Two mosaic benches created by residents to celebrate the role of emergency services have been unveiled in Newington.
Since July 2019, more than 60 residents on the estate have been creating beautiful mosaics to brighten up the community. People were asked to choose a theme for the mosaics to celebrate an aspect of the community and from the outset, even before Covid 19, they chose the emergency services. Since the crisis this choice is more poignant.
The second theme residents chose was a celebration of nature – again something people have appreciated so much more since the Covid 19 crisis took hold.
Newington Big Local originally planned to install the mosaic benches outside the Newington Community Centre at a launch party on the May VE Day Bank Holiday, but the Covid 19 lockdown made this impossible.
This week though Newington Big Local unveiled the first two ‘bright and colourful mosaic’ benches. The initiative is part of the Creative Newington project, which explores how creativity can generate a greater sense of pride in the community.
Working with the expert guidance of community artist Rob Turner, Newington residents of all ages met regularly at the community centre over several months to design and produce the mosaics. They used hundreds of tiny pieces of tiles that needed to be painstakingly cut and assembled by hand. The work, brought people together to create some beautiful pieces that brighten the community space and showcase what local talent can do working together.
Residents are being encouraged to look for their mosaics in the benches and to post pictures on the Newington Big Local Facebook page with their comments.
Resident Kerry Coker said:“As a family we’ve felt quite isolated. It’s wonderful to see the benches and Max was really excited to find his mosaic. We really value the emergency services and the benches provide a visually beautiful record of that for the future in Newington.”
Her eight-year-old son Max (pictured) added: “Being involved in making a product beginning to end was awesome.”
Cara Thorpe, Community Development Worker at Newington Big Local, said:“We had to put so many of our plans on hold but we thought it was important to remind people that we are a close-knit supportive community with plenty of sometimes hidden talents, and that we are proud of our achievements.
“The mosaic benches will be there for many years to come … we’ve brought a little bit of (artist) Gaudi to Newington!”
For more information on any of these activities contact Cara at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Facebook Page @NewingtonBigLocal