New mural for Gunnislake car park

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Thursday 17th November 2016 8:00 am
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Picture by Stuart Bailey ()

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RESIDENTS and visitors to Gunnislake will be in for a treat when they park in the once dull village car park where a stunning artwork has been created.

A team of villagers worked hard for six weeks to create a detailed mural on one of the walls of the main car park.

After local community group Gunnislake Community Matters worked with residents to spruce up the car park and give the walls a lick of paint, resident Jane Ridsdill decided it looked bare and could do with a mural. She got the wheels in motion, enlisted the help of local painter Jo March and other interested residents and a vibrant mural was created depicting painter JMW Turner showing off his painting of Gunnislake old and new.

Jane said: ‘The idea, which was thought up by me and designed by Jo March, was of a large picture of Gunnislake painted by JMW Turner, who is seen showing his masterpiece to William the Miner and his daughter. William doesn’t have a face as he represents all the miners who lived and worked in the area. The little girl lived in the village and used to work at Wheal Josiah keeping the food of the miners warm. The man, Jamie and his dog Ralphie, live in the village today.

‘The Jack Russell is depicted because the original breeder of this breed was the Rev Jack Russell who, at one time, lived in Sandhill House at the top of Gunnislake.

‘Not so long ago, there was a stream flowing down through the car park and to the river, hence the ducks in the main street, as remembered by a resident.

‘The brick works at Bealswood are now ruins. The trees that cover the hill opposite are mostly modern as, until fairly recently, the hill was bare and mostly scrub.’

Jane said the idea came from a book The Turner Trail written by local residents Diana Cook and Calstock Parish councillor Dorothy Kirk, who researched and found all the places that Turner sat and painted.

Jane invited anyone who was interested to help and ended up with a team of nearly 20, who helped prepare the wall with undercoat and seal and helped paint various parts of the mural, under the supervision of artist Jo.

The mural was officially unveiled on Saturday by Diana Cook and Dorothy Kirk.

Jane added: ‘The unveiling afternoon was a huge success and was the climax of six weeks of hard work, fun and a wonderful social event when the team met and chatted with various residents, old and young, who were enthralled with the mural and interested enough to ask questions and also impart memories of the village. Next year, the team hopes to do more pictures and involve the children of the village with the help of their parents and teachers.’

The team expressed thanks to Calstock Parish Council for allowing them to paint the mural and for providing the funds to do so, as well as local businesses and residents who helped.

Clerk to Calstock Parish Council Sue Lemon said: ‘The parish council was more than happy to support this project, from allowing the painting in the car park and helping to fund the paint.

‘Cornwall and parish councillor Dorothy Kirk helped unveil a fantastic finished product and the parish council looks forward to helping where possible with any other event put forward by the community.’

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