This mural was commissioned by Blackwood Youth Club and the Eco Park committee. Part of the design included a red and blue butterfly in memory of a local boy, Cole Roper, who was tragically killed when knocked off his bike in 2019. The mural is on a wall which borders the Eco Park. It’s a beautiful spot, full of interesting wildlife and is a far cry from it’s previous life as a coal tip for the local colliery.
I think that initially they were expecting a simple graffiti project with big bubble writing and cartoony characters, but the significant budget allowed me to put many hours into the project in order to get a good level of detail into the design. I really wanted the wall to be a way of local people learning about, and being able to identify, the rich variety of species in the area. Every day on site local people would turn up to chat and check on my progress. Many folk would suggest additional plants, animals and birds which they have seen in the park. On their recommendations I ended up adding hedgehogs, foxgloves, the Britannia colliery pithead, nuthatch, blue tit, a birdbox and bats.
I had help on a couple of days from young people from the area, many of whom were friends of Cole Roper. The youth club and committee members work hard to involve local youth in the development and future of the Eco Park.