Pathways - Nottingham's first black history mural

Freelance Project Manager

February - June 2016 

The Pathways mural has been created by and for the local community in Hyson Green, Nottingham UK. Young people (15 to 22) from Hyson Green Youth Club worked in collaboration with local mural artists Onga, Andrew Wright and guest contributors on the design. Their mural entitled “Pathways” depicts the diverse history of the area whilst also capturing the local community’s hopes and aspirations for the future.

The group were introduced to local heroes from the black community and their contributions. They were shown examples of murals from the UK and around the world by local guest creative’s and community activists.   

Participants: Maxine Davis, Youth Forum Manager & NG7 Voices

Photos: Bartosz Kali 

In collaboration with New Art Exchange & Professor Zoe Trodd C3R. Funded by AHRC Connecting communities fund.

Who are the figures in the mural?

Winston Murphy is a war hero who served in the merchant navy between 1940 to 1945.

George Africanus is a Nottingham legend. A former slave, he was one of the first black entrepreneurs of the 18th century.

Louise Garvey is a nurse has promoted equality in the health service since the 1960s. She wrote the book Nursing Lives of Black People in Nottingham.

The Black Lives Matter child honours the fact that Nottingham is home to Europe’s first official BLM group, and adapts a famous artwork by the Black Panther Emory Douglas, who visited Nottingham in 2011.

Where do the patterns and symbols come from?

The young people were encouraged to bring in any images that might inspire their design and were particularly interested in African print designs. One of the young people drew a series of links and chains becoming pathways to the future.

 

They were also introduced to Adinkra symbols from West Africa and choose to use them in the mural.  Adinkra are visual symbols and objects that have different meanings, such as traditional wisdom, aspects of life or the environment. Click on the image for the names of the symbols.

The Pathways Mural featured at Utopia Fair at Somerset House, London, from the 24th to 26th June 2016, in an exhibit curated by Zoe Trodd, Katie Donington, Hannah Jeffery and Rebecca Nelson