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Faces and places brighten up Cowley shopping centre
9:30am Monday 14th October 2013 in News
Buy this photo » Thomas Gower, seven, points to his picture
BRIGHT, eye-catching paintings now line the walls of Templars Square shopping centre after a project involving more than 100 artists.
A total of 114 large square paintings made by local people were unveiled in the centre of the complex on Saturday.
The Faces and Places of Cowley project, run by the Ark T Centre and funded by Templars Square, aims to brighten up the inside of the building and bring the community together with the permanent artworks.
Among the artists was seven-year-old Thomas Gower, from Cowley, who created a bold painting of a tiger with the help of his aunt Alison and two-year-old sister Miriam.
Thomas said: “I did it because I like tigers. They’re my favourite animal.”
His mum Chrissy said: “We’d seen the posters and we thought it looked like a nice thing to do. It probably took him about an hour-and-a-half, and he had some help, but he did a lot of it on his own.”
For many of the younger contributors, the project offered the opportunity to work on a bigger scale than they were used to.
Grace Bayliss, nine, whose dad Aaron is the manager of the shopping centre, said she had enjoyed working with a larger canvas.
She said: “It’s probably the biggest thing I’ve ever painted. It took about an hour-and-a-half.”
Mr Bayliss said: “It’s great to see that so many of the artists have come out to the launch having had their works put up.
“This sort of community spirit is the whole object of what the project was supposed to capture, and we’re really pleased.”
One of the youngest artists to take part, three-year-old Esme Hilton, was there to see her work – two paintings representing celebration – on display. Her dad Anton said: “It’s something for her to feel proud of. It’s a real community thing.”