Blog by Helen Willmott
We often talk about the power of art and culture to change people and their communities, looking at how creative activity can improve wellbeing, decrease loneliness, bring communities together and provide a point of reflection on both our history and current issues. However, we also know that art can physically transform the places where we live, work and play, and we’ve been involved in a number of projects recently that do just that.
Over the last year, the CKHL project has been working towards commissioning four new community murals, created by artists from across the country (and a couple of locals!). After extensive consultation and workshops, on the way to the office this morning I drove past a vibrant red wall, with the Corby skyline emerging as the artist did his magic with spray paint, where only last week was dirty, flaking off-white paint.
We’ve also been working on similar murals in Wellingborough, with youth-led artwork at the Hemmingwell Centre and St Mark’s Church already completed and plans for the embankment and Eastfield Park in progress. And sometimes, art can temporarily transform a space, like the Knife Angel’s visit to Corby a couple of months ago or the day when the inflatable Colourscape filled Queensway Park with colour.
Mural at St Mark’s Church
This type of activity not only transforms the physical space, but it can brighten someone’s day, bringing smiles and make areas more welcoming. More importantly, it creates a feeling that the area in which they live has not been forgotten and can even improve public safety, particularly for our children and young people, by removing graffiti that encourages risky behaviour.
We all have different tastes, so we might disagree on whether we like the art or not, but in my opinion the positive effects for the community outweigh all of that.
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Published 18th August 2022