We watched the weather forecast with fearful anticipation. Having had sunny, but chilly and dry conditions during the week, we wondered if we’d be lucky enough for it to last for our live paint across 2 locations on Saturday 9th February in Brighton.
Thankfully, although it was rather damp at times and not massively sunny, our team of around 25 people remained undeterred and we started painting at Bagelman, Bond Street and Costa Coffee, London Road at about 11.00am.
Snub23 led the group on the Bond St wall and Sinna One, the Costa wall. Both sites drew lots of attention and crowds during the live painting as people were keen to find out more about the project and watch the designs develop. The final designs were a combination of the collective ideas of our 16 young people, who we have been working with for around the last month.
Our artists were able to interpret these ideas and translate them into 2 very different murals that reflected the groups they were working with, as well as their own style. Both walls gave a clear message about why young people should not feel alone if faced with a potential situation or environment impacted by domestic abuse, whether themselves or anyone they know.
This was the Bagelman wall on Bond Street, team led by Snub23
Everyone we spoke to thought it was a great idea and BBC South East came down to find out more and so we made the 7.00pm news! You can see a video of that on our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=4957301584710.
The Argus came down to take some pics and because of the high profile locations, it was just great to be at the heart of the Brighton community – it was exactly the point of the project. On that note, we must say a HUGE thank you to Anthony and Mark at Bagelman, Bond Street and to City Centre Manager, Soozie Campbell, who was a great help and enabled us to secures this wall; and to Andy Westwood at Costa Coffee, London Road who just got it right from the start and was behind us all the way. Without their support and willingness to let us use their walls, none of this could have happened. It was great that both businesses recognised the value and importance of the project and for that we salute them. The success of many of our street art projects rely on people thinking this way and allowing us to use the space. We look forward to working with both of them again in the future.
Costa Coffee wall, London Road, Brighton
If you’re wondering where the heck this project came from in the first place, it’s part of a long-term capmpaign by Sussex Police to raise awareness about domestic abuse and encourage reporting.
The term “domestic abuse” currently only applies to adults, but from next month (March 2013) the definition will be widened to include 16 and 17-year olds.
Here’s an excerpt from the coverage the project got on the BBC website:
“Police said young people were often unaware that domestic abuse included intimidating and controlling behaviour.
It was the latest stage of the force’s Talk To Us, We Can Help campaign, which is focusing on encouraging people of both sexes to report incidents of domestic abuse.
Det Sgt Laurence Cartwright said: “Domestic abuse can be in many forms – not just physical harm, but intimidation through controlling behaviour, harassment and threats.
“It is difficult for people, perhaps more so for young people who are not used to being in a relationship, to recognise that the way their partner is behaving towards them is actual abuse and is not acceptable.
“What we would like people to do is talk to us or if they can’t talk to us, then talk to someone.
“Abuse is something you do not have to put up with.”
We couldn’t agree more, so we’re really proud to have been part of something that aims to support young people to talk about this more and feel supported.
We couldn’t sign off without saying a huge thanks to everyone who helped this project come to life.
To Brighton Youth Centre for their support and allowing us to use the centre as a venue, to the organisations that let us use their walls, Bagelman and Costa, to all of the young people that took part – they were amazing – it’s not an easy topic! To our artists for their hard work, patience and designs, to the rest of the WPP team, specifically Charlie Allsebrook, CSR and Community Relations Queen, to Jo from Frank Communications who brought us into this project, to the police for having the vision and confidence in us to see that this could work and that this kind of creativity can be such a good way to get all types of people involved in important community messages.
You can see more on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/wetpaintproductions
And you can show your support for the campaign on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TalkToUsWeCanHelp