The largest surviving mural from the Festival of Britain, the ground-breaking 1951 extravaganza that was designed to cheer a war-weary country, boost industry and promote better design in rebuilding, will be on public view, at the South Bank in London, for the first time in 60 years and reproduced for the first time in colour. The Englishman’s Home by John Piper was painted in the artist’s garden at Fawley Bottom, Oxfordshire, and was described by Festival director and architect Sir Hugh Casson as ‘the one mural the South Bank cannot afford to lose’. It is currently with Paul Liss at Liss Fine Art.
The South Bank is running a summer-long exhibition of British culture (April 22- September 5) to mark the 60th anniversary of the Festival, which was described as ‘a tonic for Britain’. Highlights include a singfrom- scratch Messiah directed by Harry Christophers (May 14), Tracey Emin’s new survey show, ‘Love is What You Want’, at the Hayward Gallery (May 18-August 29), and a massed piano event with Lang Lang (May 22) plus themed vintage, literary and musical weekends, including ‘London in Love’ (April 30). The South Bank is seeking memories from anyone who visited the Festival of Britain, such as photographs, postcards or diary entries. To share your memories, write to: Festival Memories, Learning and Participation, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX or email festivalmemories @southbankcentre.co.uk. To book tickets, telephone 0844 875 0073 or visit www. southbankcentre.co.uk