They followed in Banksy’s footsteps – or should we say handprints – by hand painting leaves for autumn, spring and summer trees on a storage container at the three-acre site.
Pupils and teachers from Wolf Fields Primary School were led by A Rocha UK staff and volunteers in a most orderly fashion to brighten up what otherwise would be a most dull-looking storage unit.
Wearing protective aprons and gloves, they all contributed to the art display as part of the ongoing development to turn a former drug den and dumping ground into an urban nature reserve and community garden.
‘Street art is usually linked to gangs and crime – and at one time that was part of the life of this site,’ said Environmental Education Officer David Melville. ‘But we joined Wolf Fields Primary School to add all our own leaf imprints to three seasonal trees on one side of the container.
‘It’s just another sign of how together we’re turning chaos into community. The children can clearly see the mural as they approach Wolf Fields to do their activities. And now more than 400 of them have become stakeholders by creating art.’
The school had come up with the idea of using handprints as leaves. This was further developed by David and A Rocha UK’s Education Intern at the time, Justus Amayo. Wolf Fields’ community team Art Co-ordinator Martin Raven painted the trees on the side of the container – ‘brilliantly matching the Elms close by’ – as David Melville put it. The whole team decided on the idea of one tree for each of spring, summer and autumn.
(Pictured left to right – Linda Zeylmans, Pear class, Year 4; Environmental Education Officer David Melville, Rachel Hutchinson, Birch class, Year 1; Avneet Khaira Palm class, Year 3; Janet Ben Youssef Apple class, Year 3; and Jim Connolly Elder class, Year 4. Photo: Kailean Khongsai)