Mosaic Tribute To Dame Anita Roddick

Created and unveiled by Chiswick artist Baroness von Reichardt

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Baroness von Reichardt, founder of Chiswick's Treatment Rooms, unveiled a small but very significant mosaic last week. To coincide with the first day of spring, a new piece was presented to an enthusiastic crowd in memory of Dame Anita Roddick who died last year from a brain haemorrhage aged 64.

In September 2006 the Baroness, met with Dame Anita Roddick to discuss the “Death Row Art Show”, an exhibition about capital punishment, the Baroness was hoping to curate in London.

They shared stories about their imprisoned pen pals and Dame Anita told the Baroness about Herman Wallace and the Angola 3. The “Angola Three” are activists who organized a Black Panther Chapter inside Louisiana State Penitentiary, Angola, USA, to fight against sexual slavery, drugs commerce and racism inside America’s bloodiest prison. They charged with murder and sent to solitary confinement. Two of them remain there, over 35 years later. Anita was close friends with the Angola 3 and a fearless fighter for these men. Today the Baroness is the main spokesperson for Angola3-London – an artist collective working to free the Angola 3.

The mosaic was unveiled as the first official act of this newly formed collective. This new and intricate piece of ceramic work, included hand made porcelain tiles inlaid with a quote of Herman Wallace’s ‘The essence of your life is only measured in the way you can help others”.

The Treatment Rooms are now starting an ambitious project to cover the middle section of the back of the house in time for a summer solstice unveiling in June. This will coincide with a major art exhibition coming to London entitled ‘The House that Herman Built’. A collaborative piece between the artist Jackie Sumel and Herman Wallace. What kind of house does a man who has lived in a 6” x 9” box for over thirty five years dream of? The answer to this question has manifested in this remarkable show. The ultimate house of resistance.

"I believe in the Frank Lloyd Wright quote, art for arts sake is the philosophy of the well fed" said the Baroness. "Now more than ever we need art with a meaning, art with a message and art that truly has the power to bring about social change."

February 12, 2008