|John Piper, An Englishman's Home (section), 1951 (Liss Fine Art)|
At the more humdrum end of the scale we have a mural at the end of our road in Bristol, a massive picture of a balloon floating over the landscape; it's painted on the side of a pub overlooking a green and, like murals everywhere, it is gradually fading. The Twentieth Century Society is currently campaigning to preserve what it can of the thousand-plus murals painted in the decades after World War Two.
|An Englishman's Home fills one wall of the gallery at 22 Old Bond St|
There are dramatic pieces by Peter Lanyon, Edward Bawden, Barbara Jones and Alan Sorrell, but the mural that really steals the show is John Piper's epic architectural painting, 'An Englishman's Home'. As you can see from my rather poor photos, this is a fabulously huge picture, painted in oils on 42 panels. Exhibited in 1951 it subsequently languished in an Essex barn for years before being displayed for the Festival of Britain anniversary in 2011.
|Right hand end with Brighton-Aquatints-style rooftops, chair included for scale|
Why has nobody come running, chequebook in hand? And how, if no major institution gets behind modern British murals, are the rest of us to be persuaded that it's worth preserving those pictures that still adorn the walls of schools, hospitals, restaurants and village halls around the country?
FFI: Fine Art Society
Twentieth Century Society