Mitcham’s Models grew out of the desire by local residents to rebrand their residential area which had become known as ‘The Staples Roundabout’ after the, not very salubrious, office supplier’s presence on the gyratory system. In the 1950’s the area was well known for the presence of another retailer, Mitcham’s Drapery which had a more glamorous appeal. It was felt that an art project could both engage and revitalize the local identity and that designs from both local artists and key stakeholder groups could be displayed in the windows of local retailers with the effect of increasing the profile and footfall to the area.
The success of “Mitcham’s Models” led by Paddy Mannion, drew support and funds for a second year where 12 nationally recognized poets created site-specific works and local professional artist also lent their expertise to a further collection. An auction was established to raise funds for the Blue Smile charity.