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In Malden Manor we have an amazing open meadow alongside the Hogsmill river. However this meadow is separated from a large residential area by a daunting concrete railway bridge that has been used for many years as a graffiti hot spot. This has put people and families off using this meadow (which is the site where the famous painting Ophelia by artist Millais was painted). We want to transform the underneath of this bridge by working with the community (including students from local schools, the scouts, the local church, mosque and rotary club) to design and create a vibrant mosaic celebrating the local community. We will find out if we've got planning permission for the project by mid August. If we don't get it, then the campaign will be cancelled and no pledges will be collected.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
The residents of Malden Manor have a brilliant space called Six Acre Meadow, which is a underused oasis hidden behind an urban estate. People hardly know this space exists, and they don't know of its historical importance. The mural and accompanying publicity will unlock and draw attention to this underused natural space. Making mosaics using recycled tiles has proved over the years that areas blighted by graffiti have been transformed, graffiti is no longer an issue in these areas and communities feel safer using these spaces. The project will be kick started with children in local schools designing the mosaic images with the help of our experienced artist. Once the winning designs have been chosen, we will hold workshops in various local social spaces involving everyone in the community to build the mosaic. We will transfer the design onto the wall of the bridge and paint the surrounding area in a similar style to the final design. We aim to create a buzz and a tourist destination.
Steps to get it done:
Many people see Kingston upon Thames as a wealthy and affluent area. However, there are pockets of poverty. A study by Kingston University recently found that many residents in Malden Manor are socially isolated and feel unsafe in the community and open spaces available to them. This project will help to change this by bringing the community together to help create access to safe natural open space and a sense of belonging and pride in the community. We hope that this buzz will create a place where more people and families will want to spend time recreationally, which will have a knock on impact in supporting the local shops and businesses in the area. There is strong public support for this project, and the excitement is building. A real legacy will be created, a sustainable piece of art which the residents of Malden Manor can be proud of for many years to come.
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