Samaritans commission street art for centre

Laura White
Laura White
Photographs by Brett Lockwood

The Plymouth Samaritans’ branch is always keen to connect with people and the vibrant artist Jessie Wellington was commissioned to take on a monumental task with her own superbly refined and creative artistic skills and talent.

She has created a breath-taking work of art on what was a barren and forsaken wall at the Plymouth Samaritans’ Centre in Oxford Place, Plymouth.

Jessie says: “I knew straight away that I wanted to create something for this space that both reflected the core of what the Samaritans do for us, as well as the hope they provide to those who need them. Very quickly this Pop Art-inspired, superhero, vibrant idea came to mind. Something that adds some colour out of the darkness.

‘Everyone who volunteers, uses or has been touched by the Samaritans in some way has a story to tell, so I wanted this piece to both tell a stand-alone story and for anyone viewing it to see themselves reflected in that story in some way. But, ultimately, the main point of the piece is to remind you that you are not alone and the Samaritans will always be there for you when you need them.”

Jessie and co-worker Tony Fairchild worked tirelessly against the unpredictable British weather, and over five days, painstakingly applied the paint to the wall from her design.

“It’s been an honour to create this for Plymouth Samaritans, working with such incredible people for such an amazing cause,” said Jessie.

Tony Fairchild said: “Art is my self-therapy and self-development which has supported my own mental-health during lockdown and so working on a project for an organisation which supports lives, I’ll be always grateful for this amazing opportunity working with, and for, such dedicated people.”

Samaritans would additionally like to say a massive warm thank you to Rick at South West Hire and Sales, for the use of their tower scaffolding, Brett Lockwood and Guy Harris for taking photos of the art progression and the final photos of the finished mural, Morgan the plasterer, for helping to prepare the wall for painting, Gypsy Greaves, for helping to clear the space, Brewers, for supplying the paint, and Plymouth Artists Together for connecting Plymouth to its artists.

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