Pictured: the test run this week ahead of the Bloom comic projections on Shrewsbury's Market Hall from Monday, May 17th - 9.30pm to midnight
A giant comic book created by children in Shrewsbury is to be projected onto the town’s Market Hall by international digital artist Andy McKeown, in remembrance of a year in lockdown.
Children at Bloom Art Studio in Shrewsbury have captured the flavour of the past year in a brilliant new comic book project – and their ‘Bloomo’ artwork will light up the walls of Shrewsbury Market Hall after dark from May 17th, thanks to media artist Andy McKeown.
The artwork tells the story of Shrewsbury’s 2020/21 floods and pandemic experiences. The comic scenes depict NHS superheroes battling the virus, Clap for Carers, mask-wearing, vaccinations and of course Captain Tom!
Kerry Jones, owner of the Coleham-based art studio, said: “We had just had two floods in quick succession and walked straight into Covid-19 after lengthy repairs. It was such a chaotic and unusual time we decided we should document it in art form. I suggested a comic book and the children jumped at the chance.
“The result exceeds my wildest expectations and looks spectacular. I’m truly blown away and so proud of all the children involved and their creations. They drew and made characters and told the story through their eyes which makes it all the more special.
“They understood that this is something that we have endured and lived through and that this will go down in history. They wanted to be a part of it and share their experience with others. They’ve all had difficult experiences during lockdown in one way or another and this was something really positive we could all do together.”
As the weeks went by, Kerry realised the children had created something very special, which needed to be shared with the world.
Shrewsbury-based media artist Andy McKeown agreed to lend his skills to support the project. Andy creates light installations at major shows, exhibitions and events all over the world. Last December, he was behind Towers of Light for the Mayflower 400 commemoration in Southampton, lighting up five tower blocks at Weston Shore.
He agreed to set up the installation projecting from Moss Bros, on Mardol – allowing him to light up the façade of the Market Hall. He has previously used the same space to show poppies falling for Remembrance and an animated clock display.
Andy said: “The project provides an opportunity to declare that we are (as a town) back from a long enforced hibernation.
“The children have created a wonderful comic book work - a strong , dynamic, bright colour. The comic book format works to perfection on the Market Hall facade - I have only run the test for 20 minutes so far but people were stopping to photograph and it was still quite light - it’s going to be stunning in the dark.”
William Neil, 11, a pupil at Coleham Primary School, drew the Bloomo front cover: “It’s a comic drawing of the battle between Storm Dennis, which caused the flooding, and the Covid germs,” he explained.
Grace Coffey, 12, a pupil at Meole Brace Secondary School, said: “I looked at a bunch of things that happened and wanted to put them in the story and make them positive as well, such as clapping for the NHS and things that have helped us through it.
“Kerry has helped me building my confidence show people what I can do with art,” she said. “I was amazed I was so shocked when I found out about the projections. I didn’t think my art could get somewhere like that.
“I just want people to really think that everything that’s happened will come to end and everything will be okay.”
“Being able to do this means the world to the artists that created this and their families,” Kerry added: “It’s something bright and positive, to leave lockdown behind and walk towards a new time. A time we can reflect on the struggles and understand no matter how hard it was, we overcame them.”
- You’ll be able to see the ‘Bloomo’ projections after sunset (9.30pm until midnight) from this Monday 17th May
- Big Bloomers (for aged 10+) runs on a Wednesday evening 6-7.30pm and is taught by Lauren Kent - visit @bloom4buddingartists