Piece of famous ‘Big Mother’ housing estate mural goes under hammer
Artist Stik says funds raised will go back to the community in west London
04 December, 2018 — By Jessie Mathewson
The artist with the lot at the Phillips auction house
A PIECE of a famous house estate mural is up for sale in a Mayfair auction house tomorrow (Wednesday) after residents fought to save it from demolition.
“Big Mother”, by street artist STIK, will go under the hammer at Phillips in Berkley Square at 2pm.
It depicts a mother and child looking out over the city, and was created to be a symbol of the personal stories behind Britain’s housing crisis.
STIK told the Extra: “I felt that it represented the vulnerability of people living in social housing perfectly – a mother, with a child, looking out forlornly to the horizon, and the child looking down at these luxury private apartments being built right opposite their house.”
The guide price for the work – a smaller version of the original 13 storey tall painted on the side of the Charles Hocking House in west London – is £30,000.
All proceeds from the sale will go to local charity Artification, which co-funded the mural. The charity runs a free art programme for council residents in the area. Another of STIK street artwork sold at Christies for £150,000 earlier this year.
STIK said: “The funds will go back to the same community who helped me to paint the project in the first place. This money will allow people from that community to do projects of their own and to continue to grow as artists and as a community – despite what’s happening to the landscape of that community.”
The original mural covered an entire wall on the side of a housing block in south Acton, which was demolished in July this year.
The artwork going under the hammer was set to be destroyed along with the building but residents convinced developers to let them save it.
STIK, who has himself been homeless, believes housing is the most pressing political issue today, added: “My art is expressing the emotion of the situation – it’s not the politics it’s the emotion, it’s the emotive response of the people. That’s where the personal becomes political – it’s an important voice.”