New community art work unveiled

A new community art work was unveiled on Sunday 13 December on the embankment wall of the railway at Turnham Green Terrace, aka the ‘W4th plinth’.

The collage Stay At Home is the work of students at Chiswick School. Head teacher Laura Ellener told the small crowd assembled for the unveiling that the school had remained open all year, catering for children who particularly needed their support and the children of key workers whose parents continued to go out to work during the lockdown. She said she was extremely proud of her students and her staff.

Tommy Robinson, who is the school’s Community Arts Coordinator and Head of Drama, told The Chiswick Calendar how he had dragged a big canvas out into the school field for the kids to vent their anger and frustration during lockdown, Jackson Pollock style. The results can still be seen at the top of the canvas.

Then they started talking about their experience of the lockdown and out of their comments came the idea of each child demonstrating how they were living during lockdown, in separate houses and flats, but each coping with it in their own way. If you look carefully at the picture you can see figures in the dwellings, some looking out at the world, others more introverted.

Images above: Penny the orangutan; Laura Ellener, Head Teacher of Chiswick School and Karen Liebreich, Director of Abundance London

The art work replaces an image of Penny the Orangutan, by David Kimpton and Richard Lawton, composed of £20 worth of pennies. Penny was created to raise funds for conservation of the endangered species in Sumatra and will now be auctioned for SOS, the Sumatran Orangutan Society.

She took a bit of persuading to relinquish her position on the wall. Organisers Abundance London asked Laura Ellener to do the honours and pull the toggle, the idea being that Penny would slide gracefully down, revealing the new work underneath. In the end it took a few sharp tugs from Abundance riggers Steve Nutt and Rory Ferguson to dislodge her.

Images above: Laura, Steve and Rory dislodging Penny and unveiling Stay At Home

Organiser Karen Liebreich said:

“Abundance London is delighted to welcome the new artwork Stay at Home.
“Under Head Laura Ellener, Chiswick School has come through this difficult year with an enhanced reputation and a firm place where a school should be, at the heart of the community. This artwork, superficially bright and cheerful, actually represents the hard year we have all had”.

Abundance started the community art project in September 2019, when they also commissioned and bought new benches for the piazza. The first art work to occupy the W4th plinth was a collage of Chiswick Empire music hall performers, by Sir Peter Blake. The artist, best known for his album cover for the Beatles Sergeant Pepper album, lives in Chiswick and is one of the judges who select the art works for the space.

Stay at Home is the third community art work to occupy the space and will be replaced by the next one in spring 2021.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Launch of Turnham Green Terrace Piazza

See also: Row over cancellation of Antiques Market

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.