This was the back room of the Leopard Hotel in Burslem (the Arnold Bennett suite). The hotel burned down last year taking my murals with it. They were painted in emulsion paint directly onto the walls so it would have been impossible to remove them before the hotel caught fire (apparently the empty hotel had someone growing cannabis in it and the fire was from an electrical fault. It had been bought for redevelopment and the local community wanted to take it over to make it work again. Now its gone. You can see the relative sizes of them to the size of the room. I painted them between 2006 and 2007. I miss them.
The Leopardess at the Leopard Hotel in Burslem. She was supposed to be a mixed race woman that married the owner of the hotel and came to England to run it. I was told several tales by the landlords of the Leopard while I was painting murals there and I really wish I had written them down. But you know what it’s like. You are standing on top of a set of stepladders and chatting while you paint. You have ideas for each mural and have to fit in with what the owners want you to paint. Sometimes I was in the Arnold Bennett suite on my own for hours (I’d go up after work), listening to old creaking timbers and odd noises. It could be spooky in there. My memory isn’t what it was.
Thank you Sharon Crisp for sending me a photo of my Burslem Angel mural (lost in the fire in the Leopard Hotel in Burslem). It was painted in emulsion directly into a framed area on the wall that had originally been filled with flock wallpaper. I had asked if anyone had images of my murals a few months ago. This one was missing as was on of a woman standing outside a pottery with a row of bottle kilns. I’m really pleased to see this again.
I think it’s interesting how the clouds in the background look like smoke or flames.
Here is a better photo of my mural that was destroyed in a fire at the Leopard Hotel in Burslem earlier in the year. The landlady was said to have come over from the Caribbean and married an English man. She then ran the hotel. The trouble is I painted this in 2006? I honestly can’t remember the story I was told and now the hotel is gone.
We drove past the Leopard Hotel in Burslem today. Its just hidden behind wooden hoardings and scaffolding. I haven’t been up past it since the fire that destroyed it back in February. We only glanced at it. I couldn’t stop. It’s a hole in the history of Burslem, and a hole in my memory. I managed to find a photo of the Leopard sign. It was also known as the famous Leopard. I’m still trying to find copies of the photos I took of the murals I painted in there. A remote hope.