Burngreave on Canvas

by Kate Atkinson

People of all ages have been expressing their views of Burngreave in paint at the Ashram, Spital Hill, resulting in two wonderfully colourful, cheerful and lively murals.

The budding artists have been discovering their creative talents in workshops organised by Burngreave artist Patrick Amber (pictured right) and Eleanor Parsons, co-ordinator of the Ashram/New Roots Café.

“The aim was to open art up to everyone, so you didn’t have to be an artist to get involved,” Patrick said.

The first mural was inspired by the carnival of light and the second, larger mural was based on the theme of ‘living and growing in Burngreave’. The multicoloured painting was an effort to represent the multicultural nature of Burngreave, and depicts the lively character of Ellesmere Green.

“We tried to get people talking about what they liked about the area, so we could get a positive portrayal of Burngreave in the mural,” Patrick explained.

“It has been fantastic,” Patrick said, “The best thing about making the murals was it allowed ordinary people of all ages to get involved. Most of their experiences of art at school were negative, so their confidence in being creative was a bit low. But when they got into this they realised they could enjoy making art.”

The plan is to display the murals somewhere public. As I left the Ashram, there was even talk of displaying them outside the New Roots Café, which features in the paintings.

More ongoing creative workshops, including mask making with cardboard boxes, are planned every Tuesday and Wednesday, 4–6pm from 2nd August, this is subject to funding being granted.

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