The vision of artists, environmental concerns of an organization, corporate partnership, and expert craftsmanship of two tilers have resulted in a formerly pale blank wall along Warrens Centenarian Pass roadway springing to life.
The 4,500-square-foot environmental wall, with an assortment of 150,000 pieces of colourful earthen tiles, portrays Barbados’ varied and critical environmental features, interspersed with messages on safeguarding the national flora and fauna, was commissioned on Saturday.
“The mural is not just a beautiful piece of artwork to be admired as we pass the area. It’s a constant reminder that those who occupy this island are entrusted with doing our part in preserving it for future generations,” explained Rik Parkhill, CEO of CIBC FirstCaribbean, one of the mural’s main sponsors.
Parkhill said it “serves as a potent educational tool . . . ; tells a story of man living in harmony with his environment, coast to coast, on an island. It brought to our attention marine life, including the sea turtle and the need to protect our gullies, which is such an important part of our ecosystem in Barbados, as well as the need to farm responsibly, and the immense benefits from harvesting the sun . . . . A major attraction with a powerful purpose”.
CIBC FirstCaribbean is the corporate supporter of the project, on a wall donated for the purpose by the National Insurance Scheme (NIS).
Designed by artists Goldie and David Spieler, and pushed by the Future Centre Trust, the mosaic was brought together by almost a year of painstaking work mainly of tilers Dwayne Goddard and Troy Young. Happy helpers on the project were Lester Vaughan School and Queen’s College teachers and CIBC FirstCaribbean staff.
“I hope the mural lasts a 1,000 years,” said NIS chairman Dr Justin Robinson.
Future Centre Trust executive director Cherice Gibson supported Robinson’s wish.
“The overwhelming, positive feedback from many persons, locally and abroad throughout the implementation of the project, has been extremely encouraging, and we are confident that this mural will be a lasting and impactful beacon for environmental conservation. The specific goal of this project was to provide a mural focused on the natural environment while beautifying the area . . . . You will agree that this has been achieved.”
As explained by the sponsors, “the mural depicts the local ecosystem and the importance of preserving it. It starts with the marine environment with vibrant images of colourful fish, the beach and sea turtles and then moves inland to show the beautiful flora and fauna of the island”.
At the launch just under a year back, the Future Centre Trust stated that the mural would assist in the beautification of this rapidly developing area by converting what is now a blank wall into a breathtaking work of art with powerful messages.
The colours that appear to leap out during a walk-by or drive-by would certainly attest to the power of the messages.