2008/02/03

Topolski's 600ft Memoir Mural



"For more than twenty years, one of the most unusual exhibitions in London has been Feliks Topolski's monumental installation "The Memoir of the Century". This 600-foot long panoramic painting, standing from 12 to 20 feet high, was ....... Begun by the sixty-eight-year-old Topolski in 1975, and still unfinished at the time of his death in 1989, it still sits under the arches, close to the constant activity of the South Bank and the flow of the Thames, gently shaken by the regular rumble of trains in and out of Charing Cross on the other side of the river."

"The final section is a huge movable canvas mounted on vertical rollers, carrying contemporary images and entitled "the Diary". In this section, to quote Topolski, "the Memoir reaches the present, becomes the Diary and continues from day to day, to be cut short only by nature's will". ..

"...Topolski gave his "Memoir" to the people of London in 1984, but the burden of upkeep proved too great, and in 2002 the family stepped in and established a new trust, Topolski Memoir Ltd, to take ownership of the work and oversee its restoration and display. This project requires Pounds 3.3 million, of which more than Pounds 2 million has already been raised, from the Heritage Lottery Fund and other sponsors. Work is beginning this year and the newly restored Memoir will reopen in 2009, twenty years after Topolski's death.".... continued, see link below to article.

I recently learned about this huge mural, by an artist who's fluid and beautiful sketches I had long admired. I enquired of Sandra Lynes, who is the Director in charge of the Restoration of the Memoir, when it would be re-opening; I would love to see it. She replied that funds are still being raised, and it is hoped to be ready in a year or two.

link to excellent Times Online article, by Nicholas Hilley
link to feliks topolski website, with 'virtual' memoir

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