As part of the ongoing ‘Keep Swindon Town Centre Clean and Tidy’ campaign, which officially launched last month with the first town centre community spring clean, the inSwindon BID ‘Clean and Well-Maintained Working Group’ have announced the launch of a new mural project for the Aspen House hoarding on Regent Street – a gateway into Swindon town centre from Regent Circus.
Working in partnership with the inSwindon BID working group, Artsite based in Theatre Square, and SCAN, Swindon Climate Action Network an independent group of people from across Swindon, will be hosting a workshop on the 8th June in the Parade followed by further engagement programmes with local community groups with a view to having the mural complete for the end of June.
The Aspen House hoarding mural project is a way of using the arts to help reenergise the town centre whilst giving an opportunity to initiate the re-emergence of community arts in Swindon town centre. Artsite, who will be leading on the project, has collaborated with many charities and organisations over the years, using the arts to make links within the community as part of regeneration or mental health issues.
Two artists have been commissioned for the project which is themed‘My town, My world’. Martin Travers, born in Swindon but lives now in the Netherlands runs two educational programmes in Amsterdam and Kathmandu. Martin is highly experienced in a wide range of disciplines including murals, fine art, scenic and specialist decorative painting but focuses mainly on street art as he’s travelled much of the world painting large scale public murals and giving workshops within the community. Martin will be working and mentoring local artist Peter Cowdy as part of the project who has many years’ experience of mural painting.
Sally Taylor from Artiste is delighted with the new community project: “The town was renowned in the 70’s and 80’s for the arts and especially the murals of Ken White. I see the collaboration of Artsite, SCAN, the inSwindon BID Working Group, and the community as a great and positive way of making our town centre a more vibrant destination. My hope is that this project will initiate more murals and art projects around Swindon, providing opportunities for local artists to work with communities to get creative. There is a wealth of talent in the art scene in the town which needs to be developed and promoted, so that graduates don’t just look to Bristol as a place to live.”
As project leads for the ‘Keep Swindon Town Centre Clean and Tidy’ campaign, funding for the mural will come from inSwindon BID, The Brunel Shopping Centre and other local businesses.
Rachael Youd, inSwindon BID Business Development Manager commented: “This mural project has been in discussion for several months as the Aspen House hoarding is a great opportunity to showcase local creativity and artistic talent. Working with the right artists is vital to ensure the perfect creative concept that would help bring the community project to life and we are delighted to have Martin and Peter on board.
We all know the make-up of the town centre is changing and as a BID we’re conscious of what more we can be doing to encourage people to support their town and to shop local by creating new experiences. By having a Swindon born international artist, to paint a mural in a prominent part of the town centre, mentoring a local artist, is an opportunity for us to demonstrate Swindon’s talent and promote the town centre asthe town centre as a destination of creativity.”
If you’d like more information on the mural, would like to make a contribution to the project, or know more on how to get involved, please contact Rachael Youd on 01793 485 523 or firstname.lastname@example.org.