To begin the design process I ran four workshops with the S3 group from St Aloysius College and Zig Zag Arts based on skills and ideation. With S3 we had a workshop on idea generation, mural planning scaling up and painting. With Zig Zag Arts I developed ‘Garnethill Island’ which invited the kids to design islands based on their favourite parts of Garnethill.
In the workshops, I hoped to find out about the things local kids liked about Garnethill, and what would make them feel happy and safe. The workshops revealed wildlife, cats, community gardens, birds, foxes, sweets, swings, the bread oven, a rock and imagination as key factors. I was inspired by the Garnethill Community Garden and old tenement tile designs, to create a mural in which wildlife and the imagination could roam free.
In my experience, murals bring a lot of joy to an area, particularly when local voices are being heard. Passersby are thankful for the colourful wall and say that the design makes them happy. What before was a dingy lane, now is a place in which people can imagine benches.