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Second mural by local artist unveiled

The work celebrates Colchester's Roman heritage and history

Date issued: 11 February 2020

Colchester Borough Council is pleased to unveil the second mural in St Mary’s multi-storey car park, in Colchester, celebrating the town’s amazing history.

The first mural was unveiled in October 2018 and the second mural, which spans the south stairwell of the car park, has been painted for free by the same local artist (who does not wish to be named). This time, the artist has taken inspiration from Colchester’s Roman history and the mural includes Roman Soldiers and gladiators.

These murals were painted to celebrate Colchester's Roman heritage and history. They took about five months to complete, as the artist worked on a voluntary basis late in the evenings, with the support of Colchester Council. The artist spent many hours researching the town’s history and drawing sketches, before completing the final designs.

The mural artist said: “The mural focuses on the Roman presence in Colchester, which was their biggest settlement at the time, around 49AD. Their influence had a significant impact on the town, and many remains can still be observed today such as the famous Roman wall, some of which is located just across the road from this car park.

“The main challenge was to try to represent the diverse aspects of Roman life, arts and traditions, such as chariot racing, gladiatorial combats, and the art of mosaics. 

I tried to use familiar, recognisable images such as the eagle, Roman soldiers and gladiators. Finally, I added olive branches, grapes, an orange tree and the iconic cypress trees to add a Mediterranean touch.”

Cllr Mike Lilley, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Communities, Wellbeing and Public Safety, said: “I’m delighted that we have been able to collaborate with the same local artist to create this second history-inspired mural in St Mary’s Car Park. I hope that by highlighting the town’s history in this way, people’s pride in their community will grow, making a Better Colchester.

“We will be posting photos of the murals on the Council’s Twitter @YourColchester and Facebook /EnjoyColchester pages, but I really hope people will come and see the artworks in person.”

The artist has now started work on murals in the staircases at St Johns car park.

The murals are part of a series of improvement works for St Mary’s and St John’s Car Parks that has taken place, including improved LED lighting, new painted steel window frames and work to close off spaces under stairwells to turn them into solid walls – in both car parks. These works have been funded as part of the Better Colchester campaign which sets out to make Colchester an even more attractive place to live, work and visit.

Information on parking in Colchester can be found at colchester.gov.uk/parking

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