When I was in Basingstoke recently for the opening of SKETCH 2013, I took the time to visit Pallant House Gallery in Chichester (see previous blogs) and on the way back, being on the right side of the town, I took a detour to the underpass in Cliddesden Road, close to the entrance to Queen Mary's College, where I used to work so that I could take some photographs of the mural that students and staff worked on together. I am pleased to say that the mural has withstood the test of time really well; it has lost some of its finer details due to the constant cleaning by the council to remove the regular graffiti but on the whole, it still looks good.
It's a shame the council forget to keep the plaque clean!
The brief was to use colour and shape relating to the theme of the seasons to produce a design that flowed along the walls of the underpass. There was a lot of prep work done during three tutor's teaching sessions, this work was then simplified and reduced to the final design. Looking at these photos, it seems that we produced one design that was painted onto both walls but obviously, because the walls were opposite one another the design reversed, keeping the overall effect lively.
The design work was also shown to residents so that their feedback could be taken into consideration. We used a combination of collage, painting, print making and drawing combined with colour studies to explore the theme. I seemed to be walking around college with several very long pieces of artwork that constitued the final designs under my arm for weeks running up to the completion of the project, because I was terrified of losing them!
I did take quite a lot of photos at the time, of students painting the underpass, but I have no idea what happened to them. As we gradually sort out all the stuff that's been in store for years, they may turn up. I remember it was a specialist paint used that is fairly resistant to graffiti. I also remember the great fun the students all had producing the final piece.