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Mural is unveiled after crowdfunding campaign to brighten up area in need of ‘love’

Friday, 10th June — By Charlotte Chambers

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Lionel Stanhope with Paul Wise at the artwork at Holloway Bridge

TO the delight of locals and passers-by – many of whom have been busy snapping away ready to upload photos to social media – a striking new mural has been unveiled in Holloway.

The artwork by well-known artist Lionel Stanhope began on Tuesday under Holloway bridge in Holloway Road, and was completed within 24 hours.

Mr Stanhope has completed around 40 murals in a similar retro-railway style  across the country, although this was his first in north London.

The mural came about after Paul Wise, a marketing executive who lives nearby, started a crowdfunding campaign to brighten up the area earlier this year. He had complained it was “dingy” and in need of “love”.

Mr Wise said: “I’m ecstatic. I think when you come out of the tube station it’s got loads of pop, and I think it’s going to make the area more welcoming, which is what we wanted. So I think we’ve met the objective.”

He added: “We’ve had some nice positive comments, people walking by saying how it’s brightening the area already.

“It’s making it feel good, which is great. I just wish we could have more now, to be honest.”

Calling for the artwork to be a “catalyst” to improving the area, Mr Wise said he would like to see the streets around the station and along Holloway Road cleaned up and more greenery put in, and for Network Rail to get rid of the graffiti and tagging on the bridge.

Mr Stanhope said the mural had received a lot of admiration from passers-by with many stopping to take photos.

In total the mural cost around £3,000 and was in part paid for by the Nags Head Business group as well as Local Initiative Funding from the council.

Mr Stanhope, who still works with aerosol cans and started off his artist career by tagging when he was a teenager, said other people tend to leave his murals alone and not deface them as they “are proud of their area”.

While Mr Wise had originally planned for more art work to be commissioned in the area, he said getting through red tape had left him in need of a break.

But he added he had been contacted by Arsenal who enquired about him assisting them with obtaining artwork for their bridge.

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