This wall-paper transported me back to the Park Hill council estate where I spent fourteen years living as a resident. Termed Brutalist Mural paper, it is designed to mimic bare concrete. Any home can now be made to resemble the interior of urban brutalist architecture. Like Park Hill with its bare concrete fascias, mottled with time and vandalism, the designs are made to have the old and lived in look that typical brutalism shows.
So, it's possible to read a book of poetry written under a brutalist roof while sitting in a mock-up of the place it was conceived. What does brutalism do to the creative mind? How does harsh and rough surfaces in beige and off white affect our daily thought processes and decision making? The subtle suggestions from the various graffiti tags, club night posters, and noisy workmen mixed in with angular and shadow rich surroundings can do things to a man, or woman.
For me, the experience of living in brutalism sprouted many creations. My most well read being “A Poet, on Park Hill?” which is now almost ten years old and still sells copies today. I also wrote a lot of poetry, which has been compiled into “Echoes of a Concrete Cocoon”. The most significant creation for me, however, is "Scum, Behind The Concrete Curtain". I wrote it as a fiction loosely based on my experiences in Park Hill and what life was like while living there. Being fiction, I was free to really dig deep and find truths and concepts that were safe to embellish and garnish for the purposes of entertaining cultural recording.
Whether anyone buys the brutalist wall paper is another story, I am always stumped as to why someone would choose to live there. For me, it was necessity and not choice. Given the choice, I left the area for a quiet suburb. However, the records and humanity there are valuable resources for cultural understanding, and that is why although I am no longer A Poet on Park Hill, I was and always will be.
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