We were approached by Sustrans and Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council to place artwork in a previously dilapidated subway which suffered from neglect and vandalism. The route forms part of the cycle network and received investment as part of a scheme designed to link the Trevithick and Taff Trails.
In response to its location, we suggested that the mural should reflect some of the historical local heritage such as the nearby Plymouth Colliery coal drams and also contemporary images of the plants and animals taken from the Taff and Trevithick trails.
Workshops were held with local groups including holding a nature walk, art and photography sessions and youth workshops. Over 50 people were actively engaged in the project and the artwork generated from these sessions was collated to create the final design. This design was then hand painted onto the boards and again, numerous people were actively involved in the painting process.
The main aim of this level of engagement was to pass on new skills to participants and in engendering a sense of ownership for the artwork.
In addition to the imagery indicated above, the mural also hides a secret that is only revealed at night. The artwork was painted with specialist coloured UV paints and was installed opposite a UV lighting panel. At night the UV lighting reveals a scene that is invisible by day and includes bats, moths and the figure of a night time cyclist.
The artwork has been framed and coated with an anti-graffiti glaze for protection and measures 24’x 4’.