Olly makes a marvellous mural for Marksbury children

April 28 2017
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CHILDREN at Oasis Marksbury Road primary school have been watching a work of art take shape before their eyes – and now it’s part of their playground. South Bristol artist Olly Gage, well known for many murals on houses and in Redcatch Park, devised his own story for the 100ft mural, using elements from the local area, nature, fantasy and even fitting in the school’s four rules.

Olly Gage and the Marksbury mural

“We wanted something that was going to make the space look great but also something that was meaningful to school life,” said deputy head Clare Robinson.

Olly has included local landmarks – such as the distinctive Holy Nativity church in Wells Road – as well as the colourful terraced houses that surround the school in both Totterdown and Windmill Hill.

At one end, a fairy is throwing a magic blast of energy which starts the picture off, morphing into  a night sky, then an enormous blue tit, when slowly a wave of water flows up and turns into one of Totterdown’s hills – on which some children are playing.

Surrounding the bird and hanging from a tree – and hidden in the grass – are the school’s four rules.

It took Olly five days to paint it all. While he was working the children were watching avidly from the other side of the playground fence with the constant refrain: “What are you painting?”

“The children have loved seeing it develop and now they absolutely love it,” said Clare. Already children are making up their own games to fit in with the pictures.

Olly was supported by only a minimal payment from the parent teacher association, which is chaired by Knowle parent Clare Bright. “It’s so marvellous to see this finished,” she said. “We hope it draws attention to the school because it’s such a fantastic place with an amazing staff.”

Marksbury Road is a new school which opened in September 2015 with just one class. Last year it doubled its intake to two more classes, and this year demand is already so strong that there will be two more classes.

• oasisacademymarksburyroad.org

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