An iconic street art installation has been saved in a “hugely challenging” preservation project to raise funds for local community art projects.
Acton Gardens, a 2,500-home development between housebuilder Countryside and housing association L&Q, used a specialist team to carefully remove part of a 125 ft mural on the side of Charles Hocking House, a soon-to-be demolished, empty tower block in West London.
The main mural which covers the whole of one side of the building – known as ‘Big Mother’ – is the creation of popular street artist Stik. At the foot the installation in Bollo Bridge Road is a two-metre by two-metre mural including a version of ‘Big Mother’ referred to as the ‘Family Group’ (pictured).
The Acton Gardens team devised a detailed plan to rescue it before the 1960s council tower block was knocked down in the latest phase of the regeneration programme.
‘Big Mother’ will now be auctioned off with proceeds being donated to ARTification, a local charity transforming communities through art. It is believed it could sell for as much as £150,000. Recently, a 3ft high wooden example of the mural sold at Christie’s for £42,000.
The preservation project is supported by the artist Stik alongside the Acton Gardens development partners, L&Q and Countryside, and Ealing Council. Charles Hocking House itself will be replaced with 160 new, high-quality modern homes, expected to be completed in 2020.
Mike Woolliscroft, Managing Director (West London), Partnerships South Countryside, said: “The rescue of part of the mural was hugely challenging. The painting was on fragile brickwork that could have disintegrated at any time during the extraction. It was touch and go at one point whether one of our specialist teams could pull it off, but after weeks of painstaking work they did. I’m really proud of them.”