London Mural


While we were in Paris, I received the go-ahead on a huge wall in London that was proposed for a mural at the London Pleasure Gardens. The project was organized by Garfield Hackett of Mutate Britain and a bunch of the folks who work on the Glastonbury festival, so it was in great hands creatively, but since the Pleasure Gardens are adjacent to the Olympic site, the Mayor had to approve the mural imagery. I initially submitted a Rolls Royce on fire, which was rejected, and made it through the red tape with my second try of the Free Speech Megaphone. The wall is 120 feet high and the art itself is over 80. This mural is the highest one I have done and this location provided many challenges, some expected, some no so. First, customs held our materials for a couple days. Then, the surface of the building was very rough… which I found charming aesthetically, but difficult technically. We had to scrape old flaky paint off for an entire day before we started. Next, it was windy and rainy. One day the winds were so strong that a gust blew a billboard over onto a guy breaking his back and ribs. You don’t want to be on a lift 100 feet up trying to spray stencils in those conditions. After several stop and start days I was wondering if we’d be able to complete the mission. Finally the weather improved and we powered through several long days. We have worked under Spartan conditions before, but I have to give credit to my team of Nic Bowers, Dan Flores, and Z James for their hard work and tenacity under difficult conditions. In the end I’m very happy with the mural which can be seen from quite far away and will be the backdrop for a lot of cool stuff at the Pleasure Gardens. I should also mention that the building is where some scenes from one of my favorite movies, Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket” were shot. Check out this video about the mural with cameo by Norman Cook A.K.A. Fatboy Slim who dropped by to say hi. What a cool guy.

-Shepard


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