Wrapping of William IV pub

Featuring the famous wrapping of the William IV pub, the second in a series of retrospective blogs on past Art in the Park projects.

In 2007, Art in the Park was commissioned by Creation Trust to ‘wrap’ the derelict William IV pub.

This mammoth task involved a team of AiP artists, Bill Hudson, Tim Norris, Andrea Sinclair and Jill Newman, as well as collaborative effort from 3 local schools in the borough (Michael Faraday, Walworth Academy, Surrey Square Infants School).

The Concept and Construction

A jungle theme was decided upon and Bill and Tim went ahead to receive training on operating cherry pickers and Hilti guns (nail guns). The arctic camouflage, appropriately named ‘Camo Net’ was used to wrap the pub itself and came fire proofed from a specialist camouflage manufacturer. The artic camouflage is not actually used by those in the artic but it worked well for this project’s theme.

Artist Bill Hudson, the project’s coordinator explains,

The Arctic Camouflage highlights the details of a disused building thatwas one of the last pubs near Burgess Park. Usually Camouflage is used to hide or conceal something but Art in the Park is hoping to draw attention to a building which people would usually blank out because of its dilapidated state.

An Enchanted Forest theme was also used. Andrea and Jill headed workshops with local school children to develop the theme. The resulting artwork had been attached to the hoardings surrounding the building.

Drama!

The project had its ups and down, one occuring during the first few days of construction, with the Facelift cherry pickers breaking down midway! Artist Tim Norris found himself hovering several metres up unable to move! Luckily, Bill Hudson remembered the instructions given for such an incident and managed to rescue Tim. What drama!

Completion

All in all the project tooks two weeks to put up, with 1 1/2 of it on the actual wrapping and the rest spent on the artwork surrounding the building.

The result has transformed a derelict building into a local talking point. Artist and education workshop co-ordinator Andrea Sinclair, said,

We are reminding passers-by of its location in a rare green oasis in this part of London and giving a suggestion of its green and environmentally aware future.

Later in the summer, children from Michael Faraday School came to create further artwork for the building, working with a ‘dancers in trees’ theme.

For complete set of pictures of the project.

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