Greenside Primary School, in Shepherd's Bush, is hosting an evening to share this historical cultural treasure with the local community and everyone interested in our cultural heritage. 20th Century Design, architecture and art historian Alan Powers is giving an enlightening presentation on the Gordon Cullen mural and its context in the artistic landscape of the post-war period.
Cowering unloved behind a red curtain for the last 20 years because it went ‘out of fashion’, the mural has been quietly waiting to be brought back into school life. It is very much in Mid-Century style, with a rich variety of imagery inspired by school subjects and feeling very like the opened-out pages of a Picture Puffin. The images include the first commercial jet, the de Havilland Comet, first flown in 1951 and the Britannia 70000, the first standard steam locomotive commissioned by the Railways Board and rolled out in 1951. Hot on the tails of the upsurgence of interest in all things 1950’s, following the Festival of Britain Diamond Jubilee, Greenside is about to celebrate its own Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
Greenside Primary earns the star on its Grade II* listing because its foyer has this exceptional mural by Gordon Cullen, urban designer and artist to the Architectural Review. Controversial architect Erno Goldfinger created a structural system for schools, designed using an ingenious reinforced concrete frame for the London County Council, to help rebuild and educate a new modern post-war Britain. Greenside is one of the only two built, the other being Brandlehow in Putney. As part of Goldfinger’s vision he commissioned Gordon Cullen to paint a mural in the entrance hall of Greenside School (then known as Westville School). After years of being covered over it has now been ‘rediscovered’ and a group of parents, staff and governors have banded together with the aim: " To rehabilitate, restore, appreciate, protect and celebrate the Gordon Cullen Mural in the context of the Erno Goldfinger building to the benefit of the whole school community and enrich the Learning Environment." Or simply to love it again.
Last Friday Dr Cathy Burke and Peter Cunningham visited Greenside to see the mural and have a tour of the school. They were interested to see not only Cullen's mural, but also the more recent addition of the mural in the playground, painted on the retained wall of the old school and the outstanding new Foundation Years garden, just finished and offering highly engaging play for our younger children.
7.00 for 7.30pm Wednesday 23rd November 2011
Greenside Primary School