Two murals have been painted by the Nomad Clan at the entrance to a housing estate in Parr a suburb of St Helens. Flanking either side of a street the murals are the result of a project intended to celebrate the areas history and community spirit.
Located on Rudd Avenue the murals are the first of their kind in the area. They take stories from local residents which have been re-interpreted into pieces of art by the artists. Known collectively as the Nomad Clan, they comprise of artists Hayley Garner and Jay Gilleard. Both are known for their large scale murals which connect to the past of an area.
Murals in Parr
Called ‘Follow the Light’ and ‘Keep Going Keep Growing’ they both tell stories. In particular they tell the stories of local life. The first shows a man looking down at a flower out of which a light emerges. Images then flow out from his head. Opposite, a gloved hand holds a lantern around which fly moths, no doubt attracted to the flame. On the wall the words ‘Carry the Torch of your Ancestors’ is written.
Self Care and Grounding
Speaking about the murals, the Nomad Clan said that the design was an attempt to explore self care and grounding techniques. “As someone who struggles with mental health it felt right to reflect on some elements that have helped me through troubling times” they wrote. Adding that there is nothing like a sense of community to help you through. It was certainly something they seem to have found in Parr. “Despite the limited public services and resources in Parr its the people that champion love and care”. This, they add is despite what they describe as unfair amounts of loss and governmental neglect.
Both murals were created with the support of the local community. The ideas built up through workshops and from being inspiring by local stories. The fact that in the area there is an abundance of nature. How this in itself played such a crucial role for people during the pandemic. People would explore the area around them, go fishing and see the local wildlife such as deer and swans. “The fusion between urban and greenspace in certainly alive and well out there” said the Nomad Clan.
The murals by the Nomad Clan in Parr, St Helens were visited on 13 February 2022. They can be found on Rudd Avenue on the corner with Wisesy’s corner shop and Barbara’s Hairstyles.