“When I was talking to locals about the area, what they wanted in the mural, how they personally connected to the area… they all said that they wanted some colour brought back. Energy brought to the area and something else….Portobello is a community.
It is beautifully made up of fantastic people from around the world. These people are both incredibly proud of their heritage, and also to call Notting Hill their home. They are both proud products of their heritage and their new future, here in West London. Many confided to me that since Brexit and gentrification, they are nervous about their long term living plans, nervous about being proud to be from a family that immigrated to this country… so I wanted to create a mural that was not only colourful and energetic, but that also proudly represented where people are from in the world, and show them that their background is what makes them and this area amazing…but how to put that on four walls, in a way that is universal?
If I did portraits on a wall, that wall would belong to those specific people portrayed, not the wider community. Abstraction was my favourite choice as is more flexible in ownership by the community…so abstraction, but of what? Flags…
Four walls….so I researched the largest top four ethnic communities in the area and they were Spanish, Portugese, Jamaican and Morroccan. I created contemporary graphic versions of these flags and remixed them to create the design. Like the area, I created a new vision from these communities, something bold, bright and forward-thinking.
In terms of feedback I couldn’t be more proud. Each days school kids, elderly, delivery men etc complimented me as I painted, often saying exactly my original aim: “At last some colour!” , “Love it!” “
Find out more about Tim Head and My Yard here.
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