Street art offers vision of 'unity and equality'

There will be an online launch event and celebration of the artwork on Sunday July from 3pm-4.30pm

There will be an online launch event and celebration of the artwork on Sunday July from 3pm-4.30pm, which will feature video, poetry, and music. - Credit: Stevenage Borough Council

Stevenage Borough Council has come together with community groups and young artists to install a number of location-based artworks.

The mural in the Martins Way underpass is part of the Spaces of Creativity, Community & Change project, celebrating the creativity, diversity, and community spirit of Stevenage.

Young people from the black community led the project

Young people from the black community led the project, working with artists Alfred Oddoye, Kiaski Donkor, Carleen De Sözer and Wumi Olaosebikan. - Credit: Stevenage Borough Council

Some 20 young people from the Black community led the project from the beginning, working with artists Alfred Oddoye and Kiaski Donkor to develop concepts for mural artwork, which were illustrated by Kiaski Donkor and painted by Carleen De Sözer and Wumi Olaosebikan.

The artwork seeks to offer a vision of unity and equality coming out of a challenging period and looking into the future, and is intended to be a healing process for the youth.

It enables them to express how they feel as Black youth living in the UK, especially in relation to Black Lives Matter and the racial inequalities magnified by the COVID pandemic.

There will be an online launch event and celebration of the artwork on Sunday, July 11, from 3pm to 4.30pm, which will feature video, poetry, and music.

The project also includes a creative writing competition led by Toni-Ann Robertson and Yvan Tiako and won by Ailsa Forsyth, who will be reading at the launch event.

A segment of the Martins Way underpass, which reads 'in this together'

A segment of the Martins Way underpass, which reads 'in this together' - Credit: Stevenage Borough Council

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Richard Henry, portfolio holder for children, young people, leisure and culture said: “This amazing artwork is the culmination of community effort to enliven our underpasses through the council’s cultural strategy.

"Our thanks to BeMe, Elim Church and Junction 7 Creatives for an excellent collaboration and bringing to life a wonderful idea. Hertfordshire County Council own and maintain the cycle network and I would like to pass on our thanks for their permission for this work to go ahead.

"We look forward to working with other groups throughout the town on similar schemes.”