People living in Clanmil homes at Weavers Grange, Newtownards have unveiled a new wall painting depicting their shared interests as a community.
With the help of NI Alternatives and community artists Blaze FX, they came together to produce a piece of art that tells their story.
During a series of workshops, residents of all ages had a chance to talk about what living in Weavers Grange means to them, discussing the links to the factory that was once located on the site, and the history of the surrounding countryside including Scrabo Tower.
They also talked about their ideas on how their shared interests could be represented on the piece of artwork. The results included a kettle, to symbolize the get-togethers that people enjoy in the outdoor communal area; fruit and vegetables depicting the community garden; and a message to encourage safe driving and be aware of children playing.
The workshops helped generate ideas for storyboards and sketches which were then painted by residents using spray paint, with help from Blaze FX, a group of Northern Ireland artists who create graffiti inspired art for commercial and community-based projects.
Local resident Christopher said:
“Being a part of this project has helped to bring the community together and share experiences and our hopes for the future.”
Linzi Webb from Clanmil added:
“At Clanmil, our purpose is to provide homes for people to live well and part of that is about encouraging people to be proud of where they live and celebrate all that’s good about their community. The artwork reflects the history of the area as well as the hopes and ambitions of the people who live here.”
Pete Wray from NI Alternatives commented:
“We really enjoyed getting to know the people who live at Weavers Grange and hearing their ideas on what could be included in the wall art project. The finished mural is proof that when people come together they can find common ground. Well done to all involved.”
Mayor of Ards and North Down Karen Douglas officially opened the artwork and said:
“This is a fantastic piece of community art and it’s wonderful to see what happens when residents come together to create something they can all enjoy. Well done to Clanmil and everyone involved in bringing this to fruition.”
Through its Community Fund, Clanmil have supported a number of initiatives to make Weavers Grange a great place to live, including the creation of raised beds in the communal garden to grow fruit and vegetables, seating for an outdoor communal area and an intergenerational festive pen pal scheme. There have also been community fun days at Easter and Halloween.