Big names from Ealing including Freddie Mercury, Peter Crouch, Margot Fonteyn and Dusty Springfield have been brought together for a new exhibition.

Portraits of international celebrities who have lived or worked in the borough make up a display at the National Portrait Gallery which began yesterday (June 19).

The work is presented alongside a film installation created by film artist Eelyn Lee, who uses rich imagery and soundscapes to tell multi-layered stories, and students from Brentside High School , Hanwell.

Freddie Mercury, who studied at Ealing Art School from 1966 – 1969 before forming Queen in 1970; filmmaker Steve McQueen , who attended Drayton Manor High School; actor Sid James, who lived in the borough and appeared in films produced at Ealing Studio; and Dusty Springfield, who developed her passion for singing at St Anne’s Convent School, are some of the famous figures who have inspired the film installation which is being displayed with their portraits.

 

Other portraits on display are of footballer Peter Crouch, who attended North Ealing Primary School and Drayton Manor High School; film director Gurinder Chadha, who grew up in Southall; Pete Townshend, who regularly played at The Ealing Club; and former Prime Minister, Spencer Perceval, who lived in Ealing Common.

Year 10 students from Brentside participated in a series of workshops led by Ms Lee and the gallery as part of an arts project, Creative Connections, designed to teach biographies of figures from youngsters’ local area and engage them with portraiture.

The film was recorded at locations in Ealing including Pitzhanger Manor and features the pupils.

Liz Smith, Director of Participation and Learning, National Portrait Gallery, said: “We are delighted to have collaborated with students from Brentside High and Eelyn Lee to create a really engaging and memorable film and display inspired by the spirit of creativity that continues in Ealing today.”

Mike Roddy, Arts College Director, Brentside High School, said: “Engaging with the themes of endeavour, vision’ and creativity has encouraged our students to aim high and to take pride in the achievements of our citizens, our borough and our school.”

Ms Lee added: “The display is a true reflection of the creative journey we have taken together. Along the way it has been gratifying to see different young people flourishing at different times and everything coming together in the production of the film.”

For further information about Creative Connections, see: www.npg.org.uk/whatson/creativeconnections.