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William George Mitchell - Three Tuns

Three tons

William Mitchell

According to Wikipedia, William George Mitchell was born in 1925. He is an English sculptor, artist and designer, best known for his large scale concrete murals and public works of art from the 1960s and 1970s. His work is often of an abstract or stylised nature with its roots in the traditions of craft and "buildability". His use of heavily modelled surfaces created a distinctive language for his predominantly concrete and glass reinforced concrete sculptures. After long years of neglect, many of William Mitchell’s remaining works in the United Kingdom are now being recognised for their artistic merit and contemporary historic value and have been granted listed status.

William Mitchell is without doubt one of this country's most overlooked and under appreciated artists. A man whose highly idiosyncratic murals and sculptures reached a creative high point during the 1960’s and 70’s, gracing public spaces, civic buildings, subways and town centres right across the country.

The Three Tuns Public House in Coventry is one such example, constructed in 1966.  Known to his friend as Bill, he carved negative moulds out of polystyrene blocks (there is a similarly complex pattern on both sides of the wall) which were then contained within a timber formwork and concrete poured into the gap between.

Three tuns

Even Jaguar Cars marketing were using the pub in their advertising.

The mural below at the former headquarters of the Lee Valley Water Company in Hatfield. The whole mural formed an intrinsic part of the building’s structure, effectively a freestanding feature wall holding up one side of the roof. It was the largest freestanding cast concrete structure of its kind in Europe when it was completed in 1965.

William Mitchell sculpture

William Mitchell also did the two main doors and the Bell Tower on the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.

William Mitchell - Liverpool cathedral

Liverpool cathderal bell tower

Mitchell has created many different type of works from high prestigious building to humble works such as the entrances to subways for Birmingham City Council.

 Self portrait of William Mitchell

One of his major works which was recently given Grade II listed status by Historic England is the ‘Story of Wool’; a sculptural mural which is located at the International Development Centre on Valley Drive, in Ilkley, West Yorkshire.

The Story of Wool - William Mitchell

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