Local artist illustrates Colchester’s history in mural

The first mural in St Mary’s multi-storey car park, which celebrates the town’s amazing history, has been unveiled

Date issued: 5 October 2018

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

The mural, which has been painted for free by a local artist (who does not wish to be named), spans the north stairwell of the car park. The artworks illustrate local Celtic tribe, the Trinovantes, Celtic art and Boadicea. They depict Celtic tribesmen wearing traditional clothes and weapons, a glass art inspired vision of Boadicea, an illuminated ‘C’ with Colchester Castle and boats sailing up the River Colne.

The staircase took 23-weeks to complete, with the artist working evenings and weekends. He spent many hours researching the town’s history and drawing sketches before completing the final designs.

The mural artist, said: “I’d been looking for a place to create a mural in Colchester so when I was offered this space in the car park I jumped at the chance. I knew I wanted the mural to celebrate the town’s history but the most important thing I wanted to achieve was to bring a lot of colour to the staircase, to turn it from something uninviting and uninspiring to something vibrant and welcoming.

“Those with keen eyes will spot that there are Dutch flags on the boats, at the last minute I decided to add these to represent the Dutch migration to Colchester in the 16th century. Although this doesn’t quite fit the overall theme I thought it was a very important part of the town's history and didn't really fit in either side but couldn’t be missed out.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing how people react to my artwork and I’m delighted to have had this opportunity to paint the mural. I’m looking forward to completing the second stairwell in the coming months.”

Cllr Mike Lilley, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Public Safety and Licensing, said: “I’m delighted that we have been able to collaborate with a local artist to create this historical inspired mural in St Mary’s Car Park. It really has brightened up what was a very dull staircase. 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 murals are just part of a series of improvement works for St Mary’s and St John’s Car Parks that has taken place over the summer. These included 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.

Phase two of the mural painting will start in a few weeks on the south stairwell of St Mary’s Car Park, focussing on the town’s Roman history.

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

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