By Manchester based Mexican artist: Loya
This mural is the result of a collective collaboration between Art Eat Events from Ipswich, artist Edward Ofosu from Ghana, Hollesley Bay prison, Eleanor Root curator at Ipswich museum, ISCRE, various volunteers and me: Loya, artist from Mexico City currently based in Manchester UK. It counted with the kind funding from The National Lottery Community Fund and Arts Council England
Loya: ‘The mural’s design was made by me but its theme is the result of 6 workshops delivered to residents of Hollesley Bay Prison organised by Art Eat Events, who commissioned me and the other members involved in the project. These workshops were based on an art workbook prepared by Edward Ofosu, in which Hollesley residents were motivated to write their own history and empower themselves through the art, in addition to spreading knowledge about African culture. The mural also commemorates an effort by the Ipswich museum to decolonize its collections and offer a different reading to its pieces of African origin, producing the exhibition The Power of Stories, which will be presented at the end of June at the same museum.’
In brief, the mural presents three main thematic axes:
On its right side a summary of the stories told by the residents of the prison, in its central part the face of a black woman who in turn is framed by the black panther, together these two images symbolize the power of the black community and its struggle for justice. On the left side of the mural is represented the current moment in the fight for racial equity, in which large part of the society of all nationalities and cultures is fighting together to abolish racism and build a world of respect for cultural differences, where human solidarity is paramount.
‘An important aspect to highlight in the production of this mural, is that although the design was made by me, its theme is the result of discussions between the entire team of production and its execution, directed by me, had the help of the Madhouse Helmets, a team of volunteer’s painters, made up of three Hollesley Bay residents: Gorlab, Max and Scouse, and an artist from the Czech Republic Jitka. Other sporadic local volunteers summoned by Art Eat Events participated as well. This endowed the work with the collective force that magnifies a monumental work of public art, as Alfaro Siqueiros, a prominent Mexican muralist, always pointed out.’
You can visit the mural at Ipsiwch Waterfront
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