Key workers honoured in high street mural

A large-scale mural featuring key workers who have served their communities and kept services going during the coronavirus pandemic received its finishing touches this week.

The mural, at the former M&S store on Weston-super-Mare’s high street, includes depictions of 27 different key workers and is set against the backdrop of Weston’s beautiful bay with the town’s piers, Steepholm Island, Brean Down and the Red Arrows all featuring too.

The work has been the brainchild of local artist Martin D’Arcy and North Somerset councillor Mike Solomon, who were both keen to ensure a fitting tribute to the many local workers who have supported residents through the pandemic.

It has taken three weeks to complete and Martin has been supported by other local artists who have helped with the mural’s development and local businesses who have provided funding for the project.

Martin said: “The hoarding at the M&S store was a blank canvas crying out for some artistic attention, and given the situation we are all in currently, I was keen to pay tribute to the many people who have carried on working during the pandemic to keep us all safe and well.

“I hope we have captured the many and varied key workers. We are up to 27 characters now including care workers, doctors, nurses. police officers, fire officers, refuse collectors, drivers, shop workers and teachers.

“It has been a pleasure to paint the hoarding and every day we have received positive comments from passers-by as we’ve added to the artwork.”

Cllr Mike Solomon, a Weston-based member on North Somerset Council, said: “I’m Weston-born and emphatically proud of the town, the area, and the unwavering response of our local key workers to ensure that our families, friends and neighbours get the care and support they need during the pandemic.

“When Martin approached me about his idea for the mural I was only too happy to get involved and help him turn his vision into a reality because I could see the positive contribution it would make.

“We cannot underestimate the dedication of our key workers throughout the current crisis, and I hope the mural goes some way to showing the town’s appreciation for the tremendous work they have done and continue to do.”

Martin and Mike are keen to develop more large-scale murals locally, both in Weston and other parts of North Somerset.

Mike added: “We have a great reputation locally for street art thanks to Banksy’s Dismaland and Jamie Scanlon’s work around the town and I’m keen for more to bring entertainment and enlightenment to our public areas. If anyone has hoardings that they think could benefit from Martin’s talents then please get in touch.”