2 to the left: 'Out of this World' + 'Town & Country' scenes
SEE FURTHER BELOW for her 'BARRIE HOUSE MURAL'
taking roots from the 18th floor of a tower block in South Acton:
Barrie House, photo by Diana Potter Northcote, from Corfe Tower
Barrie House, 18th floor, the views and sunsets were awesome!.
If you look at the photograph of the tower
you might just about make out
a glimpse of the butterfly I made from sticky back foil
(2nd floor down, window on the right).
I lived here after first leaving the Wesoly family home
in Acton Green, Chiswick W4. West London.
The Oak Tree Centre can be seen at ground level
to the right of the block. Berrymede School across the way
were to bring forth a host of budding artists and willing children
(many of whom didn't realize that they could draw with paint!).
Albert Ludwort RIP you was and still are a great artist!
with and for
Isabella Wesoly, Mother-Artist;
Martin Frost, Community Centre Manager;
John Angus, Headmaster at
plus Pupils of Berrymede School
collaborating hands in
and last but not least
Councillor John Cudmore
BARRIE HOUSE MURAL by Isabella (Demetriou) Wesoly, 1986
The mural Isabella Wesoly (Demetriou) painted on her bedroom wall concerned housing
BARRIE HOUSE MURAL Some features were painted over, Isabella Wesoly's theme was 'flights'
WORLD THEME MURALS 1986
South Acton, West London
'Town and Country' panel
'Hot Climate' panel
2 to the right: 'Polar Region' & 'Tropical' scenes
Article from The Gazette, 15th August 1986
You can see the totem panels installed here, above. Aren't they colouful?
To the right of the mural display is a Town and Country setting. Barrie House was included, with improvisations of the surrounding estate. Isabella Wesoly's eldest daughter (Stella Demetriou) was the youngest child to make their mark here.. at just 18 months with a paintbrush at hand and dabbling with pigment.
Beside this panel is what Isabella Wesoly entitled 'Out of this World Theme'. After contacting John Angus (headmaster at Berrymede School), the pictures that were submitted included a few of spaceships, rockets, a moon buggy too! The theme was to be a 'world theme' and different aspects of different cultures around the world were to be included.. dress, food, buildings, domestic and natural habitat creatures. It showed that some saw the world as bigger than what we see before us. I still think that moon buggy is the business! You'll see it more clearly in the photograph further down the page.
The predella for the 'Out of this World' panel includes a Dr. Spok (from the orginal Star Trek), which Martin Frost's guiding hand helped to create here. Isabella Wesoly showed the children how a space suit can be made to look baggy by adding crease-lines.
Under the 'Town and Country' panel are a series of skittle-like characters in national costume. Several magazines were gathered for inspiration and these took inspiration from 'Stories from Around the World'in the Reader's Digest Magazine.
The 2D totem pole structures were the first to be made, as seen here.
7 Sheets of plywood were used 4' x 8' (gratitude to South Acton Timber Merchants) Each one had to be primed first. For exteranl murals it is best to treat the wood so that it will withstand the elements.
- the first sheet of ply was cut lengthways for the totem pole paintings - 4 sheets were used for the main panels - 2 were cut widthways, allowing us to create 4 predellas to go beneath each of main panels.
Predellas are additional pictorial artworks, which lend to the allegory in a main setting. In others words a connected theme usually as wide as the main artwork, but much narrower from top to bottom.
PAINT FROM DULUX Most of the paint was from Dulux as the first stage of a National Competition, but Martin's idea to use pigment tints helped to achieve a greater variety of hues and tones in the construction of images. The finished murals were sealed with varnish, for further protection.
Wooden panel murals are recommended for community art, because they can be produced off-location, inside away from harsh weather, on a flat surface and installed at a suitable site on completion. In addition, the ability to remove the mural panels allows them to be transported to other suitable locations. The wooden mural panels lasted almost 22 years, at the Oak Tree Community Centre in South Acton, before the original Oak Tree Community Centre was demolished to make way for a new one.
If you took part in this project and want to add to the site in any way (yes Martin Frost, you too!) contact me via any link/s at bottom of this page.
Enjoy the History of Art, from Isabella Wesoly (Mrs. Demetriou)
Error in Gazette article:
A History of Art
In the Community, by the Community
~ by Isabella Wesoly
The first interior wall mural I painted was in a house that I shared in 1983 at Avalon Road, London SW6 and the second at Barrie House in South Acton. It was the second mural that led to the first community project I directed and co-produced at the Oak Tree Centre in South Acton.
I wrote a poem, about the daily experience of living in the tower block, the 18th floor was high up and many just couldn't bear the smell of urine on the lifts. I don't blame them, but I got on with it and sent the poem to my local councillor, John Cudmore. He wrote back and said to go and see Martin Frost, who was the local Community Centre Manager. I did and before I could say 'Jack Robinson' plans were in process.
The conversation I had with Martin about the poem opened doors and after hearing about what I'd painted on my bedroom wall Martin asked if I would run a mural project, with the kids and willing adults on the estate. With the possibility of paint donations from Dulux Paint the vision of a mural in South Acton were already manifesting! The poem was subsequently published and the photos on this page speak for themselves.
Acton used to be called Acorn, if you check out some of the other artwork on this site, you will see the running theme of Oak Trees and Acorns. But for now, I hope that you enjoy a step into murals and art of the past.
View from 18th floor balcony, at Barrie House, where Isabella lived
Oak Tree Community Centre
(before mural project)
taken from the tower block where the inspiration dwelled
18th floor of Barrie House
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