Art helps to spread message of peace Page 6
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.”
PEACE: Luke Hawkins (14) (left) and Adam Nicholls (14) helped create a graffiti peace mural in the underpass beneath Taverners Road.( METP-0206-10GM001)