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Murals in Willesden Green and Church End bring 'new energy' to community and mark violent crime trauma

PUBLISHED: 16:43 03 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:42 03 September 2019

Artists Static - who have been working on murals in Willesden Green and Church End. Picture: David Nathan

Artists Static - who have been working on murals in Willesden Green and Church End. Picture: David Nathan

Archant

Three talented street artists have been creating murals representing the communities of Willesden Green and Church End - including one poignant piece that incorporates a bullet hole.

A tear painted on a gunshot mark on the scene of a shooting is part of a mural painted by Andrea Vargas. Picture: David NathanA tear painted on a gunshot mark on the scene of a shooting is part of a mural painted by Andrea Vargas. Picture: David Nathan

The hole in question - left when Harlesden man Oliver Tetlow was gunned down in a case of mistaken identity in 2016 - is is covered by a tiny teardrop as part of a mural on Conley Street that Andrea Vargas created in collaboration with the local community.

Mixed-media artist Andrea, from Kensal Green, and mural experts Craig Evans and Tom Jackson - who are known as Static - were tasked with the project by Brent Council.

Over the summer, they've created a number of murals, - others commemorate the Trussell Trust food bank in Harlesden and give a real "sense of identity" to Willesden Green station.

Andrea worked on the designs collaboratively with Static and local residents.

The full mural in Church End commemorating the community - and the poignant bullet mark. Picture: David NathanThe full mural in Church End commemorating the community - and the poignant bullet mark. Picture: David Nathan

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She said: "The processes were very organic and hands on, from selecting the walls to implementing the final designs.The wall at the Trussell Trust food bank felt like an obvious first choice, as not many people know they are there."

One of the most striking murals is Andrea's in Conley Street - where a display of words and phrases are arranged in complimentary circles to reflect community issues.

She said the concept came out of a workshop and added that she had been delighted to see the reaction while she was working on it, explaining: "Many locals followed the process, and as it took shape, they expressed their gratitude

Another of the new murals. Picture: David NathanAnother of the new murals. Picture: David Nathan

"I learned that the selected wall in Conley Road had a traumatic recent history, where a bullet mark still is evident, and people asked for this to be commemorated. I hope this aspect of the mural brings peace of mind, and the whole design hopefully also provides some new energy."

Craig told the Kilburn Times: "The council were looking for artists to create and inspire a joyful atmosphere.

"They wanted us to be working with someone from the borough, so they put us together with Andrea.She had never actually done a mural before."

Craig said they had enjoyed the project and had been able to experiment with their style to incorporate the Brent community. He added: "The majority of people stop and talk to us are really happy to see something changing in a positive way."

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