Art helps to spread mes­sage of peace Page 6

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By TARA DUN­DON

CRE­ATIVE young peo­ple have been us­ing their artis­tic tal­ents to spread a peace mes­sage in their lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

Teenagers from across Peter­bor­ough donned face­masks and reached for their spray cans as they set about trans­form­ing a dark, dingy and un­sightly un­der­pass into a haven for young peo­ple’s graf­fiti art.

They were at the Tav­ern­ers Road un­der­pass, off Bourges Boule­vard, on Wed­nes­day as part of a project called Con­nect­ing Com­mu­ni­ties, or­gan­ised by Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil’s young peo­ple’s ser­vice.

The young­sters cre­ated a mu­ral fea­tur­ing planet Earth, a dove and the word ‘peace’ writ­ten in the lan­guages of many dif­fer­ent na­tion­al­i­ties that live in the Peter­bor­ough area.

Young peo­ple were brought to­gether through youth work­ers and have been meet­ing at the Glad­stone Com­mu­nity Cen­tre, in Glad­stone Street, Mill­field, to de­sign their peace mu­ral be­fore spray paint­ing it in the un­der­pass.

Bud­ding graf­fiti artist Adam Ni­cholls (14), of Wood­ston, Peter­bor­ough, said: “I have been in­ter­ested in art all my life but it was my youth worker who got me in­volved in this project.

“I have been do­ing graf­fiti for about eight months now and I love it, it gives me free­dom.

“For this project, I de­signed the world and the dove, which rep­re­sent peace and har­mony within our com­mu­nity, but ev­ery­one is get­ting a chance to do their own thing. I now want to go on and get a ca­reer in art.”

Faisal Hus­sain (15), of Grange Road, West Town, said: “My am­bi­tion is now to carry on art through GCSE and fur­ther to show peo­ple what graf­fiti is all about. It is not about vi­o­lence and drugs, it is about peace and unity in dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties.

“This is a great project and since I started, a lot of my friends have wanted to get in­volved.”

Youth sup­port worker for Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil, Steve Crowe, who has been lead­ing the project, said the event was the first of a se­ries of mu­rals which will be cre­ated in the city cen­tre.

The group’s fi­nal project will be to re-de­sign the mu­ral cur­rently on Link Road, Mill­field.

Steve will be pick­ing the best artists among his group to re-cre­ate the mu­ral, to in­cor­po­rate the past and present themes.

He said: “This project is called Con­nect­ing Com­mu­ni­ties and we will be work­ing to spruce up un­der­passes in the New Eng­land, Mill­field and Glad­stone ar­eas of the city.

“We are work­ing with young peo­ple in the area aged 16 to 19 and meet reg­u­larly to de­sign these mu­rals.

Po­lice com­mu­nity sup­port of­fi­cer Tom Brumby, who helped to iden­tify the right ar­eas for the art project, said: “This project is all about bring­ing kids from dif­fer­ent cul­tures and back­grounds to­gether to work on a project they all have an in­ter­est in.

“It is great to see the kids do­ing some­thing they are bril­liant at in a safe and friendly en­vi­ron­ment.”

The city coun­cil’s cabi­net mem­ber for chil­dren’s ser­vices, Cllr Sheila Scott, added: “This is an ex­cit­ing project which has brought to­gether young peo­ple from dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties across cen­tral Peter­bor­ough.

“The de­sign they have come up with re­ally re­flects the di­ver­sity of their cul­tures and is en­tirely their own work.”

Pic­ture: Ge­orGi mabee.

PEACE: Luke Hawkins (14) (left) and Adam Ni­cholls (14) helped cre­ate a graf­fiti peace mu­ral in the un­der­pass be­neath Tav­ern­ers Road.( METP-0206-10GM001)

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