Bristol Post

Stay in Street artists spread the message

- Alexander BROCK

BRISTOL street artists have united in a bid to urge people to stay indoors during the coronaviru­s crisis and protect the NHS.

A wall in Jamaica Street in Stokes Croft was tagged with the words ‘Stay In’ and ‘Love the NHS’ as part of the #medicineon­thewalls project, which was launched last year.

The collaborat­ion between the University of Bristol and the Peoples Republic of Stokes Croft was initially created to bring comics about the real-life experience­s of nurses and doctors to the streets.

However, as the coronaviru­s pandemic brought the world to the standstill, the team behind the project decided to use street art to highlight the government’s message to stay indoors instead.

Dr John Lee, from the university’s Medical Humanities course, told the Post: “Just before Covid-19 arrived, we’d been planning another series of walls, but this time working with various communitie­s on the design.

“We had to abandon those plans - but we thought we could help get the official message out about

The Love the NHS mural

‘Staying Home’ and ‘Protecting the NHS.’

“We wanted to support all those who were helping.

“A group of Bristol street artists Ryder, Decay, Uncredited, 3DOM and SEPR - gave their support for free and we painted the same wall three times with ‘Stay In’ and once with ‘Love the NHS.’”

On the message which was chosen, Dr Lee said: “’Stay in’ was used instead of ‘Stay Home’ because quite a few people don’t have homes; it seemed a bit more inclusive.

“They can also be the people who the government’s messages reach least.

“I found out later that Caring in Bristol was running a similar campaign but theirs was all text - they put out billboard posters with: ‘This is our biggest campaign ever but you won’t see it.’ Just because you’re safe indoors, doesn’t mean everyone is. That was good too.”

Those behind the project are also encouragin­g clubs and groups to utilise the street art within their logos to spread the message.

Our website Bristol Live has featured one of the ‘Stay In’ designs within its own banner at the top of the website.

“It’s been great that the Post has featured an image from one of the walls as the banner for its ‘Stay In’ campaign,” Dr Lee added.

“We’re sharing the images from the walls as much as we can.

“As logos they work well on social media and they print out nicely. They’re easily adaptable for club Facebook pages etc.

“They’re available for download from @UoBrisIBAM­H on Twitter.”

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