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Metroland - The Northwood Hills Town Regeneration Project Murals

Date uploaded: December 3, 2014

In 2013 artist collaborators Cosmo Sarson and Gordon Collett won a commission from the London Borough of Hillingdon to produce a series of murals for the high street of Northwood Hills, London HA6. The pair have since produced 65 metres in total length and 93 square metres in size of large vitreous enamel mural at. The mural is part of a £1million town regeneration implemented by the London Borough of Hillingdon. Installation is now complete with the official launch on Thursday the 4th of December.

The brief was to produce an artwork that reflected the idylls of a suburban utopia as characterised by Jon Betjamin’s vision of “Metroland”. Although conceived as one continuous design, the mural is broken in to 3 parts, adorning the entrance to Northwood Hills Tube Station and each of the two parapet walls of the bridge where the high street crosses the rail line.

The mural depicts a flowing landscape interspersed with figures. On one side of the road large letters reminiscent of the famous “Hollywood’ sign”, spell out the legend “Northwood Hills” while on the opposite wall is a panorama so long it travels from sunrise at one end to dusk at the other in a single image. In an otherwise believable setting the image also includes a small silhouette of a flying elephant in the distance. This tiny detail was included in the initial concept design as an in-joke between the artists but proved to be so popular it was requested to be included in the final design.

The project has been almost two years in the making from winning the commission to final installation with the artists managing expectations from various stakeholders, from the residents associations to council planning committees, with a total budget of £84,000 including manufacture.

Cosmo Sarson is perhaps best known for his giant 9m high mural of “Break Dancing Jesus” in Bristol that achieved international headlines in the summer of 2013. No stranger to large scale work, in 2012 he conceived and painted the world’s first interactive mural located in Windsor, again on a massive scale of 25m x 4m. He also works as a scenic artist at Pinewood Film Studios working on their big budget feature films, these include most recently 'Edge of Tomorrow', 'Guardians of the Galaxy' and 'World War Z'.

Gordon Collett is a well established (1995) internationally renowned muralist and in the UK a maker of public art and a local community engagement art worker. Since 2000 he also has been a regular feature on several UK Interior Design TV shows.