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Stunning new mural created along Ipswich’s waterfront to highlight community empowerment

PUBLISHED: 11:34 03 August 2020 | UPDATED: 13:56 03 August 2020

Artist Philip Melling, Daisy Lees Co Director of Art Eat Festival, and artist EVEWRIGHT Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Artist Philip Melling, Daisy Lees Co Director of Art Eat Festival, and artist EVEWRIGHT Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

A stunning vibrant and thought-provoking community-designed mural is bringing a splash of colour to Ipswich Waterfront.

The mural has been organised by Art Eat  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDThe mural has been organised by Art Eat Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The new mural sits on boardings outside the old RW Paul building on Ipswich Waterfront and was managed by those behind the popular Art Eat Festival.

The design was created by multi-disciplinary visual installation artist EVEWRIGHT.

“We worked with EVEWRIGHT last year on a mural project,” said Iona Hodgson from Art Eat Events.

“We wanted to do something with young people from Ipswich.”

Volunteers spent five days completing the mural Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDVolunteers spent five days completing the mural Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The final design was conceived through a series of workshops held over Zoom with youngsters creating sections that EVEWRIGHT brought together.

The mural was also inspired by the upcoming Power of Stories exhibition at Christchurch Mansion which focuses on the power of storytelling and will feature costumes from the Black Panther film.

It had been hoped that the mural and the exhibition would coincide but unfortunately, due to the coronavirus the exhibition since been delayed.

However, it is hoped that the mural will be able to feature in the exhibition as an example of community empowerment particularly for those from BAME backgrounds.

The mural coming to life on Ipswich's waterfront Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDThe mural coming to life on Ipswich's waterfront Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

“There were so many influences,” said EVEWRIGHT.

“The Black Panther film and we also took it back to the Black Panther Movement in America.

Each young person created their own element taking inspiration from issues affecting them with everything from LGBT + issues to Black Lives Matter influencing their creations.

“There was no one issue that was too dominant,” said EVEWRIGHT.

Councillors Glenn Chishom and Carole Jones with the new mural Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDCouncillors Glenn Chishom and Carole Jones with the new mural Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

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Once the design was complete young people from a range of local youth groups were then invited to go down to the waterfront to help complete the final design.

In total, 20 young people aged between 15 and 25 spent five days helping to paint the mural.

“They have got a lot out of it,” said Ms Hodgson.

The mural was completed in just five days  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDThe mural was completed in just five days Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

“Some of them are refugees and others are from all over the place.”

Money for the project came from the National Lottery Community Fund.

Response to the completed mural has been very positive with members of the public having spoken with those painting the mural as they walked by.

“It was quite a difficult task,” said EVEWRIGHT.

Councillors Glenn Chishom and Carole Jones. Mural being painted in support of Ipswich Museum' Power of Stories Exhibition  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDCouncillors Glenn Chishom and Carole Jones. Mural being painted in support of Ipswich Museum' Power of Stories Exhibition Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

“But it is so striking.

“It was a really good project.”

“It’s about building community. It’s about community cohesion,” said Ms Hodgson

“All of the young people have got so much out of it.”

Volunteers completing the mural's design  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDVolunteers completing the mural's design Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Ms Hodgson said that the team were hoping to do more murals in the future.

Meanwhile the Art Eat Festival itself is due to return next year.

More information about the festival, including how to get involved in future murals can be found on the Art Eat website.


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