Artists spend 20 years painting colourful 'tattoos' on the front of their house

People who live on the street have both praised and criticised the artwork
People who live on the street have praised the artwork that took 20 years to complete (Image credit: Google)

A home has been covered top to bottom in a brightly-coloured mosaic telling the story of the owner’s life.

Artist Carrie Reichardt, 55, covered the five-bed home in Chiswick, West London, with vibrant images reminiscent of tattoos on a body.

People who live on the street have both praised the artwork, claiming it brings happiness and tourism to the area, while some dismiss it as “graffiti”.

What is the mural of?

The mosaic home is made from an over an estimated million tiles involving countless hours of work from artists from around the world.

Reichardt told the Sun: “It's autobiographical and every bit tells a story of my life at a specific time.”

It features a scene depicting letters written by Carrie to a prisoner on death row who she became friends with before he was executed.

It also has a giant mosaic recreation of the famous Hokusai Wave, a huge octopus, occult symbols, political messages, South American-inspired traditional art, and even The Simpsons references.

Locals say artwork 'cheers up the area'

The house features a giant mosaic recreation of the famous Hokusai Wave

The house features a giant mosaic recreation of the famous Hokusai Wave (Image credit: Google)

The artwork garnered mixed reactions from neighbours, but the reaction has been largely positive.

Neighbour Oliver Doherty says it a landmark and he is happy to live near it. "People love it,” he added. “I'll see them wandering around looking for it and whenever anyone comes to stay I make sure to show them."

Another fan is 66-year-old Graham Thomas, said: "It's unusual and distinct - I like the design and just really think it cheers up the area."

However, Judy Parsons, 77, said: "It’s graffiti, isn’t it? It’s juvenile. If I lived any closer I wouldn’t like it - I feel sorry for the people who live next door."

Why was planning not needed for the artwork?

It is not uncommon for councils to allow artwork on the side of buildings to remain without gaining planning permission, especially if no formal complaints are submitted like in this case.

A spokesperson for Ealing council stated: “While planning permission was not obtained for the mural, it was also never reported as a breach of planning and therefore no enforcement investigation was carried out.

"Enforcement action needs to be taken within four years and therefore it would not be possible for the council to take such action now due to the passage of time.”

A large mural painted on a Grade-II listed building in Preston was allowed to remain even though the painter didn't initially gain listed building consent to do this.

And earlier last month a couple in a Scottish village were told they could keep their mural featuring the 'Crazy Frog' character on a wall in front of their house, despite breaching planning rules, which was justified by the council as the house was not in a conservation area.

Sam Webb

Sam is based in Coventry and has been a news reporter for nearly 20 years. His work has featured in the Mirror, The Sun, MailOnline, the Independent, and news outlets throughout the world.  As a copywriter, he has written for clients as diverse as Saint-Gobain, Michelin, Halfords Autocentre, Great British Heating, and Irwin Industrial Tools. During the pandemic, he converted a van into a mini-camper and is currently planning to convert his shed into an office and Star Wars shrine.