IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Hands off my mural, pleads artist

Threat to rainy street scene, a tourist attraction that’s become ‘part of the fabric of Clerkenwell’

28 July, 2017 — By Frederica Miller

Dan Kitchener’s mural at the Hat and Feathers pub

A DRAMATIC mural showing a rainy street scene in Clerkenwell – it has become a tourist attraction – may be covered up by Islington Council.

A wall at the Hat and Feathers pub has been home for two years of the mural painted by renowned street artist Dan Kitchener, whose work can be found in America, Europe and Hong Kong.

A council report found the mural – originally commissioned by global giant Sony – to be “affecting the nature” of the listed building and ordered the owner of the property to remove it.

Mr Kitchener, who has just returned from painting a street mural commissioned by the city of Eureka in California, told the Tribune: “The mural’s become part of the fabric of Clerkenwell. I regularly get emails from people telling me how much they like it, and how it brightens their day. I’ve been painting in London for 10 years but out of all the works I’ve done this one has got me the most compliments.”

Street artist Dan Kitchener

He added: “As a street artist I’m used to the idea that your work won’t last forever but it’s sad to think people could be staring at just another blank wall.”

Mr Kitchener, 43, studied art at Portsmouth University and worked in TV creating animated films – including one with Paul McCartney – before taking up street art a few years ago.

Keith Davies, manager of the site at the Hat and Feathers site where a 160-bedroom hotel is planned said: “It’s much better than having an ugly wall there.”

Louise Wessen, who works nearby, agreed: “I can’t understand why they’d want to get rid of it. I walk past it every day and there are always people taking photos.”

Global Street Art campaigning group this week launched an appeal to save the mural and are in discussions with the council about its future. The group’s head of communications, Tom Maya, said: “We want to help them make a better decision about the piece.”

A council spokesman said: “We are currently considering a request that the mural on the side of the former Hat and Feathers pub should be allowed to stay.”

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