A RHU artist has turned the clock back almost quarter of a century by re-creating a mural he painted in the 1990s for one of Glasgow’s best-known Indian restaurants.
Richard Dawson’s new 21-foot mural was installed at the Ashoka West End in Kelvingrove last week.
The original mural, installed in 1994, was painted over in a redecoration of the Argyle Street premises several years ago – but a series of old photographs of the painting persuaded the restaurant’s current operators to try and track down its creator in the hope of bringing it back to life.
Richard contacted the Advertiser with news of his latest commission – or re-commission – after he featured in the ‘Looking Back’ section of our February 16 issue.
He said: “Charan Gill, the Ashoka’s founder, asked me to create a mural 23 years ago for his flagship restaurant, and it was the best I’ve ever done, but the whole thing was destroyed in a refurbishment quite a few years ago.
“Then, about a couple of months ago, I got a call from the guy who’s taken over the running of the Ashoka West End, who had been trying to track down the original mural’s creator, and since then I’ve been recreating it in three parts over three separate walls in my flat.
“Apparently customers have been coming in over the years and saying ‘I wish you could get the old mural back’.”
The restaurant’s manager, Mannu Gopi, said: “When the new franchisee, Shyamal Nayek, took over the restaurant, he wanted to give it a facelift.
“We spoke to Charan Gill, and he suggested recreating an aspect of the restaurant’s history. I went out to see Richard at his studio near Helensburgh and that’s when we decided to give him the job. Because the restaurant has such a great history there’s still a good chunk of customers who remember the last mural and are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Richard’s new version. Before Monday I’d only seen it once, when it was about 80 per cent complete, but it looked fantastic.”