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New campus home for 50th anniversary artwork inspired by Sixties mural
A new mural representing what university life means for current Sussex students is now on display in Fulton.
The large work of art, measuring 6 metres wide and 2.4 metres high, was inspired by a 1967 piece by John Upton, ‘Christ’s Entry Into Brighton’, which hangs in Arts A155. Upton’s work depicts Christ flanked by 1960s icons such as Jimi Hendrix, Cassius Clay, Christine Keeler and Harold Macmillian alongside Sussex staff and students.
The spray-painting itself was carried out on campus, in the Arts A quad, and was filmed by Sussex student Orban Wallace, who initiated the painting of the mural.
Orban’s documentary, A Time to Belong, about the creation of the new mural came second in the University’s 50th anniversary student film competition and has had nearly 500 views on YouTube.
During 2011-12, local artist Mark Lingham spent three months cutting stencils and one month spray-painting to achieve what he sees as a “continuation” of the Sixties mural.
Mark said: “Our piece was inspired by the John Upton mural, which is considered by many to be a bit of a time capsule of university attitudes and ideas and university life.
“So we went out into the University campus and took a survey of students asking them what university life meant to them.
“From the very beginning our process has been to involve the students, to be about the students. We talked to the students and we created a graphical representation of university life for them.”
The Meeting House features prominently in the new mural as well as depictions of the social attitudes of the current student body.
The University has bought the mural as part of its contribution to public art – a requirement of the planning process for new buildings (Fulton opened in 2010).
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