Leamington to host giant mural recognising local key workers

Creative Leamington[2]

A giant mural recognising the immense challenges and heroic efforts of local frontline workers during the Covid outbreak is to be installed in Leamington town centre.

Creative Leamington, a recently-established community interest company, is spearheading The Frontline Project which will see the piece of public art go up in South Town as a lasting tribute to local key workers.

The arresting image of typical frontline roles will cover approximately 3m by 3m of a wall in Spencer Yard and will be brought to life with first-hand accounts of heroes working in those positions during the pandemic.

Chris Knight and his wife, Martina Bussi, co-founders of Creative Leamington, came up with the idea and worked with Danny Coyne, a local illustrator and motion graphic designer, to create the artwork which will be painted by local street art organisation BRINK Contemporary Arts.

BID Leamington has been supporting Creative Leamington with the project and is sponsoring the floor stickers which will pave the way from the Parade and through the town centre to the mural.

The mural will be part of a series of murals to be painted in Spencer Yard in a collaboration between Creative Leamington and BRINK Contemporary Arts to turn it into a street art gallery.

Ahead of the mural going up in September, pavement stickers will start appearing around the town centre featuring QR codes which will take people to The Frontline Project website where they will be able to read the personal stories of local key workers.

They include a radiographer, doctor, respiratory consultant, carer, social worker, delivery driver, teacher, refuse collector, pharmacist, security guard and postal worker.

Chris said: “The idea for the mural came from us wanting to transfer the energy that we all had clapping on our doorsteps to creating a lasting tribute to the frontline workers which would acknowledge and maintain our huge appreciation.

“We wanted the image to be interactive so people could access the stories and testimonies of local people who had worked so hard through the pandemic.”

Danny said: “We wanted to expand on NHS heroes and also acknowledge people doing everyday work.  We are surrounded by key workers and it was important to represent and recognise those people from all walks of life who were on the frontline during lockdown.

“We came up with the concept of a group hero shot. It is like a comic book aesthetic but showing the key workers pushing on against the spread of the virus.  The word to best describe them in the design is fortitude.”

Stephanie Kerr, executive director of BID Leamington, said: “We are proud to support Creative Leamington with The Frontline Project and will be providing some of the floor and window graphics and literature that people will begin to see around town.

“The project is hugely relevant to our town centre business members, many of whom have been hugely impacted by the Covid pandemic, and the challenge of managing our response is still very much at the front of our minds.

“The mural gives a tangible representation and as well as celebrating our local heroes, the personal stories give them a voice and the wider community the opportunity to show their lasting appreciation.”

The project has been supported with £1,000 from the Leamington Town Council Community Grant Fund and is now seeking further donations of up to £2,000 which can be made via The Frontline Project website.

Other local key workers are being encouraged to share their stories via the website, and a colouring book is also available to download for people to draw their local heroes depicted in the mural.