Brighton artist Tom Diamantopoulo reveals his beautiful mural inspired by the regeneration of the local area at the Sackville Road scheme, Moda Living’s new Build to Rent development in Hove.
Tom’s work combines an exploration of the positive transformation that Hove has seen over the years, with words from the poem Daffodils, by Wordsworth, giving a nod to nearby Poet’s Corner. The piece will form part of a rolling exhibition of murals by local artists during the course of the regeneration of Sackville Road Trading Estate.
Tom started his career as a songwriter and musician in the influential band The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, releasing three albums and touring the UK, Europe and America, before deciding to focus on his passion for art. His work features large abstract shapes rooted in colourism and expressionism. Tom, who works out of his studio in Brighton, was born colour blind but loves working with bold and bright colours and textures and his work features on the exterior of Franco Manca in North Street. His father, Pierre Diamantopoulo, is the sculptor behind Flight of the Langoustine, which will be the second sculpture for Hove Plinth.
“My thinking for using these themes is that the area and local community has gone through quite a few positive transformations over the years and has gradually grown and flourished, so I wanted to reflect this in my design.
“The design also reflects the philosophies and values of Moda, which builds communities that incorporate, health, happiness and wellbeing for its residents, as well as its green ethos.”Tom Diamantopoulo, Brighton artist
As Tom explains, around 15 years ago this area of Hove had been viewed locally as run down. With the hard work of local residents, today it is a vibrant and happy community with creative hubs, and is dotted with small workshops and businesses, as well as a bright future for the area around Hove Station.
The mural also takes inspiration from nearby Wordsworth Street in Hove and the second verse of the poem Daffodils which reads:
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
“This poem reflects the themes of the mural and the community. The verse of the poem is describing daffodils, which are a mark of spring, the time of year when nature having survived winter, is now rejuvenating, blossoming and growing again. For me this reflects the transformations that the local area and community has been going through in recent years.
“I like to think that this verse can also be seen to be about people, perhaps the residents within the community, who revived the area years ago or even about the local area that is thriving now.” Tom Diamantopoulo, Brighton artistTom Diamantopoulo, Brighton artist
Last year, Moda began demolition on Sackville Road and appealed for local artists to express an interest in producing artwork at the site. Moda selected three local artists as the winners of its competition to design a mural, which will feature on an exterior wall at the Sackville Road site during construction of the new neighbourhood. Artists whose work will feature in the future include two Hove residents – illustrator Kirsti Davidson and Fine Art student Ella McEwen Smith.
“We’re so excited to see Tom’s stunning mural appear in Sackville Road. We had a fantastic response to our call for artists to design a mural from so much local talent, so it was a real challenge for our judging panel to select the final three.
“The winners are all from Brighton and Hove, with two of them living just a few roads away from the development, so they will be able to walk out of their homes and see their art in their community.
“The mural designs will showcase the features that make Hove such a special place to live and the community that we are building in Sackville Road.
“Our development will give people a place where they can form new friendships, join in with group activities and have access to a whole range of wellness support services. They’ll also know that their rental property is there to stay, giving them a place they can call home for as long as they need it.”James Blakey, Planning Director, Moda
The scheme will deliver a new neighbourhood of 564 Build to Rent homes – a mix of studio apartments to three-bedroom homes, with 10% affordable homes. The scheme will transform the rundown estate into a thriving new multigenerational neighbourhood in the heart of Hove across six new buildings, interspersed with new landscaped green spaces, pedestrian routes and public realm. Amenities include a 24/7 gym, roof terraces, communal lounges and co-working spaces, as well as 260 care community homes.
Work is well underway at the former Sackville Road trading estate. The development’s two tallest building cores are both complete, and work on the third building is underway and groundworks are ongoing on the site.