After about 11 hours of painting, this weekend saw the completion of the Wyrley Birch Community Mural!
The decision to create a community mural came from the imagination of a couple of community residents and their desire to physically change their council estate for the better.
Designing something that included a lot of different ideas, represented a community of around 2000 people, enabled local involvement, as well as looking good was a real challenge!
Painting the wall was also one of the best pieces of detached community work I have ever experienced, and enabled a lot of great conversations with passers-by who you would normally receive just a nod or a ‘y’alright?’ from.
It was also a great way to chat with a lot of men in their 20s and 30s from the estate. Truth be told, I don’t always find this group the easiest to engage with, and never expected that public art would enable this opportunity. I’m only sorry I couldn’t oblige them by adding a large Aston Villa crest to the edge of the wall.
The mural wouldn’t have been possible without an awesome team of volunteers - particularly the kids from Wednesday Club, who painted the base coat during one of their youth club sessions and later provided the hand-printed leaves to the branches of the mural’s tree.
I am especially pleased with how well the mural has turned out, but the real joy comes from seeing it appreciated and owned by members of the local community. It’s awesome to see the words ‘Wyrley Birch’ finally represented in a positive, beautiful way that people can be proud of and feel part of.