Artist creates huge mural thanking NHS heroes and depicting lockdown life
A large mural dedicated to essential workers has popped up in a cafe's community garden in Llanidloes, thanks to the work of a local artist.
Standing at 17.5ft by 8ft, the mural has been painted by international artist Osian Gwent. The work features well-known landmarks and various individuals local to the Llanidloes area, and pays tribute to all essential workers including the local postman who went on his rounds dressed in disguise as spider-man.
It was commissioned by the owner of the Great Oak Cafe, Scott Ottewill, to create something to say thank you to NHS workers. The community garden at the rear of the cafe belongs to the Compton's Yard Charitable Trust, and used to house another of Osian's work commemorating Remembrance Sunday.
Scott said: "Having had this idea back in March, to replace the previous poignant piece of art that Osian Gwent created for Remembrance Sunday 2019, how I imagined the finished image to look and what we see before us today, hold no comparisons.
"Osian has represented all parts of lockdown life, not just in Llanidloes but nationwide – from the farmers continuing to work in the fields providing our food, the bin men, retailers and posties dressing up, the emergency services on the frontline, the soldiers building hospitals and testing stations and of course Captain Tom, but also back in time to John Wesley preaching at the stone by the market hall, to the places we treasure and dearly miss visiting like Clywedog Dam.
"Each day Osian has posted time-lapse video clips of his latest progress to our staff messaging group and we’ve really looked forward to watching the scene unfold; appreciating each new detail and wondering at such talent.
"I certainly didn’t expect the detailed masterpiece that is now the centrepiece of our special café garden and I sincerely hope many people will be able to come and sit in the garden and admire this incredibly beautiful piece of art, once lockdown is over."
Osian’s gallery, Art by Osian, was closed due to lock-down. He said: "I gave my time free of charge, as this was the perfect opportunity for me to honour and give thanks to all our essential workers, who are going above and beyond at this time. It’s all about them."
Osian began painting the mural on April 15 and completed it on June 2. In all, it took 127 hours to paint from start to finish.
"I have truly enjoyed painting this mural," Osian added. "I have included certain things that only locals would get. It’s bold and colourful with defined lines. It is like a gigantic colouring book with juxtaposed angles of perspective.
"My favourite character has to be Vicky the dinosaur, who brought a huge smile to all our faces during lock-down."
Co-managers of the Great Oak Cafe, Gail Bell and Robert Plumbley, said: "The mural depicts everything that our community is about and enhances the beautiful gardens for all our customers to enjoy for years to come."
For more information about the mural, including video, visit https://osiangwent.com/the-big-thank-you-mural/
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