Our very first community arts workshop took place last weekend painting murals in the alcoves at Harbour Heights, overlooking Newquay Harbour.
In partnership with Newquay Marine Group www.newquaymarinegroup.com who have been working since 2014 to regenerate the municipal Harbour area for local residents to enjoy, visiting artist Matt Jukes www.mattjukes.ink and 6 young people who braved the winds and rain to create and paint 3 murals on the alcoves.
The 6 young people, all from Cornwall, with international artist, Matt Jukes, worked together in pairs to create designs that reflected their feelings about the sea and coastline of Newquay. For some this represented feelings of wellbeing and wonder and for others this represented elements of climate anxiety or respect for the power of the ocean.
Matt Jukes described the mural project ‘ This work uses emotions to connect the young residents of Newquay back to the ocean by helping them visualise their connection to the sea” Ethan (18), Fin (18) , Jess (18), Georgia (22), Taryn (21) and Cailin (21) quickly bonded through this shared project and after a brief break for ‘pasties various’ (First time Matt, an Australian, had tasted a ‘real’ cornish pasty!) they felt excited and confident in presenting their 6 creations to Gabriella Gilkes from Newquay Marine Group who helped them select the final 3 for the alcoves. The day ended with the group mixing paint to match the unique colours in their designs ready to paint on
The Newquay Renaissance Harbour Heights mural project commenced with a visit from local poet, Alissa Kindred Elliot who recited her poem ‘My Town.’ ( www.newquayrenaissance.com/my-town ) to us on the Harbour wall.
One of our ‘Special 6’, Jess commented afterwards that Alissa’s poem ‘really described Newquay perfectly’!
Then it was inside the Sea Safaris room overlooking the harbour kindly loaned to us for the weekend by Chris and Annabelle Lowe for a few hours creating designs under the guidance of Matt Jukes, sustained by homemade cakes and brownies.
We were kindly given a presentation by John Warbutton, Lifeboats Visits Officer, at the RNLI who told our group all about what they did when they got a ‘shout’, and a brief history of the RNLI. Our group were really awe struck by what John shared with us and the bravery of the RNLI and some are even thinking of joining one day!
After short break for tea and cakes the group set about painting the murals.
It was a long cold and windy day but they persevered and completed the murals before sunset and had the opportunity to show their work to Newquay Mayor Louis Gardiner, Gabriella Gilkes and Laura Guy from Newquay Marine Group. The response from them along with other passers-by was so positive.
Matt has fallen in love with Newquay and will be returning in May for our end of year exhibition of work created by the community for the community and a special boat trip to see the murals from the sea.
Our Special 6 created something in Newquay that will be seen by many people, locals and visitors alike for years to come, an achievement they can be proud and importantly connect them to this very special town by the sea, Newquay.
Georgia and Cailin’s said their mural ’ represented a blend of tranquility and peace that the ocean provides, but also taking a moment to acknowledge the points of excitement, fear and tension is can create’.
‘The Newquay Renaissance mural project really helped me reconnect with my love of art and expression, as well as giving me an opportunity to reflect on why Newquay is so special to me’ - Georgia
“It was so much fun, and to be honest has really made a difference to a wall, I regularly use, brightening it up and adding a real sense of community to it! I love my hometown so much and this mural project invited me to bring out my love for Newquay in a way I wouldn’t have been able to do without the Newquay Renaissance Project and the amazing Matt Jukes !! He has warped my perception on colour and connected me to the sea (something I hold very close to my heart!!) in a beautiful and visual way!! I have developed a sense of pride that I rarely experience because I have created visual evidence of my love and passion for Newquay embedded in the walls of our wonderful harbour ! I am very grateful for this experience, so thank you!" - Cailin
Taryn and Jess said their mural "represented the mystery of the sea and how it is constantly changing. The viewer will see different things in our mural, some of which are not obvious at first glance…a bit like life”
"For our mural we reflected on the importance of Newquay between us and how the town makes us feel. We both decided that the beautiful Newquay sunsets were an iconic staple to the town, the gradient of colours in the sky bring a feeling of warmth and happiness which we wanted to bring to life on the wall! We couldn’t do a mural on how the town makes us feel without touching upon the ocean, once again we wanted to reflect the layers and depth of the ocean with our colour choice." - Taryn and Jess
Fin and Ethan said their mural “represented the light over Newquay, showing the sea, the sky and then the red representing the sun shining through the clouds"
“I really enjoyed meeting the artist, Matt jukes and working with him to create a wonderful piece of work within Newquay ” - Fin
“I had so much fun creating art for my home town and am really have been inspired to do more stuff like the moral project. I think the Newquay renaissance project will really boost creativity in Newquay” - Ethan
Newquay Renaissance Project have a series of creative community projects planned for 2022 starting with a new group of 6 young people and a photographer in February 2022.
Details on www.newquayrenaissance.com