UPDATE, Tuesday 15 September 2014: Hackney council proudly announces that preservation has been completed, “preserving the unique landmark for years to come”.
THE ARTIST chosen to restore Dalston’s emblematic wall painting – full name the Peace Carnival Mural – has been unveiled to the public.
A meeting in the CLR James Library today 3 March 2014 was introduced to Paul Butler, chosen by restoration specialist Hirst Conservation. The artist worked with Ray Walker (1945-1984), the designer of the Dalston mural, which became a national hit when it was pictured on the cover of an album by local group Rudimental.
Butler told Loving Dalston that the Keim paint used for the mural was a good choice but even that had eventually fallen victim to the elements, not to mention vandalism.
Before the Dalston mural was commissioned, by the Greater London Council, in 1983, Butler worked with Walker and another artist to complete the mural in Wapping depicting the 1936 anti-fascist demonstration that became known as the Battle of Cable Street.
The Cable Street restoration was completed in March 1983 and a lot was learnt about restoration, knowledge that Butler will put to use in Dalston Lane.
Vandals, however, struck over the years, including with paint bombs. A fascist party was standing in local elections and Butler had to contend with his car being paint-splashed and its tyres cut by far-right activists.
Amanda White, of Hirst, said that where the render on which the mural had been painted was coming off the wall, holes would be drilled and plugs used to hold it to the wall. Then the mural would be cleaned, repainted and protected by a coating to facilitate graffiti-removal.
The restoration was expected to take 14 months. Hackney council is funding the work.
* Update 020714: Loving Dalston was told today that the mural will be ready in time for the mural’s 30th anniversary in September 2014.
* Backstory: Dalston mural: survey starts
David Altheer 030314
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