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After many weeks of preparation, planning and designing by our Art and Photography students, the Unframed: Ashford Mural Festival has been launched! Taking place over 2 weeks, this festival will allow students, staff and Ashford residents the chance to see 16 amazing pieces of work, that each represent a part of Ashford and it's culture. Guided tours, craft workshops and art film performances are also taking place during the two weeks so that people can get fully involved with this great project.
Each mural that has been commissioned has been tasked with brightening up and giving new life to blank spaces and empty walls, transforming them into a sea of colour and creativity. Our murals that our students have designed are no exception to this, taking key parts of student learning and their creative ambition and using this to make incredible works of art.
Our first mural, (number 1 on the Unframed Trail) is entitled "A Fish Out of Ashford" and is located just outside Ashford International Station in planters by the car park. There are two parts to this mural, with part one being giant willow weaved letters that have been placed inside the planters. These were hand weaved by our staff and students, and spell out the word "Welcome". The willow weaving was taught to us by staff at Brockhill Country Park, on a visit that we did the other week, and the skills have been picked up fairly quickly as you can see!
Part Two of "A Fish Out of Ashford" is the planters themselves, which have been vinyl wrapped, with artwork created by two of our Level 3 students, Leah Bunting and Claudia Otto. Their designed is inspired by the movement of Ashford as a transport hub, and the flow of the nearby Great Stour River which runs through the town. Each planter also shows a letter, which when viewed together spells out the word "Ashford".
Along with the willow letters, this whole mural aims to "Welcome Ashford" to those using the train station, and they even light up at night! This was a project that they did in partnership with Ashford International Station, Southeastern and Kent Community Rail Partnership, and we are so thankful for all their help into making our students' vision a reality.
Our second mural (number 4 on the Unframed Trail) is entitled "Light Up Ashford", and is located underneath our Phase 2 Development, on the wall on Station Road. This mural was designed by our Photography students in our Art department, and is made up of a series of photographic light drawings which they did in our on site studio. Each part also spells out a letter of the word "Ashford" and are really bright and colourful, highlighting the strength of our creative arts courses within the College. The way in which the light drawings are done have also been created to show the busy and high-speed of Ashford's culture.
All the murals and the trail itself were officially launched at a launch party which took place at Coachworks (opposite from the College). Taking place were family friendly art workshops, live painting by ODISY, artists talks about their Unframed work, live music and great food. Our creative staff and students were in attendance and it was a great event for them to really celebrate all their hard work. Although the mural festival is only 2 weeks, it is hoped that these artworks will stay up for quite a while across the whole town!
Check out our blog about the Unframed Trail and explore the great artwork for yourself!