This has been my third year volunteering in our local community arts festival, the Brockley Max.
One of my assignments was to support the three talented painters who have been commissioned as part of our Black Icons street art project.
It was a privilege to watch the artist, Jelly (pictured above) start to construct a supersize portrait of the renowned local (and global) clean air campaigner Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah. The canary in the final artwork (below) represents Rosamund’s daughter Ella, whose death from a respiratory illness inspired her mother to work tirelessly to prevent future deaths.
I’ve been following Jelly’s progress since I stumbled across her elegiac and iconic ‘we can’t breathe’ mural, painted in solidarity with the BLM protests several years ago.
Her painting ‘your time is now’ also spoke to me, as someone who has made a massive change quite late in their life, by embarking on a new creative career.
I believe that all kinds of art can help us shape and interpret our world.
In fact, I am so enthusiastic about the power of street art in particular that I have created a fictional street artist, Fakesy, who supports the resistance in my Rockstar Ending novels.
It meant a lot to be able to support Jelly, an artist who wants to bring about positive change with her inspiring visuals.
Seeing this all come to life was particularly big deal for me, as I had some input to the original concept for the project.
My duties merely consisted of giving out leaflets and answering questions from the public. And gazing awe-struck as the works took shape.
Passers-by were universally supportive and excited about having a new piece of art on our streets. I was also armed with the relevant paperwork to prove we had permission to be there.
Find out more about the Black Icons project here: