BARACK Obama’s portrait artist has captured the spirit of the Notting Hill Carnival and community in a series of Portobello Road murals.
On Wednesday last week, Fiona Hawthorne unveiled 13 panels on a 100m stretch of wall leading to Golborne Road, with Bond film actor husband Colin Salmon.
Digital illustration, photographs and children’s art were used to depict the annual event, from its preparations right through to the aftermath and the street clean-up.
Ms Hawthorne said: “It’s a great feeling. I’m really pleased the borough decided to do this and that they decided to do it about Carnival as it is right up my street.”
The mother of four, whose presidential painting hangs in the Library of Congress, has worked with the Fox Carnival Band on art projects for more than 15 years. She has not missed the carnival in the 30 years she lived in the area.
Debra Romain, 41, a steel pan player and manager of UK Women of Steel, said: “I love that she managed to represent each thing about the area.”
Caroline Eastman, who works with Tabernacle Children’s Band, added: “I like the real images with collage. The layering is wicked and the brightness is beautiful. It is the perfect day for it especially with the sunshine.”
The murals will be in place for six months as part of Kensington and Chelsea Council’s Portobello Road North Wall Project.
Ms Hawthorne said she draws inspiration from the creativity and imagination of the children and young people she works with.
The panels challenge viewers to find a drawing of a young boy who appears in each of the 13 murals wearing a red jumper and tartan trousers.
Councillor Nick Paget-Brown, deputy leader of the council, said: “Aspects of Carnival is a wonderfully fitting tribute to Carnival, and an uplifting and joyous piece of creative work which I hope everyone who visits the wall will enjoy.”