Portraits on display at historic Shrewsbury landmark

A group of students from Shrewsbury College have added a splash of colour to a historic and internationally important building, The Flaxmill Maltings.

Working with Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings (Friends), Year 1 Art & Design students from the College have created individual historical self-portraits as workers of the Mill in the 18th Century. More than 30 of the large paintings are now displayed on the Mill’s hoardings in Spring Gardens, Ditherington.

Wendy Riddick, Art & Design Lecturer at the College and Friends Committee member, said: “It is a fantastic opportunity for our students to be able to create pieces of work for their course whilst engaging in the local community. 31 of our level 2 and level 3 students worked hard on these fantastic pieces, guided by myself and Tony Farelli, our Art technician and portrait artist - who has also created his own piece for the display.

“I have been a member of the Friends committee for four years now and I and the College have been involved in various exhibitions during this time. Both the College and the committee are keen to promote art in the local community, so these projects are a great opportunity for everyone.

“The paintings have only been up for a few days but already I have received some fantastic feedback from friends and members of the public, including a very positive message from The Chair of Friends, Councillor Alan Mosley, who wanted to pass on a thank you to the students and his delight with how the paintings look,” she added.

Richard Benjamin, Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings administrator and support officer, said: "The Friends have been running the project to decorate the hoardings around the Flaxmill Maltings with locally produced art for the last 18 months. We were delighted to accept this frieze of 8 boards produced by Art students from Shrewsbury College.

“The work is both interesting to look at and of fantastic quality, helping us to bring attention to the hoardings project and to the work of the Friends. Special thanks go to Art lecturer Wendy Riddick for coordinating this artwork," he said.

The Friends committee was formed in August 2010 in response to the public consultation and growing interest and enthusiasm for the development of the Flax Mill Maltings amongst the community.

Working in partnership with English Heritage, Shropshire Council and the Home and Community Agency, Friends have developed the Flax Mill Maltings Master Plan and last year the committee was presented with a Mayor of Shrewsbury Gold award for their contribution to the community.

The eye-catching paintings will be on display outside the building for the next few weeks.

For more information about Art courses at Shrewsbury College, please click here or call 01743 342333.

For more information about Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings please visit www.flaxmill-maltings.co.uk

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