A community art mural will replace the Banksy painting titled, ‘Slave Labour’ that was stolen earlier this year from the wall of a Poundland shop in Haringey NW London. It was later consigned for sale at a Florida auction with an estimate of £320,000 -£452,000.
The Haringey MP Lynne Featherstone who failed in her attempts to get to the bottom of the missing Banksy mural, met with The building’s owner, directors of Wood Green Investments, Robert Davies and Les Gilbert and was told that, “The mural had been stolen by a thief but they (the owners) would not be reporting it to the police”. Haringey Borough Council have now struck a deal with the owners of the building, to work with the Turnpike Art Group (TAG) to commission a mural on the wall to replace the iconic Banksy.
Councillor Alan Strickland who led the campaign stated: “People were rightly disgusted when the Banksy appeared for sale in Miami and it was fantastic to see such a response from the community. “We want to protect this space for public art and are working with local art groups and the building’s owners to commission a new mural.“Hopefully together we can create a new local landmark that Wood Green can be proud of.”
Turnpike Art Group (TAG) is a not-for-profit voluntary group that instigates environmental improvement and rejuvenation of urban space, through innovative art-based projects. We work with pre-existing structures and materials, as well as introducing new art, design and craft solutions.
They formed in 2012, as an offshoot from award-winning charity Sustran’s DIY Streets Turnpike Lane/West Green project – a community-focused street redesign programme, which successfully united a London community in a dialogue of change.
Their core ethos is that the urban landscape, and the lives of its residents, can be improved through the introduction of visually-appealing and stimulating art and design – through an awareness of the environment and natural forms, as well as heritage, and the narrative of local history.
TAG projects have included working with American urban artist Shepard Fairey, via Brick Lane’s Stolen Space Gallery – reinventing the usage for a decayed Victorian advertising hoarding; and the Sustrans community art project 2012 – TAG artists Veronica Bailey and James Straffon commissioning traditional ceramic manufacturer Jackfield, Craven Dunnill & Co. to produce ‘Doorstep welcome’ tile signage in the neighbourhood, based on victorian porch tiles, vernacular London street signage, and the design history of the Piccadilly Line Underground stations.