man reading the newspaper leaning against a wall. Several people have come forward claiming to be him.
Andrew said: “Public artworks such as this mural become part of the local community. It is very interesting that people have invested their own ideas, memories, dreams and reflections in the mural. This demonstrates the important role art can play in our public spaces.”
Other models who have come forward included:
Alison Coffey — the girl in the red and white jumper.
Andrew Copp, who believes he is the painter on the scaffolding. At time the mural was commissioned he was decorating Mr Stacey’s front room in Bonhay Road.
Nigel Doble is the man shovelling in the background image.
Two pairs of women have come forward claiming to be two girls in the panel over the door, Kris Burgess and Karen Lumley, and Lynda Curtiss and Sam Garnsworthy.
The mural came about when Andrew was commissioned in 1984 by the Royal Institute of British Architects and the then owner of 71 Holloway Street, Catherine Borgen, of Globe English Centre. Titled South Gate Mural — Festival of Architecture, the mural on the side of the language school building marks the 150th anniversary of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Chartered Institute of Builders.
It draws on the city’s architectural history and plays on the diversity of languages by alluding to the building of the Tower of Babel in the depicted crumbling medieval fresco.
Many of the models used in the creation of the mural were students of building construction at Exeter College.
Links with young artists and international travel have continued.