2010 – The Restoration
When we undertook the painting of the previous mural the local area was in disrepair and run down with empty shops and unsightly areas. After the Mural had been completed the city council established that local trade went up by 30% giving a much-needed boost to the shops, pubs, clubs and the many Bed and Breakfast businesses that reside in the area.
This project that is now 20 years old has proven beyond a doubt that has benefited the community in many ways and is known as a very high profile project that raises the cultural diversity of the city.
The original STRAND MURAL History
The Strand City Map Mural was one of the most well-known murals on the south coast seen by thousands every year. Situated on a very busy roundabout and just 400 yards from the seafront and Southsea pier, covering a south facing gable end wall space of 60ft. x 50ft, it makes a pleasant attraction and information point for travelers and pedestrians alike.
Started in 1997 and finished in 1998, after securing funding from The Arts Council A4E, Local businesses, Portsmouth City Council, plus the oldest local taxi firm and even the delayed Spinnaker Tower (completed in early 2006).
The mural design depicted a seafarer’s map of Portsea Island and some of the surrounding area, covering nearly 1000 years of history.
The materials we used and are using again are Keim mineral paints which are renowned worldwide for being environmentally harmless, for their natural longevity and qualities which work like a fresco. Painting onto new render which has no added lime, the water when it rains seeps into the render and through the paint, instead of (as with silicon paints) becoming trapped behind the paint and bubbling, cracking and flaking off, the official life-span is over 100 years.
To secure the future and maintenance of the mural, we took over the lease of the gable wall for 99 years from the Housing Association who owns the building back in 1998; we are at present drawing up a new lease that reflects both party’s needs and conditions.
To encourage access to the arts and to keep the mural maintained in the last 10 years we have run 3 Community Painting Workshops on the lower level, updating and changing the design to maintain interest. We facilitated 2-hour sessions twice a day over 4 days whilst working on the maintenance of the mural, attracting over 140 local residents and tourists in 2003. Everybody helped to lend a hand by painting in original designs or flowers, plants, butterflies, and insects giving the public the experience of high-quality arts activities whilst reflecting the country’s rich and diverse cultural and community life.
Two of the Workshops have been sponsored and run by ourselves and by volunteers who train with us on various projects and the other by local councilor’s budget.
Also, the sculpture by local creative blacksmith Keith Dowbler at the front of the mural has been restored with a new graphics index and Perspex. The sculpture also needed some welding work and also a re-coat of exterior enamel paint.
You can watch a video of both murals on our you tube channel on https://youtu.be/h8Wty10Q_Ds