A COMMUNITY gallery displaying tongue-in-cheek caricatures of prominent politicians is now open for public viewing.

When the pandemic began, musician Malcolm Atkins decided that he wanted to create a space where locals could engage in topical discussions, from environmental issues to Brexit, and the rise of populism.

The playful gallery is held in Mr Atkin’s garden at 1 Westbury Crescent near Rose Hill, with a giant mural painted on the side of his house.

The mural, painted by Central St Martin’s trained artist Alex Singleton, is titled ‘Ship of Fools’ and contains caricatures of prominent Conservatives, such as Theresa May, Boris Johnson, and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Underneath the mural, a pond, shaped like Great Britain lies – called ‘The Brexit Tears Garden’.

Surrounding the pond are what Mr Atkins referred to as ‘memorials of what we are losing to Brexit.’

These are crosses, that act like wooden gravestones, carved with messages about what has been ‘lost’.

The gravestones created by Melissa Lintern, an artist who usually spends her time creating murals for festivals and abroad in Panama, are inscribed with phrases such as ‘Human Rights’, ‘Freedom of Movement’ and ‘Food Standards’.

Mr Atkins: “We get a lot of people who don’t agree, but it gives us a starting point for discussion, and it’s not an aggressive starting point.

“A lot of people come in and like the fact that it is satirical.”

The gallery is environmentally conscious, with artists using recycled materials to make much of the artwork.

Veering round to the front of the garden, there is a wall named ‘The Top of the Populists’ – where artists would create portraits based on who was the ‘top populist’ that week.

Features included Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon, Boris Johnson’s former chief advisor Dominic Cummings, and ‘Henry the Eighth as a first Brexiteer’.

Mr Singleton said that a gallery owner reached out to him and a number of artists to help him fulfill his ‘vision’ of creating a community space where popular discussions could be held.

Former President Donald Trump is showcased in the large section of the gallery named ‘The Museum of Contemporary Populism’ in several cartoon drawings.

Sticking out of Mr Atkins house is a surfboard that was installed in memory of Bill Heine, owner of the Headington Shark house, who passed away in 2019.

At the front of the house is a community library, where individuals can exchange books is also placed.

If you would like to visit the Westbury Community Gallery, you can visit between 2pm and 4pm every Sunday. For more on the gallery, visit instagram.com/westburypeoplesgallery/