By Francine Lee
Despite being in the High Street just on a Thursday, we are proud to be part of Taunton and want to give back when we can.
Having seen the wonderful murals all along the riverbank side of Tangier Way and the great job the artists are doing to make a boring feature look amazing for our county town, we thought this would be a great way to be part of Taunton every day of the week. With this in mind, we approached GoCreate, to see if they would paint a mural for us and bring some fun back .
Having worked with GoCreate before, when they provided the decorations for Taunton’s Christmas tree as part of the Stars from Stand Against Violence event, I knew the skills and passion this group has for our town. These ladies do so much for Taunton, and we’re delighted they accepted our commission to paint our mural, and that the council granted us permission to go ahead.
Jenny Keogh and Elizabeth Hutchin are talented local artists and the creative practitioners/art event organisers behind GoCreate Taunton and TauntonLive, the Festival of Performing and Creative Arts – a free event celebrating the Diversity of Culture in Somerset on 24-30th July 2017. If you are unaware of this event I urge you to find out more information from their website and to get involved – it’s some of the best that Taunton has to offer: www.tauntonlive.co.uk or www.gocreate.org.uk
Then I had to work out what we wanted in the mural… It’s not a commercial billboard, it’s to showcase Taunton at its best, in our view. So what’s the best about Taunton Farmers’ Market, and how do you put all that we are in a mural that’s fun, yet reflects our cooperative of local farmers and producers? Well, it had to have some of our surrounding hills, and, of course, the Vale of Taunton itself – green and lush fields with animals, a tractor or two, and a farm gate to welcome you. Of course anything to do with Taunton and our market has to have juicy-looking apples too.
I hope you agree that the ladies from GoCreate brought the whole thing to life, and, may I say, made it look so easy. Maybe it is when you have so much artistic talent? Can you tell I’m only slightly jealous? 😉
So the day finally came to start the mural. The location along the boards and the design had all been agreed, the excitement and trepidation mounted. Silly, I know, but I’m a big kid at heart.
Jen & Liz had arrived early in the morning to sketch out the design. No easy task converting from a jotter pad sketch to a 3m x 2m space; I wouldn’t know where to start. Fortunately, they did, and then the colour could be applied. This on the hottest day of the year thus far, too!
By the time I had finished my pans of chutney, and then braved the heat and traffic into Taunton to provide the ladies with some refreshment, they were racing along. The sky, logo and hills were well on their way, and, oh boy, it looked brilliant (I did say I was a big kid at heart!). I stayed to watch the masters at work, take a few photos of the progress and to do a few tweets. I sadly had to leave to return to the kitchen, as much as I would have loved to have stayed to see them continue, hoping an ounce of their skills might rub off on me; wishful thinking!
Back at home I eagerly awaited updates from Jenny on the progress. I was not disappointed. The whole thing had come to life in one day, with only a few pieces left to do the next day. From the plump rosy red apples in the left corner to the fluffy sheep on the hill, it was perfect – just as I imagined it would be.
A huge thank you to Jenny & Liz. I hope that GoCreate and Taunton Farmers’ Market can work together again in the future.
We hope you all love our mural as much as we do.