By Nathan Barcio
A local graphic designer who won a competition to paint a mural on Cooperage Lane hopes young people will be inspired by the project, which also seeks to change negative perceptions about large-scale street art.
Gerry Martinez is currently working on two murals in Cooperage Lane, located on the walls of the tunnels between Chatham Counterguard and Irish Town.
“I would love to inspire the youth of Gibraltar to get involved in community projects such as this,” she said.
The artist first got into street art in December when she decided to take part in a competition in the hope that she could remove the “negative publicity” that surrounded street art following the painting of Inces Hall.
She believes that having a local artist creating street art would remove the criticism that there is not enough local support towards the genre.
Her first mural, which is currently in progress, is a response to the increasing amount of pollution and buildings in Gibraltar.
“Today the architectural landscape of Gibraltar has changed considerably in my opinion and not exactly in a positive way,” she said.
“This is my response to the times that we live in.”
“I think it’s time for an urban regeneration,” she added.
She states that urban regeneration can be achieved through colourful street art such as her two murals, which involve natural things such as the sky, clouds, a young girl, flowers and the caption “Make A Wish.”
She started tracing her piece onto the first wall last Sunday night and started painting the piece on Monday, working from 10am until 4pm. However, she is hoping to get an earlier start [from 8am] to ensure she can reach her goal of finishing her piece as soon as possible.
Ms Martinez has estimated to spend potentially two weeks working on each of the murals. Her goal is to have the two pieces completed by National Day, September 10.
She is hoping to maintain the “overwhelming positive responses” that she has been receiving from members of the public and to be involved in even more street art initiatives around the Rock with the same intentions of inspiring youth and creating an “urban regeneration.”
Nathan Barcio is a student on work experience with the Chronicle.
Pic by Johnny Bugeja