Stik mural saved by Countryside

Acton Gardens saves part of famous tower block mural to raise potential £150,000 for charity

An iconic street art installation by popular graffiti artist Stik has been saved in a “hugely challenging” preservation project to raise funds for local community art projects.

Acton Gardens, a 2500-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’. 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 one of the capital’s largest regeneration programmes*.

‘Big Mother’ will now be auctioned off with proceeds being donated to ARTification, a local charity transforming communities through art. 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.

“We’re also extremely proud of what we’ve already achieved with Acton Gardens, working closely with the whole community and the council to rehouse current residents and provide brand new facilities for them. It’s bringing hundreds of new affordable, quality homes for local families.”

Dr Rachel Pepper, Director of Acton Charity, ARTification, added: “We are delighted that Acton Gardens has managed to salvage the family group on the soon-to-be demolished Charles Hocking House. The plan is to auction the art piece with the proceeds supporting ARTification in further community-based art projects.”

Tony Clements, Executive Director (Housing and Regeneration) Ealing Council, said: “Ealing Council has actively supported community art initiatives at South Acton for many years, and we are delighted Acton Gardens is responding to the community’s wish that some of this art is preserved. The fact that the sale of the piece will help fund future artworks on the estate is absolutely fantastic.

Darren Parker, Director of Development at L&Q, said: “We are long-term partners in the neighbourhoods we serve. This artwork preservation is another example of our commitment to local communities. We believe no one should be denied the opportunity to achieve their potential because of where they live. We’re proud to partner with charities like ARTification who help people make their aspirations a reality.”