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Underpass Transformation

Archway Artists transform underpass

An underpass in Stroud has been transformed, thanks to art students at Archway School, who have just completed a masterpiece of public art – a massive 25m x 2m mural under Dudbridge Bridge.

Stroud scenes & history

The mural is part of the Cotswold Canals Knowledge programme, which uses the newly restored canal as a basis for learning. 42 students, aged 11-14, have been working on the project since March. Each of the 20 separate panels, which connect together, were designed by the students themselves and depict Stroud scenes and history, especially relating to the canal.

Four months preparation

Jonathan Hill, Archway’s Head of Art & Design said “The project involved an incredible amount of team work in a difficult situation. This was the kids’ first proper job – and it’s a big one. Since starting in March, they’ve been working in pairs to design the mural, produce mock-ups and then paint it for real. The preparation was brilliant, they all took a very mature attitude and weren’t at all like a group of 11-14 year olds.”

Sharing the result of hardwork

Student Reem Subkhi, aged 14, of Rodborough said “Working on this has been a great experience. It’s a big scheme and it’s nice to be able to share it with the public.” Her colleague Kate Hawkins, also 14, of Ruscombe said “Everyone had to work really hard to make all the panels match up.”

Artistic inspiration

The mural was the brainchild of Paul Weller, Volunteer Assistant with Stroud District Council’s Canal Team, who said “The kids were enthusiastic from the very start and have worked really hard and been very motivated.

"The mural really brightens up the underside of the bridge and will be best seen by boaters on the canal.”

Photographs by Mike Gallagher
Local business support

The mural was made possible through the generosity a number of business sponsors.

Bailey Paints of Thrupp kindly supplied all the paint, while canal contractors Galliford-Try paid for other materials.

Assistance was also given by Olympic Cars, Kleenzeen, Cainscross Parish Council, Sainsbury’s and MacDonalds.