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At the heart of our Learning Space is a new mural by Irish illustrator, Laura Callaghan. Her vibrant, dense artwork focuses on the lives, labours and rituals of those who identify as female and non-binary and connects to our major themes for 2019.

Part fashion illustration, part satire, Laura creates images that are ostensibly bright and beautiful but also cultivate a sense of mystery or unease. This new work, which is Callaghan’s largest commission to date, takes inspiration from the depth and symbolism of the multilayered Mexican murals of the 1920s and the social commentary of Grayson Perry’s tapestries. It is filled with fearless characters of all ages, ethnicities, genders and body types that interact with each other and the symbolic objects around them. Every object, scene and interaction acts as a reference to each of our 2019 programmes, and highlights some of the key themes including identity, representation, gender, fairy tales, work and subculture.

Laura Callaghan is an Irish illustrator based in South East London. She graduated with an MA in Illustration from Kingston University in 2010 and her work is hand drawn using a mixture of watercolour, indian ink and isograph pen.

Laura Callaghan, 2019 Mural, 2019. Photo: Rob Battersby

Laura Callaghan, 2019 Mural, 2019. Photo: Rob Battersby.