Artist hoping to brighten borough with his colourful creations

The colourful fruit and veg on sale at North End Road Market was the inspiration for an eye-catching design turning an empty shop front into a work of art.

Painter Jon Bartell transformed the shop window at the market’s traffic-free event on Saturday June 27. He is now hoping landlords of other empty premises will allow him to work his magic to make them more attractive.

Jon, of Bishops Road, Fulham, said: “I didn’t plan it. I just made it up as I went along. I just looked behind me and saw the fruit and went with that.”

He would like other landlords to get in touch so he can transform other shop fronts and either cover-up or prevent graffiti with his art.

He said: “Often the council can remove graffiti only to find someone comes along and sprays more. If there is artwork there instead of a blank wall then you often find it is left alone.

“The paint I use is water based and can be washed off easily.”

Cllr Andrew Jones, Cabinet member for Economic Development and Regeneration, agrees and said he would like to see more of Jon’s work.

He said: “It was great to have the landlord’s support for this. We’d love to brighten up more empty shops.”

After studying at Kingston Polytechnic, Jon has created murals for many events, as well as scenery for movies for Hollywood and Pinewood Studios. He worked on the 1989 Batman movie starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson, as well as many music videos.

The advent of computer generated images meant there was no longer the demand for Jon’s work in the movie industry but he still finds work elsewhere. He has recently finished work on the interior of a hotel and is currently designing illustrations for a children’s recipe book.

Jon says he has a natural talent for the work and has learned from some of the best.

He said: It’s a conceit but I’m gifted at it. I’ve just always been able to do it. As a child I used to spend hours drawing. I just get a buzz from doing the work, it’s very therapeutic.

“I used to work with an old sign writer and film painter. He was amazing. He could do a palm tree in five minutes.”

It is not the first time Jon, has been inspired by the market. He has created signs with similar designs including the well-known calls and phrases of the traders as they try to attract people’s attention,
such as ‘where y’ like’ and ‘cmon mammy’.

He said: “North End Road is great. I love coming here. A lot of the places around here are so gentrified but North End Road is where I come to get grounded - and a bargin! It’s great to see so much support for it.”

If you would like Jon to work his magic on your empty shopfront or other property call Nicki Burgess on 020 8753 5695.