Mermaids, hot air balloons, dinosaurs, exploding volcanoes and other wonders of a child’s imagination form local’s representation of Guildford in local community art installation


27th September 2021: Surrey locals, shoppers, families and children came together this weekend under the Tunsgate Arch in Guildford to create a personalised mural, which forms a unique piece of art for the town, made by the town’s people as part of the Guildford Car Free Festival on Sunday. 


Locals brought their creative flair, adding their own elements to the design to make it really personal. From sharks in the Lido and mermaids swimming in the River Wey to erupting volcanoes and dinosaurs stomping through the Surrey Hills that surround the town. The finished piece is a vibrant and magical depiction of the way the people of Guildford see their home. 


The LIVE art installation, aptly named ‘Our Guildford’, was conceived by local lettings agency The Home Club and Guildford artist Nathalie Scott, owner of the GU Art community gallery on Swan Lane.


At the beginning of the day, the piece was simply a white canvas with an artistic representation, linear outline of the town’s key features. It was erected under the Tunsgate Arch where residents and visitors to the Car Free Day Festival were able to help colour, paint and decorate the canvas. 


Adding the first brushstrokes of paint with his little brother, Henry, 7, said, “it’s such a cool picture. I keep looking at it and trying to find all the different things in it – like the cathedral and swimming pool and the river where I’ve been paddling before. It’s really fun painting this outside with all the other kids. I want to add a big sunshine that looks like a yoyo and colour in the reeds around the river.”


The activity forms part of The Home Club’s ongoing support and sponsorship of Guildford Arts and the incredibly rich art and culture scene in Guildford. 


Founder Jerry Pfletschinger said: “We really wanted to be able to capture what makes Guildford a wonderful place to live. That doesn’t just come with the buildings and history of the town but also how the people see it – and what is in their hearts. There’s been a huge amount of community spirit and love felt here today and it’s wonderful to see it all come together. Guildford has a lot of talented, artistic residents!”


The artwork will now be displayed at the GU Art gallery that artist Nathalie runs on Swan Lane so that regulars to the town centre can visit and study the piece, finding all the magical and wonderful things that people painted throughout the day. 


Nathalie, who worked on the project with The Home Club, added: “I was overwhelmed how quickly the piece began to take shape. Everyone got into the spirit of the day and were very talented and respectful painters. I can’t wait to show it off in the coming weeks.”


Guildford’s celebration of Car Free Day on Sunday 26 September saw pedestrians put first in the town centre as it was transformed with market stalls, crafts, antiques and a Farmer’s Market as well as other stalls offering street food, live music and street plays for children. 

The purpose of the day was to help raise awareness into how residents can step up their actions to tackle climate change.

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