Oadby Artist Mural Project, feasibility study.In addition to the regular programme of demonstrations and workshops, we will be endeavouring to develop shared activities over the coming year. In particular, we are going to try to develop mural painting in collaboration with local organisations, such as schools, hospitals or indeed any other organisation that might be interested in working with us to promote artistic expression through large-scale works of art.
Normally in our practice we tend to work alone on a piece of work. The proposal would see groups of people working collaboratively on the same piece. This would encourage dialogue and exchange of ideas and hopefully would provide an opportunity for members to work on a challenging project.With reference to working in schools, we will need to ensure that members have undergone a DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Services check – formerly known as CRB checks). The cost for this would normally be £44 for the kind of enhanced check required for working with children for extended periods. For people who work in schools as volunteers – and this is what we would be - this check is free. However, there would still an administrative fee to be paid for the check to be carried out. These administrative checks are typically £10–£15 per person. The club would organise these checks for members who are interested in participating in this program.
A second point that we need to consider is the cost of the materials involved in this kind of undertaking. Most of our members work on a relatively small scale: typically measured in inches or centimetres; mural paintings tend to be measured in feet, or for calculations in square metres. The cost of the materials is therefore significantly higher than for a small-scale work. A rough approximation suggests that the cost for a mural painting would be £10–£20 per square metre.So, for example, a mural measuring 6 metres by 2 metres is 12 square metres. The estimated cost would be £120–£240. However, as this would be a collaborative enterprise, the cost would be divided between a team of artists. So, for example, with a team of four people, the cost would be £30–60 per person; for a team of six, it would be £20–40 per head.
It is possible that a host organisation might be willing to reimburse us for the cost of materials. However, this is unlikely in the case of schools as their budgets are extremely constrained and have been for some years. Additionally, to get this project off the ground, we need to ensure that there are no obstacles in the way of an organisation that might we might approach to consider working with us to produce a mural painting.The figures shown above are perhaps more than we are used to paying for workshops that we run inhouse. However, they are comparable to the kind of sums that are charged for day whole–day workshops at the Attenborough Arts Centre. Additionally, a mural painting project is likely to extend over several weeks and will therefore provide a much richer experience than a one-day workshop.
For mural paintings in schools, our role would be that of collaborators and facilitators as the children involved are likely to want to pursue their own artistic ideas: and this is as it should be. For mural painting in other venues, we are likely to have a greater degree of artistic licence over how to develop ideas that might be put forward by a host organisation.
If you are interested in participating in this venture, please contact any committee member to register an interest.
First completed work
The finished mural at Brookside School in Oadby
A small number of our members, led by Irfan Virk and 12 children from Brookside School in Oadby embarked on a Mural this year (2018). The project saw both Oadby Artists members and children working together collaboratively on the same piece, which encouraged dialogue and exchange of ideas between all concerned.
Before work on the project began
Hazel Armstrong and Irfan Virk, project leaders
At first, the walls had to be scrubbed down and a base coat of Valspar masonry paint applied. Fortunately, the school had access to movable scaffolding at that time, which came in handy. The children took part in this and seemed to really enjoy the experience.
The finished mural was spread over two walls, as can be seen in the photographs here.
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