Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Our family home of 40 years in Brixton being evicted by Lambeth council

As a Brixton local resident of 40 years suddenly i find myself facing eviction from our council family home at any moment now, so i’m writing this blog to draw attention to the current brutal trend in policy of Lambeth council to evict all & sundry at the moment without consideration to the lives they are ruining. 

A portrait of my ex girlfriend i did hanging in our hallway 

This dire situation Lambeth council have put us in is causing my 71 year old mother to be put at risk of homelessness as well as myself.

R.I.P: Seaview our family home of 40 years

Im the artist known as Morganico that grew up in this Brixton area and became a well known and valued artist in this community. The skill set I brought and shared with local people and projects with voluntary work has been really appreciated for many years ive been a resident here working as a freelance artist, community volunteer & sometimes being even paid directly by Lambeth council when i helped to restore the Stockwell war memorial mural with fellow local artist legend Brian Barnes MBE and also as a Brockwell park gardener.

World war 1&2 remembrance mural i restored with Brian Barnes MBE

the much loved Peckham totem pole i carved for Southwark council at the park  

Peckham totem pole i carved featured on a lamppost pole by Southwark council
Now our family home is facing imminent eviction by the same Lambeth council. Their eviction action means the council is destroying my ability to function as a self employed artist now by taking away my home & studio storage space and they are trying to force me to go onto benefits to afford private rental prices. 

close up of the Rastafarian character on Peckham totem pole chilling in the sunshine 
When i went to the Nu-Town hall council housing management office to ask to be rehoused in a 1 person flat they literally said to me “Well, it’s a nice day outside”, advising me to go & live in street as a homeless person. Shocking attitude! 

Stop the no fault eviction of residents! 
The background to the situation is as follows:

1. I have lived in “Seaview”, our council home, for 40 years since our family moved to beautiful Brixton in 1978 after I was born in Stockwell 3 years earlier (close to where the artist Van Gogh lived). Very recently we were discussing transferring the tenancy from my mum to myself when suddenly Lambeth council started trying to evict us out onto the street. I never anticipated that my tenancy in this borough would be jeopardised by these means so brutally.

2. The method by which the case was mounted against my mother was based on unsound false evidence and we attended court on solicitor and barrister advice that the case was technically inaccurate and would be dismissed on the basis that the documents were not properly served and that evidence had been wrongfully obtained by the council to validate proceedings. I accept the findings of the court against my mother, but I do not accept it was properly and fairly presented with consideration to all the evidence. I do not accept that my tenancy and my home should be penalised on the same grounds

3. Lambeth council misinformed the court that our home had been used for mass subletting and was sublet to a high number of people (19 names)

4. This evidence was false and obtained by the council engaging 3rd party arms length credit checking agencies (Equifax) to procure evidence and names of persons which are registered and publicly visible on the council's own electoral roll register which Lambeth know.

5. The identities of these people are known to me, because they live next door in the new build private flats at 24A (we are 24) and are therefore they are just my neighbours. Even the Lambeth housing officer in court said there was no evidence of a sublet happening.

6. The council knew these people were registered on their own electoral register but the incorrect data they used to present to the court became distorted to give the impression they lived in our house and that I was in breach of my tenancy by subletting.

7. This is not then a sole case against my mother for abandonment.

8. The council has to ensure that evidence obtained for legal proceedings is lawful and does not contain covert misrepresentation and false evidence against my tenancy obtained by the above methods and which are at odds and irrelevant to the case made against my mother on which my tenancy is currently being jeopardised. 

9. The council has a duty NOT to make people deliberately homeless. I have not sublet, I have always paid my rent. 

10. I believe the council has a duty to recognise my residency in Lambeth dating right back to my primary school and birthplace. 

11. I am very very worried about the impending bailiff eviction date and I do not want to be forced out of my home onto the street by these means. 

Our original tenancy agreement show my name included as a tenant beginning in 1978

Bird theme mural i did for Peckham community space on Pelican estate
I respectfully insist that the council reconsider and reinstate my rights which are being breached by a government body contrary to Article 8 of the Human Rights Act and prejudicial to my right to PROTECT my tenancy and HOME LIFE IN THE HOME I have lived in for 40 years. Having my home taken away from me will terminate my ability to do much of the public artwork projects of big colourful murals and chainsaw tree carvings I do & cut apart the community network of kind souls, friends and artists we have become part of during our 4 decades of life based here, like they did to Carlton Mansions and so many other cultural gems in such a creative vibrant area. Its sad to think our home base here is being culturally bleached into a social cleansing oblivion for reasons of bureaucratic chicanery. It would be the end of all we've known and loved here. 

The Peace Candle sculpture i carved at the Imperial War Museum 2015

Our family is now facing very large legal costs causing us huge stress & bankruptcy due to trying to stand up for justice and our rights in this case which will likely have massive knock on effects for our family in the future. Helen Hayes MP our local councillor asked the housing department on our behalf if we could exercise our Right To Buy opportunity to try get a mortgage on our council home instead of being thrown out onto the street but they refused this request.

Our family cat Kato having a nice bath
It’s ironic to be evicted by my own council just when i’ve had a children’s picture book i wrote & illustrated published all about the blessing of finding your place in the world.

'Searching With Sam Widges' the children's book i just got published with GBPublishing.co.uk

I would be grateful to anyone who could write to the newspapers or council on our behalf to stop this happening to ourselves and many others at the moment.

We set up a GoFundMe page for any one wishing to donate here https://www.gofundme.com/artists039-eviction-resistance-fund

Thank you for taking the time to read this.


If you wish to take further action to help this situation you are welcome to sign our petition

Surrealist mural for chelsea art club i did in 5 days with friends
Our friend Walter the actor from the Van Gogh one man art history show visiting us at home

<<"ɥʇɹɐə uo lıɐʌəɹd əɔɐəd ʎɐɯ 'əʇıuıɟuı əɥʇ spɹɐʍoʇ uoıʇnloʌə ɹıəɥʇ uı snoʎoɾ əəq sƃuıəəq llɐ ʎɐɯ...">>

*   www.mORGANICo.cOM                        **
*       instagram.com/morganico_com     lllllllllllllllllllllllllllll    
*          Twitter.com/@mORGANICo_cOM          lllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 

*     IIIII  facebook.com/Morganico.art              lllllllllllllllllllllllllllll   
.........    mORGANICo.blogspot.co.uk      /////(^%//////

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

New 24ft tall tree sculpture for PEACE at the Imperial war museum complete

While you have been away ive been carving this giant tree in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth park (GMH for short) near the Southbank cultural quarter round the corner from Waterloo station right outside the front of the imperial war museum < visible behind the section of Berlin wall they have installed there > 
The theme of the sculpture the Friends Of GMH group asked for was Peace.
so the idea behind it was to represent the moments of reflection, meditation, mourning
we all experience at some point in life with something abstract which then gradually morphed into a wiggly flame of energy in a similar style to the amazing tibetan buddhist peace garden opposite 


then i was considering how brainwaves may become more subtle and flowing / harmonised through meditation that buddhists would encourage , then i mixed that idea with an approximate impression of a candle that may feature in such moments. after carving many representationaL  sculptures before (like the totem poles at Peckham Rye, Knollys Rd in Tulse Hill & an organic farm WOOFing project in a little town called Mechernich in Germany) i fancied the idea of a more experimental piece, lots of abstraction but centred around the shape of a candle that also has a CND peace sign carved within the flame shape at the top (most visible when viewed from beside the Berlin wall near the warship cannons) . in an abstract piece people project their own ideas onto the shapes and gather their own meanings from it interpreting it how they like through the filters of their own mind. one passing graphic designer employee from the I.W.M said he saw it as an ocean of souls swimming between each other, others compared it to the Frogner stone sculpture people pile park in Norway, curvy Henry Moores and Gaudi's wiggly church in Barcelona

we used a piece of Douglas Fir from Whittens timber in peckham atop of an oak peg sunk into the centre of the trunk at the top underneath the lattice/rooty hollow structure of the flame shape

the tree kept sprouting back into life despite the arborist cutting all its limbs off ... (OUCH! sorry tree)
i carved the sculpture to this height that the tree surgeon felled it at 
silhouette photo on the unveiling ceremony day by JeffreyBlackler.com . we were amazed at how the weather gods provided us with warm sunshine on this special day after weeks either side of it were cold drizzly December grey outs  
The maquette (small sketch of a sculpture for the successful transmission of the design idea for final approval from the park folks 

looking down at the top of the tree from the very top ((((((VERTIGO ANYONE???!)))), spraypaint marks the central points to carve the peak into 

Peter Kennard the peace activist artist has a great artshow on in the imperial war museum gallery on the 3rd floor right next to our peace sculpture. Hes a legendary montage creator featured recently in Banksy's Dismaland with a great piece about gentrification & the housing crisis in London . his show at the war museum until May 2016 and is free . more details here http://www.iwm.org.uk/exhibitions/iwm-london/peter-kennard-unofficial-war-artist

with this piece about peace at the grounds of the war museum i was keen to include some shape reference to the internationally known symbol of peace the CND sign (campaign for nuclear disarmament) so i carved this into the side of the candle's hollow flame structure visible from the viewpoint next to the section of Berlin wall at the entrance to the museum


early versions of the peace sculpture design 

Photo by JeffreyBlackler.com > screenshot from The Times newspaper online version of it 

Launch day poster version 2

Thankyous Therina for all your help & advice on it

chef taking it easy on a summer's day 

early stages of spray painting chainsaw cut guides on 

analogue tools never let you down 

view from above looking at the inner flame's peak 

looking down at the top of the tree from the very top ((((((VERTIGO ANYONE???!)))), spraypaint marks the central points to carve the peak into 
Mr.Grasshopper joined us for lunch.. (he was very tasty with a satay sauce)

installing the egg flame 

carving a pyramid

view from inside and above

a huge cavity of rot got extracted and convertid into something of a symbolic mORGANICo signature
with different types of wood used as a layered fill 

time for the obligatory selfie 

final stages before the scaffolding got dismantled 

An electric chainsaw was kindly donated to us from Vinnie O'connel Fls from the New-Leaf.org.uk
project in Dulwich 

OCD selfie o'clock

Applying the gold leaf in the dark in the park with a spark 
the war museum with its big guns and section of Berlin wall

the Douglas Fir flame section with its oak support pre-gilding 
beautiful summer sun & Sthil electric chainssaw we used sometimes 

sometimes carving by night in month 4 az autumn kicked in 
CND sign with the wooden curves 

several coats of Boiled Linseed oil soaking in as a 2nd preservative after the wood treatments 

The 30 Litres of boiled linseed oil from Mylands timber specialist gave the dry wood a delicious sheen for a while as it soaked deeply into the wood to give it more durability and protection from the elements and our climate change weather apocalypse 

Stihl make great axes as well as inventing chainsaws
(see the heart shaped hole?)

gold leaf signature carved into the base 

running the electric chainsaw with a smaller bar on proved a great solution to not having an onsite lathe.
a Makita electric planer helped too  and a full tub of elbow grease 

had a few nice & friendly guests arriving at the project , this little green fella didnt want to leave 

starting to shape the flame sections and hollow it out to make way for the inner golden sections 

lots of firewood left over 

usually im carving tree totem poles in winter- being in the park all summer was such a treat working on this.
sunshine and heatwaves caused me to lose 3 stone while woodpeckering away at this piece for peace

carved signature of mORGANICo 

amazing textures and colours the boiled Linseed oil treatment revealed

view from above shows the beautiful rings of the Douglas Fir section

an Oak peg gives it stability - thanks to Whittens timber in Peckham for the great advice
and extra wood bits for this project 

having a rest from the hand axe photographed thru the 1970's retro yellow of ski goggles
all the gilding finished , using the outline of a few chainsaw blade angles as a template,
when the sun shines brightly onto it ( sunshine does sometimes happen here in the U.K)
then it really looks like the flame of the candle is lit and burns brightly like a star 
looked into carving this circular flame section on a lathe but that would of taken ages (to bring this part to north london and back)  so it was more fun doing it by hand with power tools in the end

the little bits of life springing out everywhere from the tree over summer made us feel sorry for it as we carved it into an art piece. i like the idea of carving a future tree that is still partly living and seeing how with the years how the carved section would grow wooden scabs over itself the tree heals (where it may have been de-limbed) 

many insects and animals came to visit us during the project
(& friendly locals az its a popular dog walking spot)

my aunt said she saw a pregnant lady in this bit -, that had never occured to me,.. i was trying to carve a planet resting on another planet or something along those lines - as tho all these curves are energy prayers for peace spiralling around from somewhere and bursting up and out of the north pole into space 

this scaffold tower was our virtual home for most of summer

A 360* panorama i made on the top of the scaffold tower before its tin hat roof went on.

Many thanks to Lee Marley scaffolding company/LendLease for providing our artist treehouse

An arborist named Ian Williams was tasked with making the tree safe as the side limbs of it coming out from the trunk were apparently somewhat rotten and in danger of falling down, but he had the good idea to preserve the main trunk for some kind of public art sculpture. i had the good fortune to bump into one of the 'Friends Of..' group members that suggestid i carve it into something interesting for the park. 
As if the weather god angels were watching over us on the December unveiling ceremony day we were blessed with bright blue skies and warm autumn sunshine during beautiful live music from Jun Ainouta from Japan playing guitar and traditional bamboo flute with JazzMan John giving a poetry recital of his own compositions

loving how the moon and Maxfield Parish style clouds made this shot look like an album cover 
Thankyous to all the kind souls that helped us out with this project or came to visit
You know who you are