In a social housing complex overlooking the Grand Union Canal, there’s a one-bed flat filled with artwork. Every last inch of Gerald ‘Gerry’ Dalton’s place is crammed with his own amazing creations, made over several decades.
His magical museum – known as Gerry’s Pompeii – contains hundreds of statues and miniatures, including likenesses of Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth I, and Hercules. Over the course of thirty years, Gerry also created a 50-metre mural, and transformed his Westbourne Park garden into a sculpture park.
Gerry sadly passed away this year aged 83, and now there’s a campaign to protect the incredible work that he made in his lifetime. Alongside his neighbours, Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker, former Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota, sculptor Richard Wentworth and Geffrye Museum of the Home’s curator Louis Platman are among those calling for his imaginative kingdom to be preserved.
Notting Hill Genesis (the housing association responsible for the property) will take ownership of Gerry’s Pompeii on October 31. Campaigners are urging them to reconsider clearing the house straight away, and want to find a solution to display Gerry’s art to the public for years to come.
Since Gerry’s death, his family have been working with freelance curator Sasha Galitzine to run free tours around this one-of-a-kind world. Over 1000 people have visited so far, and campaigners have also set up a crowdfunding page. Any money donated will help with rent and maintenance costs for the flat if the housing association agrees to let Gerry’s Pompeii stay where it is. Otherwise, any funds raised will help to pay for the art to be safely stored and archived.
You can find out more about Gerry’s Pompeii, get a sneak peek of the hundreds of treasures hidden in the house and back the fundraiser here.
All photographs: Jasper Fry