SS Robin Heritage Mural
SS Robin’s incredible story is one of innovation, risk, enterprise, determination and endurance. She’s one of only three ‘Core Collection’ ships in London, alongside Cutty Sark and HMS Belfast. You can get a glimpse of her at London’s Royal Victoria Dock, where she’s undergoing final restoration work only a mile from where she was originally built, ready to take her place as a symbol of East London’s transformation when she re-opens in 2014.
The 90 metre SS Robin Heritage Mural will tell the story of the history of both SS Robin and the Royal Docks – past, present and future – in five parts:
A 50 metre section is being designed and created right now, painted by SS Robin’s artists in residence Frank and Nick Creber, working with the SS Robin history team and volunteers, including art students from UEL. Frank is a local artist and Visual Art Director for Water City Festival and Nick is an artist and painter living in Fish Island. When complete the mural will depict the changing life of the Royal Docks through the ages: a rich and varied story told through narrative passages and singular motifs that chronicle the human and environmental changes in the area. The work will tell the fascinating story from the age of sail to the transformation and innovations of the age of steam and the industrial revolution, as well as the impact of World War II, the period of decline in the 1980’s and today’s period of regeneration, innovation and new beginnings.
A second section of 12 metres will be painted and designed by the local community – the broad theme will be the ‘lives and stories of the Britannia Village community’, with specific details to be determined at a workshop leading up to a community mural day on 25th May.
A third section of 5 metres will be painted by the local Britannia Village Primary School, with the artists working alongside 50 Year 5 students on the theme of the River Thames.
A further 12 metre section will be printed on aluminium composite sheet with photos and architects’ illustrations showing future plans for SS Robin, and a final 12 metre section will contain singular images that emerge out of the whole process of the mural project.
The mural project is linked into a number of local history sources held locally by projects and individuals, as well as the work of the SS Robin history team who are currently creating a heritage trail for the Royal Docks. The project will be the first element to be created for that tour, and will also form the first part of a series of ‘Water City Murals’. a new mural painting social enterprise for East London.
The SS Robin Heritage Mural project is led by Frank Creber, Visual Art Director of the Water City Festival and is managed by SS Robin Trust, West Silvertown Foundation and Water City CIC, with funding kindly donated by ExCel London, Siemens Crystal, London City Airport and the London Borough of Newham and support from Britannia Village Hall and School,.
The Royal Docks of today is connected by 6.5 miles of waterway stretching north along the Lower Lea Valley, now once again defining a new emerging East London, a Water City.