#SecretTemple murals

4 December 2015

With so many posters and adverts clamouring for attention, Jo Finn wanted to engage Londoners with our new Tibet’s Secret Temple exhibition in an unexpected way. Jo explains.

The inspiration for this campaign sprang from the centrepiece of the exhibition: the beautifully recreated Lukhang mural. I liked the idea of producing our own hand-drawn murals to promote the exhibition. Working with Liam Relph, designer, and Kirsty Jones at Jack Arts agency we came up with the idea of commissioning #SecretTemple murals across street-level poster sites.

We booked eight sites in North and East London and attributed each a word associated with the exhibition (Tibet, Secret, Temple, Body, Mind, Meditation, Tantric and Buddhism). With the help of Jack Arts we enlisted the talents of eight young artists to interpret one of the words and tasked them to produce a mural in their own style. The commissioned artists are listed below.

  • Tibet Alex Mellon
  • Secret Wil Stewart
  • Temple Athene Greig
  • Body Joe Cruz
  • Mind Alexander Jameswood
  • Meditation Thomas Slater
  • Tantric Claudine O’Sullivan
  • Buddhism Ruairi Fallon Mcguigan

On Saturday 13 November we pasted ‘teaser’ sheets with the eight words and #SecretTemple across the eight sites. Thankfully they weren’t graffitied over the weekend (thank you, Londoners!) before the eight artists started work on the Monday morning.

Before

After

Kirsty was pleased by the artists’ enthusiastic responses, saying “they all jumped at the chance to work on such an exciting and unusual project. Following our #SecretTibet brief they worked on their poster location to transform their ‘teaser’ word into a flourishing visual spectacle over the course of a day. The finished results are all so different and range from quite a traditional style to a zingy modern typography, attracting a younger urban audience whilst also capturing the attention of curious passers-by.”

I was amazed by the diversity of interpretations and impressed that these artists could create artworks at this scale over the course of just one day. I also loved seeing tweets as people started spotting them on the streets, intrigued to solve the mystery of the #SecretTemple.

Watch the making of the murals film.

Jo is a Marketing Project Manager at Wellcome Collection.