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The Urban Outfitters High Street Mural

Page updated 20th June 2011

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Another mural this time in the middle of the High Street. No 229 appears to be an old building but in fact was built after the original old Jacobean shop was torn down in 1930 by the Saxone Shoe Company and sold to an American museum. The front facade has two Tudor style windows salvaged from a house that was demolished in North Street. The high Street widens at this point and a long row of 1950s style buildings continues up to Eastgate.

The side of No 229 was a blank, cement rendered wall for many years until the City Council commissioned in 1991 a local artist to produce a mural to fill the space, on what was the side of the Topshop.

He created this Tudor house and balcony with the figures of Sir Thomas Bodley, Nicholas Hilliard and Princess Henrietta.

Urban Outfitters

By 2011, DTZ Investment Management, the discretionary property fund manager of the John Lewis Pensions Fund, owned the property on behalf of its pension fund. The current occupier, Madhouse were vacating the premises when the lease expired. DTZ, decided to refurbish and improve the property, including the replacement of the mural.

In 2011, the new occupiers, Urban Outfitters moved into the building, after a complete refurbishment. The international artist Alexandro Farto was commissioned to produce an artwork to replace the now, quite tired, Tudor House mural.

The replacement mural was produced for the opening of the new store on 12th October 2011. Farto chiseled away the rendering on the wall to produce the new image, which is the face of a young woman. It is a striking work, although, one can wonder what connection it has with the history and culture of Exeter., the striking image was first painted onto the side of the building and the details are now being accentuated by being chiseled into the wall.

City centre manager, John Harvey, was quoted that the new work is "like Marmite" – people "will either love it or hate it".

Sources: Express and Echo

Topshop Mural - High StreetPhoto courtesy of Julia Sharp. Topshop Mural - High Street

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