Updated: Jul 29, 2018
Welcome the the collective mayhem that is our mural! It is located in the Eric Hendrie park in Mastrick, Aberdeen spanning 32.5 metres of concrete surfaced wall. It's location allows for a huge amount of public reaction space - introducing topics of our own interests while seeking the opinions of those who travel through or spend time in this park regularly. This was a project brought to my attention by my good friend and studio saviour - Leila Kleineidam.
Leila is a wonderful German born artist studying alongside me at Gray's School of Art, her work weaves together her concerns for the environment our collective health and an autobiographical depiction of her own physical and mental health concerns in a quickly changing world. Her work has always challenged my thinking as well as sharing some of my concerns for the communication between people and their environments, the technology they use, the politics and world stresses they are subjected to. Our work (I hope she would agree) could risk being very heavy handed and preachy should it not be translated in a way that does not aim to harm - but instead seeks to help.
It is for this reason that this mural contains such character, not only because Leila has a wonderful imagination but because we are both aware that if we do not find ways to laugh during our approach to certain topics then we will surely cry. While this is a fun piece of community art to brighten a space - it is also a large opportunity to open up topics with a group that may not always be encouraged to view art introspectively and reflectively. I certainly don't want to suggest the people that we spoke to were not responsive - if anything I found I had some of the most interesting feedback about our work and what the community may want to see in the future - namely MORE mural, especially one that allowed for a public involvement.
This experience was a test of stamina and perseverance but overall so much fun! It allowed a limitless and unrestricted way of working that helped Leila and I let loose after a long semester. Hopefully this mural will last many years yet and be seen by as many people as is possible.
Please do visit Leila's Website also :
Here is some footage of the wall being worked on shot by Adam Arfaoui