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A massive mural of Queen Elizabeth ll created by a Guinness World record-holder team of London-based Indian-origin artists, Yash Rohit Kumar Patel and Jignesh Patel, is the talk of the town in London and attracting people from all over.
Just as one passes by a very busy street in a residential area in West London, they are taken over by the huge mural of the late monarch on a wall. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-serving monarch, breathed her last on September 8. She was 96.
Talking to India Today, 19-year-old Yash, who is an artist’s son and will start studying architecture soon, said, “Two reasons for this mural. Firstly, this mural is our token of respect for our Queen and shows our gratitude. Secondly, as local artists in Hounslow East with our art institution just down the road from the mural, we have started a mission to uplift the street and road by adding value through our murals. This mural will not only be our community’s way to remember the Queen, but it will also be our way to share our vision for the street in the hopes to inspire more supporters to help us in our mission.”
Still covered in paint, it took Yash and Jignesh 60 hours to complete the mural. “Ideally we wanted to make it during the time of Queen’s jubilee, but we could not get the permission in time,” Jignesh told India Today. While they were seeking permission and consent from several parties, including the local council, the money required to complete the special tribute was to be collected. It took a while for the permission to come through, but then the buck stopped on the money.
One of the students and an aspiring artist himself, Babji Vundavilli put in 400 pounds towards the project. “I always felt very sad when my talented friends would struggle with support for their outstanding project ideas. So, I decided to help them kick off the project by sponsoring all the paints they would need for the project. Growing up, I loved art. However, I had lost touch over the years. So, I wanted to do all that I could to do such a project with my friends,” he said.
Babji also became part of the painting team. But for the entire mural to be finished in time, it needed more hands. In came their friends, their wives and children. Children studying in primary school, Kushagra, Dharsha and Priyal, too contributed to the mural. Priyal even got to write some of the words on the wall. Khushi, a budding artist and friend of the duo, helped them in painting and documenting the whole event.
With small donations from many other people, the mural started taking shape. Due to the small budget, the artists had to re-work their vision a few times. The original vision called for scaffolding, but lack of money meant they only had access to ladders.
“It’s so unusual and different, and this area as well. It brightens things up in very dark times,” Simon Britton, an English record producer, songwriter and actor of great repute who came all the way to see the mural, told India Today.
The artist duo wishes to create an even bigger mural of the Queen in Central London in the upcoming days. They had also painted Prime Minister Narendra Modi on bubble wrap.
Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral will be held on September 19 at Westminster Abbey.
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