Hand-crafted, painted ceramic tile is a form of art that has been with us for centuries. There are examples of this beautiful style of design that can be found all over the world. Although these works are typically a major source of pride for a community, some areas risk losing their stunning pieces of art in the name of economic development.
It’s a tragic circumstance when a community thinks that it would be better to pulverize an artwork that took someone years to create rather than accommodate that piece into new construction or a new setting. For example, this article published by the British newspaper The Independent reports the decision of the governing body of a small city in Wales to allow the destruction of a tile art mural that depicts a major skirmish that claimed dozens of lives more than 150 years ago.
The Welsh city of Newport announced in early October that a 115-foot mural depicting the Chartist uprising at the city’s Westgate Hotel in 1839. During that battle, 5,000 Chartists, reformers looking for political reform for the working class, marched on the hotel under the belief that fellow Chartists were being held hostage there. The mural, installed in nearby John Frost Square in 1978 by artist Kenneth Budd, contains nearly 200,000 glass pieces and displays a chaotic scenes of militiamen marching on the hotel with pitchforks and guns, surrounded by clouds of smoke.
Instead of spending £600,000 to move the mural for an entire mall construction project with a budget of £100 million, Newport has decided to raze the artwork to make way for the shopping center. Destroying a public work of art like this isn’t just sad; it’s a threat to the very notions of democracy. Tile art is meant for everyone to enjoy, unlike a retail establishment that only caters to those with enough income to frequent the store.
Payne Creations enjoys creating works of art that can be enjoyed by all who have eyes to see. Whether you have a public space in need of a splash of creativity, or you want an artistic reimagining of a wall in your own home, we can bring interesting and compelling designs to your living space that you will enjoy for years. Remember, tile art IS democracy!