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Sudbury artist paints poppy mural on library door to mark Remembrance Day

PUBLISHED: 09:00 06 November 2020 | UPDATED: 16:58 06 November 2020

Poppies by LeSpleen, commissioned by Barham Community Library. Francis Henry

Poppies by LeSpleen, commissioned by Barham Community Library. Francis Henry

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People passing through Sudbury will catch sight of a poppy mural painted on a library door for Remembrance Day.

Poppies by LeSpleen, commissioned by Barham Community Library. Francis HenryPoppies by LeSpleen, commissioned by Barham Community Library. Francis Henry

Artist Alexandra Drasso, known as LeSpleen, was commissioned by Friends of Barham Community Library (FBCL) to liven up the area.

The 30-year-old, who lives in Pasture Road, has already completed a series of murals in Butlers Green, near Barham Park, depicting the Barham Bear.

Commissioned by Paul Lorber, chair of FBCL, LeSpleen’s sprayed her art onto a disused garage during the first lockdown, thanking NHS workers and key workers toiling through the pandemic.

“We thought that we would do something in relation to Remembrance Day on November 11 and agreed to paint poppies around the area,” she said. “I’ve painted some on the library door and plan to do more around Sudbury with spray cans.”

Sudbury mural artist LeSpleen with her sister Francesca Drasso. Francis HenrySudbury mural artist LeSpleen with her sister Francesca Drasso. Francis Henry

LeSpleen moved to London from her native Italy eight years ago, speaking barely any English, and has slowly built up her reputation for bright and colourful murals.

“I approached Barham Library. At the time, I was commissioned miles away in east London but in my area there’s none. So I knocked on the doors of private owners with bare walls. I said to them ‘I saw your wall, I love it, I want to do something with it’.

“Why go outside London where there is already lots of art and not in my area where there is none?”

She hopes to secure lottery funding or grants to paint her murals in central Wembley and its borders.

Murals by LeSpleen, commissioned by Barham Community Library. Francis HenryMurals by LeSpleen, commissioned by Barham Community Library. Francis Henry

“Permission to paint murals is never the problem, it’s the money,” she said. “Murals are one of the most expensive types of art.

“We need money to bring art to the community. It’s needed, really needed. The moment you put art you are revitalising an area.

“This is my goal to bring importance to the places where people live.

“Murals can really change lives, can change emotions. I just want to capture a little beauty for people.”

Murals by Sudbury artist LeSpleen, commissioned by Barham Community Library. Francis HenryMurals by Sudbury artist LeSpleen, commissioned by Barham Community Library. Francis Henry

Mr Lorber said: “Barham Community Library wanted to support this year’s Poppies Appeal in a positive way because we knew that the Covid situation limited British Legion activities.

“We decided to donate part of our shop sales and show our support by commissioning LeSpleen to create a new Poppies Mural in Barham Park.”

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