Neighbours from in and around Nouncells Cross in Stroud celebrated the completion of the second stage of the Community Mural Art project this morning.
The Artwork was funded thanks to a grant from the Arts Council’s Let’s Create Jubilee Fund, which aims to ensure that creativity plays an important role in the jubilee year. Middle of the Hill Community Group, who secured the funding and commissioned the work, hope it will encourage more people to use the pathway through Nouncells Cross, thereby supporting Active Travel (walking and cycling) and discouraging anti-social behaviour.
The first stage of the project was unveiled at the well-attended Jubilee celebrations in June and this month saw the completion of the second stage, two further murals in the second of the dark and unloved looking tunnels on the estate. All four murals reflect the industrial and social history of the immediate and wider area and each is very different in style, so there is something to appeal to everyone.
At the small gathering members of the community had the opportunity to thank Stroud-based artist Rose Illingworth (Director of Art for Action) for the work she has done and for the vibrant, lasting, legacy she has created in Nouncells Cross.
Feedback from the community, who were encouraged to put forward ideas for inclusion in the murals and to get involved in the creation of them, has been very positive and the final results very well received. A resident said: “Rose has done a smashing job. The murals look great and they have really brightened things up. We have really got to know Rose during the time she has been working on this and we liked the way we had the chance to input and be involved.”
Rose Illingworth added: “It has been a pleasure working with the Nouncells Cross community and a really good opportunity as an artist to work in my home town. I have been running mural projects for over 12 years now and after every project I see how invaluable art is at rejuvenating public spaces and bringing communities together, and at the same time giving a sense of pride to locals involved of all ages.”
Speaking about the success of the project and the support Stroud Valley Artspace have given the Community Group, Denise Nolson, Secretary of Middle of the Hill Community Group, said: “Seeing this project turn from a few rough notes on paper to paint on walls has been amazing, and it couldn’t have happened without the support of some very lovely people.
“Huge thanks to Stroud District Council for letting us take over their walls, to Stroud Valley Artspace for guiding us through the commissioning process, to Laura from Stroud Town Council, and most importantly to every local person, age five and above, who came along on workshop days and picked up a paintbrush with such enthusiasm, we had lots of laughter and it was a pleasure to see you painting. Finally, I just want to add that for me watching Rose create the Murals over the last two months has been an absolute joy, she’s created something very special and we’re all delighted with the finished artwork.”
If you are interested in seeing the artwork, Middle of the Hill Community Group would love you to take a stroll through Nouncells Cross and maybe call in at the Community Room for a cup of tea or coffee when the foodhub is open on Tuesday and Thursdays 11am – 1pm and Thursdays 5 – 7pm.