Ipswich based community interest company Art Eat Events has produced a powerful Safer Streets mural for the Waterfront area, aimed at reducing violence against women and girls. Co-director Iona Hodgson explains more
A mural project aimed at increasing women and girls’ feelings of safety in public spaces was launched on Ipswich Waterfront today. For the large-scale Safer Streets mural, commissioned by Ipswich Borough Council’s Safer Streets campaign and funded by the Home Office, Art Eat has been working with Ipswich based Colombian artist Catalina Carvajal.
Catalina delivered a series of workshops to discuss the subject of Safer Streets and to inspire the design of the new mural that tackles an important and timely, albeit uncomfortable subject. Members of staff, volunteers and clients working with three community groups took part in the workshops: Lighthouse Womens Aid, Suffolk Rape Crisis and Volunteering Matters.
The workshops involved discussions with the artist to explore the Violence Against Women and Girls campaign and the issues that arise around making our streets safer for everyone. The participants engaged in meaningful discussions with the artist and shared their thoughts about tackling unwanted behaviour, visualised and expressed ideas around how to increase their feelings of safety in our public spaces and came up with important messages.
At the launch Catalina said of the discussions: ‘I’ve had some interesting conversations with men – young men and older men were very supportive and that was amazing. Hearing the experiences of all these women was very touching.’
As usual with Art Eat paint-ups, members of the wider community have been invited to volunteer and help with the painting, which was completed over 10 days earlier this month, by the artist, members of Art Eat and volunteers – including some of the workshop participants who contributed their voice and ideas. The result is a large-scale artwork on the Ipswich Waterfront and a legacy for the Safer Streets (VAWG) campaign. The vibrant 34m² hand painted artwork will be the latest addition to the existing murals on display to encourage residents and visitors to Ipswich to enjoy the thriving waterfront space.
Iona Hodgson, Co-Director of Art Eat Events, says: ‘Art Eat congratulates Catalina Carvajal for an impressive design, interpreting and amplifying the groups voices – on a very sensitive subject matter. We’d like to say a special thank you to the groups that gave their time to the creative workshops. As well as the community safety team at Ipswich Borough Council for their and support during this project.’
The Safer Streets Mural has been commissioned through Ipswich Borough Council enabled by Home Office funding and delivered by Art Eat Events.
Featured image of representatives from Art Eat and artist Catalina Carvajal (centre) in front of the Safer Streets mural, taken by Jack Cripps of All About Ipswich