Artists responsible for the

Makeover of Norwich subway has a serious message

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
7.58 AM

A Norwich underpass has been given a makeover in the name of mental health.

Artists responsible for the " St Stephens Paste Up" at one of the entrances to the busy subway that they are sprucing up with their work.Nikki Simmons with her work.Photo: Steve AdamsArtists responsible for the " St Stephens Paste Up" at one of the entrances to the busy subway that they are sprucing up with their work.Nikki Simmons with her work.Photo: Steve Adams

St Stephens paste up, a project aimed at breaking down taboos surrounding mental health, was launched yesterday, in St Stephen’s underpass.

On a route used by hundreds of people every day on their way to and from work, artists, photographers and graphic designers are coming together to paste art work on the walls.

Community Service Volunteers along with Times for Change are using the space to concentrate on stimulating conversation surrounding all aspects of mental health.

Laura Wigby, 30, of Norwich, who is spearheading the project, said: “I always walk this way to work and I’ve noticed over the last couple of years it has become covered in more and more graffiti. I got in touch with the city council and asked them what the possibility of doing something down here was.”

Artists responsible for the " St Stephens Paste Up" at one of the entrances to the busy subway that they are sprucing up with their work . Anastacia Tohill next to her work.Photo: Steve AdamsArtists responsible for the " St Stephens Paste Up" at one of the entrances to the busy subway that they are sprucing up with their work . Anastacia Tohill next to her work.Photo: Steve Adams

Last year, the Norwich Evening News launched its Graffitibusters Campaign aiming to crack down on the illegal tags littering the city centre.

Ms Wigby said its important to challenge taboos surrounding mental health and said: “The space is big and we would like to fill the underpass with strong and relevant artwork that will get people thinking and talking about the subject.”

Joe Black, 29, of Lithuania, a photographer and artist involved in the project, said: “I think its a great idea, all these empty spaces can be filled with art, so it’s something nice to walk through in the morning.”

Nicola Simmons, 21, of Norwich, a graphic designer, wanted to draw attention to the different sides of mental health and said: “I have dyslexia which is a mental health issue. People often mistake dyslexia for a lack of intelligence which I wanted to challenge by presenting the positive side of dyslexia.”

Anastacia Tohill, 46, of Norwich, a freelance illustrator and animator, created a character portraying the ‘five ways to wellbeing.’ She said: “It is important to create art that will make people take notice.”

For more information or to get involved contact Laura Wigby 07881 910 461 or email laura.wigby@bbc.co.uk