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‘EXCEPTIONALLY EXCITED’: Underpass in Tring given major facelift with mural inspired by the ocean

 Published on: 9th July 2024   |   By: Panayiota Demosthenous   |   Category: Uncategorized

A neglected underpass in Tring has been given an upgrade, thanks to a resident’s determination and several cans of spray paint.

Local podcaster and artist Meredith Hepner-Chapman decided that she was tired of walking through the Silk Mill Estate underpass and seeing offensive graffiti messages. She enlisted the help of councillor Sally Symington, Hertfordshire County Council, and Marc Silver, CEO of MurWalls. Marc is also a spray paint artist best known for his huge portraits of Sir Elton John in Watford and Jürgen Klopp in Liverpool.

Speaking to TRINGnews, Meredith said: “I’ve recently been diagnosed with autism and ADHD, and had this really frustrating feeling of ‘Where do I fit in?’

“I’m either disinterested or obsessed like I was with this project – classic neurodiversity!”

With the help of Marc, his team, and county council licenced graffiti artists, the underpass was transformed into a colourful paradise. The mural features an underwater landscape of fish, coral, turtles, and even a mermaid. Since its creation, residents have stopped to admire the piece, including one three-year-old student who comes down every day to see her favourite fish, Dory. Her nursery school even took a trip to see the mural for themselves.

Marc said: “I am exceptionally excited to be involved in this project, creating a beautiful mural underpass for the people of Tring. The mural depicts sea life and represents the Natural History Museum in Tring – with a nod to Tring being one of the furthest towns from the coast.”

However, it has not been a smooth journey. Despite music producer and DJ Goldie MBE connecting Meredith to artists, she received very little local support. Then, a week before the mural was to be finally unveiled, her mother tragically died in an accident. Meredith nearly gave up altogether.

She said: “My mum advised on press releases. I couldn’t believe she wouldn’t see it.

“Marc said to me that we could stop and cancel this, but then I thought, my mum would  be so angry I was letting people down, and I was brought up better than that.”

In early May, Meredith, along with friends including singer-songwriter Judie Tzuke and photographer Scarlet Page, finally unveiled the incredible mural. Despite all the challenges faced, the project was finally complete, with all of Meredith’s hard work paying off.

As a homage to Meredith’s mum, Marc added a walrus – an animal that she had an anecdote about – and the word ‘mum’ amongst the coral of the ocean floor in the mural.

Cllr Symington, county councillor for Tring, said: “It has been a privilege. Celebrating neurodiversity through art, whilst improving the public realm, builds a stronger community and benefits all residents of Tring.”

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