City Arts’ young participants help showcase 100 years of parks history in new mural

Date published: 1 Oct 2019

Posted by: Joe Pick

Dignitaries and project participants with the new Arnot Hill Park

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An old railway tunnel has been brought back to life telling the story and history of Arnold.

The tunnel, which is located behind Arnot Hill Park, Arnold, on what was once a railway track, has been given a new design as part of celebrations of the 100 year anniversary of Arnot Hill Park.

The mural, which completely covers the tunnel, was created by participants of our Express Yourself project, which supports young people’s to grow in self-esteem and confidence by letting their creativity shine. Members of the public also took part in painting the mural as part of the parks centenary celebration event in July.

Participants with their mural
Express Yourself participants and artist Amy Nicholson with the new mural.

The design takes inspiration from local history, wildlife and iconic features of Arnot Hill Park, including paintings of brass bands, picnics, lawn bowls, birds, ducks and more. The young participants worked with artist Amy Nicholson from HandMade Theatre, and were supported by artists Nicole Solarte-Tobon and Meridith Dickin.

It took 12 weeks, 11 volunteers and around 100 members of the public to complete the design.

The new mural was officially unveiled by the Mayor of Gedling, Councillor Sandra Barnes, on Monday 30 September.

Alma Solarte-Tobon being filmed for ITV News
ITV Central News did a live report from the launch

Portfolio Holder for Environment at Gedling Borough Council, Councillor Peter Barnes said;

What a transformation, the new mural looks fantastic. The artists have managed to really capture the history of the park and showcase it in this design. I’d like to thank everyone involved, City Arts, who have run a brilliant project as usual, and all the volunteers and members of the public who helped produce the finished design.

Alma Solarte-Tobon, Creative Producer at City Arts, said;

We are incredibly proud of the work our young participants have done creating this mural for Arnot Hill Park. Thanks to Gedling Borough Council and Nottinghamshire County Council for supporting the project, and artist Amy Nicholson for her help making the young people’s designs a reality. We hope the people of Gedling will enjoy it for many years to come.

Councillor John Handley, Vice-Chairman of the Communities and Place Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said;

This impressive mural is a great addition to the park which I’m sure will be enjoyed by residents and visitors. It’s  is a great example of  how the Local Improvement Scheme is helping give young people a chance to hone their creative skills and benefit the local community. Projects like these can also help increase young people’s confidence and emotional wellbeing.