Tucked off the busy Tottenham Court Road is Whitfield Gardens, home to the Fitzrovia Mural. This large piece records the life of the local community in 1980. Camden council had originally approached artists Mick Jones and Simon Barber to paint a piece on the blank wall of the council owned building. as it was under repair with a scaffold set up, it would cut down on some of the mural creation costs as well as add a colourful landmark to the area.
A consultation was held in the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Centre which allowed the local people to discuss what they would like to see in the mural. It was decided that the painting would show scenes of local life including portraits of local people. The work took six months of preparing the surface and painting the piece using household paints.
Today the mural is in a bad state, damaged by sunlight, mould and graffiti. However the local people from the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association want to have the mural restored. They are working on getting more support from the local neighbourhood so that they can send in an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund. If they can get the money, the mural wall will need repairing and then the mural will be repainted onto the wall. This process could take over a year but with the dedication of the team and the help from original artist Mick Jones, it would be possible to see the work completed by the end of 2011.
Putting this picture back on the wall could show that it can be done and that the community art of the 80s can be reclaimed by the community to lengthen the life of the piece.
UPDATE 2011 Since this piece was written, some of the team involved with the restoration have had to work on their other commitments. An event was held in 2011 and small pockets of funding have been secured. We have been in discussion about how to go about getting the money and momentum to get the mural restored. Let's hope 2012 continues to see more progress.