Two enormous street art murals recently installed at the new skate park in the grounds of Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre have been attracting the attention of passers-by and visitors to the park.
The installation marks the completion of a community art project which involved over 30 children and young people and was part-funded by a community grant award from South Gloucestershire Council.
The project started during the October half-term with local children and young people working with two experienced mural and graffiti artists (Tom Sledmore and Jack Tierney from The Paintsmiths in Bristol), alongside Graham Baker, Bradley Stoke Town Council’s youth development worker.
An initial half-day workshop based at the skate park comprised an introduction to mural and graffiti art, including an extremely popular ‘have a go’ session. Over twenty young people participated and many proudly took home their own artworks on small 4’ x 2’ boards.
On Saturday 28th January, there was a further street art project session, this time focusing on the designs for the two large pieces. The two artists worked with the young people and some exciting designs started to take shape. The designs were then shared and discussed more widely in youth work sessions and further suggestions made.
A final design session took place at the skate park on a late afternoon in mid-March and was immediately followed by what Graham describes as “a whole and extremely long weekend of painting”. More than ten young people worked with Graham and the two experienced artists, in accordance with the previously agreed designs, to produce two large and impressive pieces of art, both 10 metres wide by 2.5 metres high.
The extensive use of stencilling techniques within the designs enabled excellent levels of participation and ownership, and the young people picked up a wide range of skills. The painting took place at the Jubilee Centre, to help ‘wind proof’ the event. This location also enabled the young people to have an indoor space for preparing the stencils.
With the help of volunteers, the completed art pieces were installed at the skate park during the final week of the Easter school holiday. They have since generated even more interest in carrying further community art projects of a similar nature.
There will a further chance to ‘have a go’ at street and mural art during the Bradley Stoke Community Festival on Saturday 10th June.
Photos: 1 Bradley Stoke Town council’s youth development & participation worker Graham Baker (centre) completes the installation of one of the panels, watched by (from left) local young people James, Ash and Cody and (on the right) Tom and Jack of The Paintsmiths. 2 Panel facing away from the skate park. 3 Panel facing towards the skate park.
This article originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on pages 20 & 21). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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