Our Patch Autumn 2017 Chiswick - Page 10

our Patch AUTUMN 2017 living historY An artist’s impression of how the Chiswick Timeline will look when it opens in November chiswick time traveL A A cartographic marvel on a giant scale, mapping Chiswick ’ s evolution from empty fields to grids of streets will be unveiled in November. Tim Harrison meets the project ’ s visionaries vast public artwork celebrating Chiswick’s growth and evolution is nearing completion. The Chiswick Timeline will fi ll the walls on both sides under the railway arches at Turnham Green station; a 60-metre stretch of enamelled maps charting the development of the area from green fi elds and isolated houses to the present-day buzzy suburb. Enhancing the maps are paintings of landmarks, from St Nicholas church to the Chiswick Empire, corresponding to the different eras. Among them is a picture by local pop artist Peter Blake, whose studio is just off King Street, Hammersmith, which was sold as a limited-edition print, raising £25,000 of the eventual £90,000 project cost. “We hope it will be a great contribution to London’s public art,” said Karen Liebreich of Abundance London who, with Sarah Cruz, has been co-ordinating. The vast, hefty enamelled panels – made in the same hard-wearing way as London 10/11 Underground signs – are now being fi red, with the planned installation date (and street party) pencilled in for November. Assisted by Hounslow Council and crowd-funding, and facilitated with the blessing of Transport for London, the Timeline will show how the community has changed over the years, with the blue-painted loop in the Thames acting as an instantly recognisable common feature. The maps include a 1945 chart showing all the wartime bombing damage to the area. “We’ve raised all the money and started production; the panels come with a 70-year guarantee,” said Karen. “They are very heavy, so it is costing £18,000 to build the framework which holds them to the wall. They have to be ‘pop-offable’ so that TfL can inspect the fabric of the bridge underneath!” The earliest depiction of Chiswick is a massively expanded segment of an old Middlesex map dating from 1593. “Understandably, it’s less accurate than modern maps,” said Karen. “The hope is that people will see this as an Chart-toppers Karen and Sarah artwork as well as being historically informative.” The detail on the more recent map panels means that Chiswick residents will be able to easily pinpoint their own homes. Karen, a historian and author who set up the Chiswick House kitchen garden, was full of praise for the generosity of donors to the Timeline, which has been a phenomenal exercise in planning, design, clearance of permission and logistics. “We’ve had everything, including drainpipe issues,” she said. “I’ve become such an expert on so many esoteric subjects!” Sarah Cruz, a designer, has focused on rationalising the number of colours needed to make the maps, as it determines how many times each of the big metal sheets needs to be baked.