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Mrs Murals helping brighten up subways of Chaddlewood

An exciting new project is breathing new life into one of Plymouth’s most ‘tagged’ areas.

The six subways of Chaddlewood have long been notorious for their unauthorised graffiti and anti-social behaviour.

Now, the colourful and creative Mrs Murals (aka Ellie Johnson) has teamed up with three community lead organisations in a bid to brighten up the subways.

The Chaddlewood Subway Project is the culmination of work between Mrs Murals, Pollenize, Clean Our Patch and Art & Energy.

Together, they hope to promote environmental conservation and to deter unsightly, unauthorised graffiti. 

The project, made possible thanks to a Crowdfunder campaign, has raised more than £8,000.

The money will not only cover the cost of creating these beautiful pieces of art. It will also fund future maintenance, and provide engaging workshops in local schools and youth centres.

Students at Glen Park and Chaddlewood Primary Schools worked with the collaborators to finalise some of the design plans.

Workshop sessions encouraged children to think about how human actions impact the environment, and how we can protect it. Ultimately allowing the children to say, “I did that”, and to be proud of the space around them. 

The theme for the subways is “all things bright and beautiful”. With birds, bees, butterflies and flowers backed by fluffy clouds on a blue sky.

Mrs Murals has incorporated five hearts into the cloud formations, in memory of the five lives lost during the tragedy in Keyham. 

The initial paintings are set to be completed in Spring 2022 when all six subways will have received the Mrs Murals treatment.

With organisers keen to continue to engage with the community, each subway has a unique QR code. When scanned, the code opens an app created by Art & Energy. This app asks users to share their ideas for creating a greener future in their local area. 

About the collaborators:

Mrs Murals is passionate about her local & wider community and about protecting wildlife. She is more recently noted for her street art in Hooe, Plymouth, involving the local school Hooe Primary Academy. Research suggests that painting multi-coloured designs or murals on surfaces will discourage graffiti, since tagging is more difficult. Such mural projects, especially when they involve local artists and high school students, have solved many graffiti problems. Nothing is guaranteed of course, but the aim is to help prevent unwanted antisocial graffiti at the same time as working with schools and local businesses to educate about littering and protecting the environment.

Pollenize CIC have successfully launched a campaign called ‘Seeds of Schools’ using the City’s Change Fund. The project aims to provide every pupil with a seed pack they can use to help re-wild the city.

Clean Our Patch CIC is an active community litter picking group which operates city wide and has a strong presence in Plympton, Chaddlewood. The project will see the promotion of litter picking and community engagement.

Art and Energy will provide an educational workshop session in schools which starts with telling the story of Marley the Moth and ends with a creative session designed to produce art works from children that will go on to inform the subway art.

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