Reasons to be Cheerful, Mychael Barratt, Limited Edition Silkscreen Print, Cityscape, London Art

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  • About this work of Art

    Reasons to be Cheerful, Mychael Barratt
    Unframed Limited Edition Silkscreen Print of 100
    Silkscreen Print on Paper
    Size: H 76cm x W 110cm
    Signed and titled

    Reasons to be Cheerful is a limited edition silkscreen print by Mychael Barratt.

    Reasons to be Cheerful – Key

    Reasons to be Cheerful is an episodic map of London ephemera, history, urban myths and legends. The focus is unapologetically cheerful and optimistic. Below is a key to the references, most of which are labelled. I have included an explanation where needed.
    Abbey Mills Pumping Station, Stratford (a Victorian sewage pumping station designed by Joseph Bazalgette)
    Ada Salter (social reformer and one of the first woman councillors in London. Honoured with a statue in Southwark Park)
    Arnold Circus (bandstand in the middle of the circus at the heart of the Boundary Housing Estate in Bethnal Green)
    Battersea dogs Home (I’ve used one of Ben Wilson’s gum paintings to depict this wonderful charity)
    Battersea Power Station and pig (Pink Floyds inflatable pig floats above the Battersea Power Station for a photo shoot for the cover of their Animals album)
    BBC
    BFI (British Film Institute/ National Film Theatre)
    Beigels (beigels from the famous Beigel Bake on Brick Lane)
    Bibendum (former Michelin Tire Art Deco building converted to a complex of shops and restaurants. The Michelin man on the bike is from one of its stained glass windows)
    Big Draw (The Big Draw is a visual literacy charity and annual festival run by the Campaign for Drawing)
    Bird Mural (on Brick Lane)
    Blackfriar (The Blackfriar, a pub near the north end of Blackfriars Bridge)
    Bob Dylan in Crouch End (the famous musician visited Crouch End in the 1990s)
    Borough Market (one of the oldest markets in London, originally dating back to the 12th century)
    British Museum (Lewis chess piece)
    Brunswick House (glorious listed building in Vauxhall that houses an architectural salvage business – Lassco)
    Camberwell Beauty (species of butterfly first discovered in Camberwell)
    Cable car (Emirates Air Line cable car links up Greenwich Peninsula with the Royal Docks)
    Cable Street Mural (commemorates the Battle of Cable Street and was painted by Dave Binnington, Paul Butler, Ray Walker and Desmond Rochfort)
    Call the Widwife (Nonnatus House in Poplar used as a location for filming Call the Widwife)
    Charles Dickens
    Charlie Chaplin (born in Walworth)
    Chaucer (author of The Canterbury Tales Geoffrey Chaucer was born in London)
    Chelsea Arts Club (This logo is from a sketch by Whistler, one of the founders of the club)
    Chelsea Arts Club Procession (this depicts the New Year’s Eve processions that members would make from the club to their infamous parties at the Royal Albert Hall)
    Chelsea flower show (at the end of the Chelsea Flower Show, visitors can be seen parading down the streets carrying plants from the breakdown)
    Chelsea Physic Garden (statue of Sir Hans Sloan by Simon Smith)
    Chewing Gum Artist (Ben Wilson paints pictures on discarded and trodden pieces of chewing gum. They can be found all over London and I have included multiple references to them on my map)
    Chinese New Year (these dragons parade through London every Chinese New Year (this should probably have been in Leicester Square)
    Christian the Lion (was a pet lion bought by Harrods by Chelsea residents John Rendall and Anthony Bourke)
    Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square (annual gift to the people of Britain from the city of Oslo)
    City Farm Mudchute, Isle of Dogs
    The Clock at the Tate (24-hour film installation by artist Christian Marclay)
    Columbia Road Flower Market
    Crystal Palace Dinosaurs (commissioned in 1852 to accompany the move of the Crystal Palace after the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park)
    Cutty Sark (historic sailing ship now a visitor attraction in Greenwich)
    Dalston Peace Mural (on Dalston Lane, created by Ray Walker)
    David Bowie (was born in Brixton)
    Dennis Severs House (this is the front door of the glorious domestic museum in Spitalfields created by Dennis Severs)

    Donmar Warehouse (theatre in Covent Garden, originally established by the Royal Shakespeare Company)
    East End Women’s Museum (gets a permanent home in East London)
    Edward Lear (famous artist and poet was born in Holloway)
    Fenton! (a reference to the wonderful video clip of Fenton starting a deer stampede in Richmond Park)
    Figurehead unlabelled (this is a figurehead on the front of a building in Pilgrim’s Lane, NW3)
    Fitzrovia Mural (on Whitfield Gardens painted in 1980 by artists Simon Barber and Mick Jones) (on Whitfield Gardens painted in 1980 by artists Simon Barber and Mick Jones)
    Fortnum and Mason Clock (Fortnum and Mason was started in 1707 but the famous clock was commissioned in 1964 by Canadian owner W Garfield Weston)
    Franks, Peckham (bar on roof of multi-storey carpark)
    Gardners (paper bag shop on Commercial Street in Spitalfields)
    Gas Holders (in King’s Cross. Of the 23 that were once in operation, only four remain, but the future of these ones is safe)
    Geffrye Museum (museum of homes and home life situated on Kingsland Road)
    Gherkin (reference to Foster’s building at 30 St Mary Axe)
    Gilbert and George (famous artistic duo, often sighted on East London streets)
    Gordon’s Wine Bar (on Villiers Street)
    Greenwich Observatory
    Greg Rutherford (won the Gold Medal for the long jump on Super Saturday in the 2012 Olympics at Stratford)
    Half Moon (pub and music venue in Putney)
    Harry Beck (Henry Charles Beck was born in Leyton and designed the tube map)
    Hogarth’s house (country home of William Hogarth in Chiswick)
    Holly Bush (pub in Holly Mount, Hampstead)
    Horseshoe Inn (pub in Bermondsey)
    Ian Dury (the title of this piece came from his song. I’ve depicted him in Kilburn as a reference to his band Kilburn and the High Roads)
    I’m here because they’re here (this is a reference to Jeremy Deller’s collaborative performance piece ‘We’re here because we’re here’ in which hundreds of performers dressed in World War One uniforms mixed with the public. Although wonderful, I felt the piece was too sombre to be considered ‘cheerful’ so I’ve depicted by grandparents who met in Southeast London at the end of the war)
    Infanta de Castille (her misheard name was said to be the origin of Elephant and Castle)
    Kelly’s Pie and Mash, Bethnal Green
    Kew Gardens (iconic greenhouse)
    Keystone Crescent (my favourite street in London in Kings Cross)
    King Julien in Tooting (a ring-tailed Lemur was found in Tooting Common and named King Julien after the film Madagascar)
    The Knowledge (the name given to the stringent training and exams that all London black cab drivers undergo)
    Little Angel Theatre (wonderful puppet theatre in Islington)
    Little Jimmy (famous Clerkenwell resident who policed the streets in search of traffic wrongdoing)
    Jessica Ennis (won the Gold Medal for the heptathlon on Super Saturday in the 2012 Olympics at Stratford)
    Jimi Hendrix unlabelled (the musician is rumoured to have been responsible for the parakeet population in London when he released a breeding pair on Carnaby Street)
    Ladies and Gentlemen (an underground public convenience in Kentish Town converted into an intimate cocktail bar)
    Let’s Adore and Endure Each Other (graffiti painted by Steve Powers on Great Eastern Street in Shoreditch)
    Lighthouse Building on Pentonville Road (lighthouse on the roof marks a building that was famously a 19th century oysterhouse)
    Little Venice (neighbourhood in Paddington famous for its canal)
    London to Brighton Veteran Car Run (the world’s longest-running motoring event)
    London Marathon (annually since 1981)
    London Street skates (organisers of public skating events)
    Lords Cricket Ground (image is of famous cricketer W G Grace)
    Lock’s Hatters on St James (Lock and Co, hatters famous for the invention of the Bowler)
    Maltby Street Market (urban street market in Victorian railway arches on Rope Walk in Bermondsey)
    The Mayflower (pub in Rotherhithe that was the starting point for the voyage of the English Puritans to the New World)
    Mary Poppins (fictional nanny that magically arrived in the Banks’ household in Hampstead)
    Michael Johns Mural (Brixton mural honouring the man who manages the public toilets on Popes Road)
    Mile End Road mural (George Bernard Shaw is the dominant reference from a mural on the side of a Georgian building at 33 Mile End Road that was commissioned to celebrate Whitechapel. Painted by me and Nicholas Middleton)
    Mo Farrah (won the Gold Medal for the 10,000 m race on Super Saturday in the 2012 Olympics at Stratford)
    Mudchute City Farm (city farm on the Isle of Dogs)
    My studio (in Bermondsey)
    My girls (my daughters with a miniature horse in Hampstead Heath)
    NHS
    Natural History Museum (statue of Charles Darwin)
    Nomination for the Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Richard E Grant was dining with his daughter when he heard that he had been nominated for an Oscar for his role in ‘Can you ever forgive me?’. He posted a wonderful film from in front of the Notting Hill bedsit where he lived in the 80s.)
    Notting Hill Carnival
    Olympic Studios Barnes (cinema in Barnes)
    Orbit (ArcelorMittal Orbit) (sculpture created by Anish Kapoor for the 2012 Olympics)
    Paddington Bear
    Paul McCartney (Paul McCartney is the only person in the world who has been given special dispensation to whistle in Burlington Arcade, which is completely forbidden otherwise)
    Peckham Experiment (this was a project that examined whether people would take an interest in their personal wellbeing, given the opportunity. I’ve depicted the building architect Owen Williams designed for the Pioneer Health Foundation)
    Peter Pan, Kensington gardens (statue by Sir George Frampton)
    Philpot Lane Mice (this sculpture of two mice gnawing on a piece of cheese is on a building in Philpot Lane and is the smallest public sculpture in London)
    Pickles and the World Cup (the world cup was stolen in 1966 and found in a hedge in Norwood by a dog named Pickles)
    Play me, I’m yours (2010 art installation where Luke Jerram installed public upright pianos all over London. Some of them still remain)
    Post Office Tower
    Pride (rainbow is the trademark of the Pride Festival, an annual LGBT celebration)
    Primrose Hill (site of the twilight barking in 101 Dalmatians)
    Prospect of Whitby (historic pub on the Thames in Wapping)
    Red arrows (the Red Arrows are always a welcome sight but this specific reference is to their fly over after the announcement of the successful 2012 Olympics bid)
    Rivoli Ballroom (lights from the intact 1950s ballroom in Brockley)
    Ronnie Scott’s (jazz club on Frith Street)
    A Room for London (Living Architecture and Artangel combined to create this houseboat on the roof of the Southbank Centre)
    Roundhouse (Camden Town concert venue converted from a Grade II listed former railway engine shed)
    Routemaster (double decker bus that ran from 1954. Famous open platform at the rear allowed for jumping on and off while in motion)
    Royal Albert Hall (concert venue in South Kensington opened by Queen Victoria in 1871)
    Royal Chelsea Hospital (this is a portrait of three Chelsea Pensioners who live at the Royal Chelsea Hospital)
    St Brides Church (designed by Christopher Wren, the wedding cake takes its iconic shape from this church’s spire)
    St Paul’s Cathedral (designed by Christopher Wren)
    St Stephen Walbrook (one of Christopher Wren’s most beautiful churches, I’ve depicted the font sculpted by Henry Moore)
    Santander bikes (wonderful public bikes for hire scheme)
    Saville Row (street renowned for bespoke tailoring)
    Scout (my dog)
    Smiths (James Smith and Sons, umbrella shop on New Oxford Street)
    Shakepeare (The Globe Theatre, Shakespeare’s theatrical company’s home in Southwark)
    Smithfield’s Market (historic buildings are set to become the new home of the Museum of London)
    Soane’s House (museum in the former home of the architect Sir John Soane’s in Lincoln’s Inn Fields)
    Soho noses (7 noses affixed to walls in Soho by artist Rick Buckley)
    Stanley Green (the Protein Man was a human billboard who marched up and down Oxford Street for decades campaigning about the perils of protein)
    Street Party (Poplar is renowned for being the location of the first ever street party)
    Sultan’s elephant (this was a 4 day long theatrical performance by theatre company Royal de Luxe. Both the elephant and the girl were stored in the Battersea Power Station when not performing.)
    Taxi shelters (green wooden structure established by the Cabmen’s Shelter Fund as shelters for cab drivers)
    Tower and poppies (artists Paul Cummins and Tom Piper filled the moat at the Tower of London with poppies as an act of remembrance)
    Trinity Buoy Wharf lighthouse (London’s only lighthouse on the Thames in Poplar)
    Twinings (300 year old flagship of Twinings Tea at 216 Strand)
    Victoria and Albert Museum (this flattened musical instrument is from Cornelia Parker’s installation ‘Breathless’ – another reason to be cheerful)
    Vivienne Westwood (famous clock outside her clothing boutique in World’s End at 430 Kings Road)
    Warren Street Squat (infamous 1980s squat at no. 65 Warren Street where amongst others there lived milliner Stephen Jones, artist Grayson Perry and musician Boy George. I worked on Warren Street then and would have walked past their door every day but not necessarily when they were awake)
    Whitechapel Bell Foundry (the oldest business in London, which may possibly be saved from destruction)
    William Morris Museum (Museum in Morris’s house in Walthamstow)
    Wilton’s Music Hall
    Winnie the Pooh (A A Milne named his hero after a real bear at London Zoo that was brought over from Canada. The bear was named Winnie after the city of Winnipeg)
    Yayoi Kusama (Japanese artist who often exhibitis at Victoia Miro on Wharf Road in Hoxton)
    Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese (historic public house on Fleet Street)
    Yurt cafe (restaurant in Limehouse)

    Silkscreen Print – A printing technique whereby the artist paints glue or stencils their work onto a mesh stretched over a wooden frame. Colour is then pushed through the mesh (which hasn’t been blocked with glue) with a squeegee. This can be done several times, layering different colours to create the image seen before you.

  • Additional information
    • Size : H 76 cm x W 110 cm
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