Cosham pupils get creative with ‘amazing’ Hilsea Lido mural celebrating cultural diversity

COSHAM schoolchildren have brought bright, expressive designs to a wall at Hilsea Lido as leaders from across the city came together for an art project celebrating cultural diversity.

Friday, 10th June 2022, 3:22 pm
Updated Friday, 10th June 2022, 3:23 pm

Portsmouth-based The Grateful Arts Club teamed up with The Harbour School for the community arts enterprise.

The three part project, launched in celebration of Cultural Diversity day, culminated in a day of mural painting at the Lido in Hilsea yesterday.

Alex Ruddock, lead of Portsmouth Black Lives Matter and co-founder of Platform Portsmouth and Portsmouth Feminist Collective, joined with Charla Grant, project lead and founder of the Grateful Arts Club, to give a talk to the school pupils on the topic of cultural diversity.

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Charla Grant, founder of The Grateful Arts Club, Alex Ruddock, project collaborator, artist Mister Samo, The Harbour School assistant head Helen Sanger, Molly Penney from the engagement office at the city council, and Harbour School teacher Danny Harmer near the mural. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Then Mister Samo, trans artist, public speaker, and activist who focuses on intersectional gender identity and community, helped the project team expand on their initial ideas and turn them into images to paint into a mural.

The support of Molly Penney, from the engagement office at Portsmouth City Council, and Sabrina Richards, Hilsea Lido trustee, meant that the project secured a permanent spot for the mural at the lido.

Charla said: ‘It was such an amazing end to the project.

Adding a slogan to the mural. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘You could see how much the pupils from The Harbour School enjoyed it and they really impressed us with their confidence and creativity.

‘This project is proof that great things happen when we all work together. It really felt like a celebration of that.

‘We are so grateful to the trustees of the Hilsea Lido for giving us the space to create a permanent mural.’

The Harbour School caters for pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs.

Harbour School pupils working on the mural. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Five youngsters from the school took part in the mural painting, supported by assistant head Helen Sanger and teacher Danny Harmer, who both also took part in the art project.

Charla added: ‘Samo and I have been so inspired by working together on this project and we are going to host a series of art sessions for young people across the summer holidays.’

The Grateful Arts Club is a new community interest company from Charla from The Grateful Hearts Club.

Getting creative at Hilsea Lido. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Its aim is to creatively connect communities through art-based workshops and events.