Eleanor Taylor Dobbs, the artist behind ‘A Boat Called Hope’, a mural at Fountain Ramp, visited the artwork yesterday and was joined by the children who helped create it as well as ministers Dr John Cortes and Steven Linares.
Both Dr Cortes and Mr Linares spoke to the various children who took part in the project, quizzing them about their inspiration and their thoughts on various topics such as justice and human rights.
The mural was created during a week-long project last August that formed part of the summer programme.
The overall theme of the project was the declaration of human rights and artwork commenced with the hanging in the room of a photo of Eleanor Roosevelt holding the declaration.
“We just talked about the declaration, we talked about it quiet loosely,” said Ms Taylor Dobbs.
“Then each day we had different themes of artwork that we were doing, using different mediums to explore the whole idea of human rights,” she added. The project grew from this exploration.
Ms Taylor Dobbs had gone along the Strait of Gibraltar and collected flotsam and jetsam, including wood from a ship carrying migrants that had sunk.
“We did not speak about it too much, but freedom of movement is a big part of human rights and children respond to that very much. If children can move back and forward to wherever they want to go they think why can’t other people as well,” said Ms Taylor Dobbs.
Each one of the boats depicted in the mural was created by the children during the workshop and are made of the materials the artist collected.
While Ms Taylor Dobbs drew out and painted the mural she stresses that the work is that of the children and as a result she ensured she added quotes by them to the mural.
“Quotes about hope, protection, freedom or justice or any of those wonderful things that are listed in the declaration,” she said.
The yellow stripes along the way did not originally form part of the artwork. However, as one stripe was already in existence the artist decided to add more which in turn she believes gives more of the illusion of borders between places or countries.
The painting of the mural took seven days and she worked closely with Jessica Darch, who painted the octopus on the side of a house in the Upper Town.
Pics by Johnny Bugeja