Lecturer paints mural of black woman on the set of BBC1 soap EastEnders
A University of Portsmouth lecturer has created a large mural of a black woman on the set of EastEnders to reflect modern day UK.
Illustration lecturer Neequaye Dsane – known as the artist Dreph – painted the 5-metre high and 2-metre wide wall mural opposite the famous ‘Queen Vic’ pub at the Elstree Studios set of the BBC1 soap opera. It took him several days to complete before cast and crew returned to filming recently after lockdown.
Dreph, who works in the Faculty of Creative & Cultural Industries, is best known for his large-scale murals and oil paintings that can be found across the world. His subjects range from strangers to friends and family and are often a tribute to living unsung heroes and heroines, including a series of portraits of black women in London.
Dreph said he remembers watching the very first EastEnders episode 3 decades ago, so he was pleased that soap has found a way to reflect modern day UK in a time when so many are finding ways to voice anti-racism, and that his work will become the backdrop to future storylines in the show.
EastEnders Executive Producer Jon Sen said Dreph’s mural is an exciting and timely addition to the show that reflects events taking place in the real world. He said anti-racism is something that the cast, crew and producers care passionately about, and the show is well known for tackling social issues and celebrating diversity and inclusivity through its characters and storylines.
The mural was done before cast and crew returned to set. Credit: BBC