Africa & the DiasporaCultureNews

Murals representing diversity created on Ipswich’s Waterfront to inspire the community

The Ipswich Waterfront is one of the most prolific landmarks surrounding the marina in the town of Ipswich, Suffolk. The mural was a celebration of Ipswich’s diverse community, featuring all types of characters that represent the inhabitants of Suffolk. 

The mural was unveiled at the entrance of the Ipswich waterfront on Friday, May 28. Ghanian artist Edward Ofusu and Mexican Raul G. Loya worked in the creation of the mural along with residents of the Hollesley Bay Prison. The logistics behind the mural were developed by local arts organisation Art Eat Events. The residents at the Suffolk Prison were provided with online art workshops from the artists, using the creative workbooks designed by Ofusu. Edward Ofusu had also taught at the Victoria and Albert Museum and at Buckingham Palace.

The mural is also linked with the arrival of the Power of Stories exhibition held at the Christchurch Mansion, which reflects the message of the Marvel film Black Panther and its message. 

The inspiration for the project as per Edward Ofusu, was that “what binds us together is far greater than what separates us”. A big inspiration was the American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou. The project prioritized representation, a social commentary that’s  important to highlighy especially in a rural community like Suffolk.

The mural serves as inspiration for the current generation, a beacon of hope, happiness, and joy. 

One of the artists that participated in the creation of the mural, Lily Hammond, had collaborated with ACYCLE (African and Caribbean Youth Creative Learning Experience) to create a collection portraying people of colour who continue to inspire artists. Hammond mentions how Maya Angelou is quite inspirational and lets the younger generations of Ipswich know that anything is possible if they put their mind into it. 

Elizabeth Hughes, Mayor of Ipswich, has expressed pride upon seeing the artwork reflecting the diverse community in Ipswich. She was delighted with the work put into the art, calling it not only professional but also that it accurately puts together a part of the community. The mural was also financially supported by the National Lottery and Arts Council England. 

Words by Sebastian Caledron. 

 

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