Five badly deteriorated murals in the capital's famous Lambeth Walk are about to be restored to their former glory - by residents.
Pearly Kings and Queens joined residents from Ethelred Tenant Management Organisation and a team of dedicated artists for The Big Mural Launch Event at the weekend (Sat 24th May).
The five painted wooden panels were put up in the early 1980s to celebrate the region’s music hall stars including Charlie Chaplin, its street markets, a free school for the poor, the ceramics industry and the theatre.
Now residents and staff from Ethelred Tenant Management Organisation – part of WATMOS Community Homes which owns the Lambeth Walk buildings – have teamed up with community arts charity Creative Sparkworks to recreate the artwork.
And the original artists Gordon Wilkinson and Sarah Faulkner, now husband and wife, also came along from Gloucestershire for the launch. They will be sharing their original research material with the group.
The murals were on display alongside an exhibition showing how artists plan to help residents complete the restoration during Saturday workshops over the summer.
Members of The London Murals Preservation Society, which is providing technical and historical information on the artworks, were there too.
The revamped murals will be back in place by spring 2015 along with a sixth piece of art being designed by the residents to reflect life in the region today.
The Ethelred Tenant Management Organisation (ETMO), which has led the project, is also planning to install new lighting, seating, signs and planters in the courtyard.
Estate Director of ETMO, Chris Christou, said: “This project aims to bring the community together to collectively produce something that will celebrate the vibrant and rich history of Lambeth Walk. It will also demonstrate the ethos of WATMOS and the TMO by driving change in the area through people who live and work in the community.
“The mural restoration project is part of our wider regeneration plans. Not only do we want to recreate the well-known paintings, we hope to recapture the amazing atmosphere the street markets of Lambeth Walk were famous for.”
Creative Sparkworks tutors Sylvia Edwards and Suzy Masterson will run the summer workshops for residents of all ages and artists from the Royal Academy Schools and Whitechapel Art Gallery have also volunteered to help.
Film students from Sparkworks Production, an offshoot of Creative Sparkworks, will be capturing the entire project on camera.
WATMOS Community Homes became the UK’s first tenant-led housing association in 2003 and has 2,700 properties in Lambeth and Walsall in the West Midlands.
Based on information supplied by Jane Thomas; WATMOS Community Homes