The Ceramic Murals of the Armada Way, Plymouth (1988-2004)
This Glazed Expressions (GE) Special Issue 2006 was produced in response to the dramatic loss in 2004 of Edward Pond’s 1988 Armada Way ceramic tile murals in Plymouth City Centre, which were seen by locals and tourists alike as an innovative, colourful and popular series of artworks. The Armada GE contrasts the effective destruction of these late 20th century murals with the inspiring conservation success story of Coventry’s 1958 Gordon Cullen ceramic mural, which was moved to a new location and restored in 2002.
Since the Tiles & Architectural Ceramics Society (TACS) produced its groundbreaking Tile Gazetteer in 2005, the natural focus of our work has turned to conservation, ’spreading the word’ about the possibilities of rescuing and restoring terracotta and tilework of all ages. If, as a small, national society we are to prevent another Armada-scale loss, then we must be proactive in our education work. We can use our publications and our website to highlight the possibilities of creative solutions to conservation problems, and to increase understanding and appreciation of architectural ceramics. This backs up the activities of our Conservation Secretary in visiting sites, assessing ceramic locations and making those vital personal contacts which can contribute so much to successful projects. Had such contacts been made in Plymouth the outcome could have been so very different:
But... the die was cast. Plymouth’s unique, late 20th century ’Bayeaux tapestry’, the tiles that recorded all the Plymouths of the world, the sea, the sky, the oceans and the winds, the sundial, the coats of arms, the burning beacons, the people and the events, the buildings, the fish, the fun, the colour, the sparkle and the very Armada itself; all of it was unceremoniously buried in June 2004.» (p.8, GE Special Issue 2006)
Help us, by the oxygen of publicity, to protect the best of past ceramic works of art so that future generations may enjoy them too.
For more information Contact TACS