Sunday, 7 December 2008

greenwich mural workshop presents an exhibition of artworks 1975 to 2008

we are moving soon from macbean centre
greenwich mural workshop presents an exhibition of artworks 1975 to 2008
macbean centre macbean street woolwich
15 DECEMBER 6 -9pm
come by overground to woolwich arsenal - 5 mins walk
come by tube from north greenwich by 272 or 161
come by any number of buses to woolwich to the stop by the station
come by vehicle via the A206 to macbean street - then into centre car park
tel: 020 8854 9266
now! mon15th to sat 20th december
1 to 6 pm

See Pdf flyer at gmwexhibition3



1 December 2008

After 20 years, Greenwich Mural Workshop is closing down its Woolwich premises in December.

In one last splendid retrospective, an exhibition of its artistic production including posters, banners, mosaics, carnivals, playgrounds, parks and gardens can be seen at its Woolwich studio in the MacBean Centre, Macbean Street, from Monday 15th December to Saturday 20th December, 1 to 6pm each day. The exhibition is free and all are welcome.

The artist’s co-operative, which started in 1975, has worked with community groups all over Greenwich Borough, making murals to brighten estates, posters for events, banners for unions and action groups, playgrounds, gardens and parks for schools and tenants associations.

Carol Kenna and Steve Lobb founded the workshop, but during its 34 year history, dozens of other artists came to design and fabricate pictures, prints, constructions, and environments with them. Many fabulous artists, designers and craftsmen who worked with GMW, have gone on to establish great organisations of their own. But it was not only professional artists, countless apprentices were trained, residents of all ages learnt art skills, many going on to begin new careers. National Community Arts and Murals conferences were also organised by the group, and a national touring exhibition “Printng is Easy” – showed posters from community printshops from all over Britain.

GMW’s first project was designing and painting murals with people of Meridian Estate in Greenwich. Three landmark murals were created; “Peoples River” and the anti-nuclear “Wind of Peace” on Creek Road and “Towards the Good Planet” on Thames Street, opened by Oscar winning actress, Glenda Jackson. A courtyard scheme and a park - converted from a junkyard - was devised with the tenants and carried out by Greater London and Greenwich Councils.

More mural projects followed: Floyd road and Rathmore Youth Centre murals in Charlton; Anti Racist and Kingsman Green murals in Woolwich; Glyndon Estate murals in Plumstead; and Yarnton Way, Binsey and Limestone Walks’ murals in Thamesmead. Many began to be made in tile, and in mosaic; a visually stunning and hard-wearing medium. These materials were used in skills courses for young unemployed and in dozens of Greenwich primary schools, some of which, James Wolfe, Timbercroft, Boxgrove and Cardwell schools, will be on show at the exhibition.

The community printshop began in a flat rented from the GLC on the Meridian Estate. Graphic artists Lulu Ditzel and Rob Finn joined and ran the printshop, which grew quickly, advancing in techniques and skills in new premises at The Albany. When GMW moved to The Macbean Centre, Rob and Lulu left to set up on their own. Rick Walker took over the printshop and with new photographic facilities and satirical flair, brought a different, distinctive style to poster-making in the borough. With Carmen Diaz, Bernadette O’Donoghue, Lyn Medcalf and Howie Jeavons, the printshop produced hundreds of posters calling for social and political action and advertising events and meetings and entertainments. These posters are now highly valued and will soon become part of the national collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Banners made for local community action, protest marches and tenants groups concerned a wide variety of issues and campaigns; anti-poll tax, anti-racist and domestic violence being amongst the most prominent. Also important were banners promoting women’s rights, welfare rights and solidarity with the miners. Banners both traditional and new in style were made also for several major trades unions.

GMW artists were greatly committed to the environment and devised “Vision for Woolwich” and “Where Land Meets Water”, grand scale conferences at the University and the Town Hall leading to specific development and planning proposals for the town. Gardens and playgrounds were designed and realised for several local primary schools, and two run down, neglected parks - Twinkle Park and Charlotte Turner Gardens in West Greenwich, brilliantly resurrected by GMW working with local people.
Recently the Workshop, with David Ireland Landscape Architects, has prepared designs for Plumstead Gardens and St Nicholas Churchyard and Gardens in Plumstead, for which first stage work is due to commence next year.

For more information and pictures

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