A Garston underpass decorated by artwork from local schoolchildren has had said artwork vandalised within a month of the refurbishment.
The pedestrian tunnel, located near the Harvester at Horseshoe Lane and St Albans Road, recently had 43 pieces of artwork from students at St Michael’s Catholic High School and Parmiter’s School placed along its walls, as reported in last month’s GarstonNews.
The plan is for the art to be changed regularly to allow artists from all over the community to brighten up the underpass and have their artwork exhibited to the world.
However, local councillor Steve Cavinder, who helped fund the refurbishment of the subway, posted photos in a community Facebook group on Sunday, May 1, showing some of the artwork having been graffitied on, with some expletives.
Mr Cavinder said on the post: “It’s really disappointing to see that some of the frames have been defaced. These have been cleaned up now but I’m sure residents will find this outrageous.
“Please, if you see this happening again then report it. The minority who do this kind of thing mustn’t spoil it for the majority who enjoy looking at the artwork as they’re walking through the subway.”
Residents reacted similarly, expressing their disappointment at the vandalism whilst also expressing support for the school’s initiative. One resident stated the mixture of drawings and paintings had “really transformed the space”.
Speaking to GarstonNews, Eddie Conway, Headteacher at St Michael’s, said: “It is very sad that anyone should vandalise artwork that has been erected to brighten up an underpass and is a gift to the local community.
“I know from having spoken to many local residents the artwork is greatly appreciated and enjoyed, it is a shame that someone does not understand this. I hope that this is an isolated incident and is not repeated.”
Parmiter’s School have been contacted for comment.
Picture credit Steve Cavinder