Leopard Hotel may be restored

About a year ago, the Leopard Hotel in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire. was destroyed in a fire. I was distraught because I had painted several murals in the Arnold Bennett suite at the back of the hotel. I had also been an extra in a horror film called Humanus which was partly filmed there. I would love it to be restored. It was old and quirky, and episodes of ‘most haunted’ were recorded around the building. But now? It’s a shell of its former glory.

The Leopard had fallen on hard times when it was taken over by Neil Cox and Neil Crisp in the early 2000’s. They started to pull the business round and bought out the essential quirkiness of the building, organising ghost tours and revising ad improving the good and drink. It was soon a venue people loved to go in. During that time they wanted some murals painting in the back room. I spent a couple of years between 2006 and 2007 painting ten or eleven of them. Why can’t I remember?

I loved doing it, and the figures in the paintings were often based on the locals, I even gave a talk to the local history group about what I had painted and the sources I used to decide on the subjects.

Now? I will definitely visit if its rebuilt. But I don’t think I could physically paint those murals again. And as I was only paid £75 per picture, for two years of work, it was never going to make me a profit, but I did it for the love of Art and the Leopard.

Riot outside Leopard Hotel…

Still proud of this mural that I painted in the Leopard Hotel in Burslem in about 2006 or 2007. The hotel burnt down earlier this year ans all my murals were destroyed. Someone asked if the murals had been removed from the building? No they were painted directly onto the wall with emulsion paint. These were some of my favourite works and I was devastated when they went up in smoke. The root crowd included local people and staff of the Leopard Hotel plus my hubby. A lady called Margaret Moxom used an image of it for her book. The riot was in 1842 and a man was shit dead during it.

Umbrellas

Memory from 2017 of a mural I painted in 2007. This was at the Leopard Hotel in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent. I have a strong connection with Burslem from doing a series of murals in the hotel. Who knows whether I will do anymore?

I would love to do a bit more mural painting, or scenery, or large paintings. I’m hoping if I can get my shaking arm under control I might be able to do it.

Memories are a great thing, but also they can be tinged with sadness when you think of all the things you could have done. I do wonder about the pandemic times. Could I have done more to keep my art business going? What things can I do to actually sell my work? I’m not a sales person, I’m an artist…. I don’t think I’ll ever have a USP!

How the Leopard looked

This was the function room, the Arnold Bennett suite, in the back of the Leopard Hotel with my murals visible on the walls. They were quite high up and I’m only short, so I spent a lot of time climbing up and down ladders! If I had realised it was likely to take me almost two years to paint them (there were eleven? ) seven on one side and four on the other if I remember?

Titles were :

The Leopardess

Umbrellas by Clarice Cliff

Arthur Berry, artist

Walter, the regular

Pot banks and woman worker

Murdered woman

The Leopard coat of arms

The Burslem Riot 1842

Wedgwood and Brindley

Molly Leigh, Burslem witch

Burslem Angel

I cannot remember if there was another one. I’m hoping to collect a full set of images of them. I hope that local people will be able to help me.

Almost midnight

She stands in front of her cottage. Molly Leigh, the Burslem witch. Notorious and buried in the local churchyard at 90° to the other burials. The painting is based on a peasant woman painting by Theodore Gericault.

This was one of my murals in the Leopard Hotel in Burslem. The pub burnt down at the weekend. I am bereft. I am trying to pass on my memories to keep a feeling of what it was. I painted these on the walls. Emulsion on lining paper directly onto the wall. I’ve had a few comments that they could have been taken down. I don’t think people understand what a mural is.

Two years ago

FB_IMG_1579763875356

I was painting this a couple of years ago. It came out really well. I have a photo of the finished painting somewhere. It was called Ivy jug.

It’s not very often that you get paintings of  pottery, I don’t know why, I guess it’s a strange type of still life…. FB_IMG_1579275623188

I have also done murals of pottery… _20191122_114525

It’s turning into a collection!