Forgotten Oliver Postgate artwork rediscovered after 25 years at Kent

A forgotten piece of artwork by Oliver Postgate has been rediscovered at the University after being hidden from view for 25 years.

The artwork in question (full image below) was found on the other side of a mural that hangs in Eliot College at the University’s Canterbury Campus. The mural is a piece called A Canterbury Chronicle, which depicts the history of Canterbury from 40,000BC to the present day.

This has been on display in the college since 1992 after the Master of Eliot College at the time, Shirley Barlow, commissioned Oliver Postgate to produce a work after a generous donation from Major Stanley Holland, a long-time friend and benefactor of the college, for a new art work.

However, once the art work was installed as a triptych the two ‘doors’ of the left and right panels had never been closed, thus hiding the cover for the work. This is a piece of work quite different to the mural but unmistakably in the style of Oliver Postgate.

One panel has a drawing of a statue of Thomas Becket and another of Henry II and in the bottom right hand corner is a cartouche of two mice holding a scroll confirming the work to be by Oliver Postgate and dated 1992.

The new artwork only came to light after the current Master of the Eliot College, Stephen Burke, was approached by a member of the housekeeping team at the University and told the mural needed cleaning.

In the process of untying the ropes that kept the panels open and folding them back to clean the entire installation the new artwork was discovered.