Newthorpe couple brighten up 'grim' footpath with colourful art mural

A Newthorpe couple are the talk of the village after transforming their ‘ugly’ garage into a colourful work of art.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 2:44 pm
Updated Monday, 15th March 2021, 2:46 pm
The ugly garage was transformed with an art display.

Janine Foxhall and her partner Rebecca Bracken bought their home in Mill Road, along with its ‘unsightly’ garage, in December 2018.

The side of the garage, previously offering views of corrugated grey metal, runs along the public footpath between Mill Road and Colliers Wood.

The building has been victim to graffiti and vandalism over the years.

Former police officer Janine said: "When you see things like that I always think it makes a place feel unsafe.

"When things that aren’t looked after it can make a place feel a bit dodgy.

"I wondered what the best way round it was – if we just made another blank wall then the tagging would just happen again.”

Instead, the pair decided to brighten up the garage and hired community artist Anna Wheelhouse to take charge of the project.

Janine, who has always had a passion for street art, said: “We bandered around a few ideas for the design. My name is Foxhall and my partner’s name is Bracken so wanted to play on that.”

The design also includes elements inspired by local history, such as mining imagery and headstocks.

Janine added: “We thought it’d also be nice to have something local in as well, give it a bit of local flavour.

"The amount of interest it has sparked up is unbelievable.

"Dog walkers are always stopping and taking photographs and everybody is talking about it.

"A woman stopped me the other day and said “have you seen there is a mural up there? I’m taking my granddaughter to see it”.

"Everybody seems really positive about it and is saying how nice it is that someone has done something pretty down the path.”

Along with incidents of graffiti, the footpath has also been a target for littering and dog fouling recently.

Janine said: “It can be a bit grim sometimes. So at least this has cheered up part of it.

"This makes it a place that people want to walk past instead of avoid.

"At the moment there’s not a lot you can do that’s fun. So while everybody is at home and going for walks a lot, this was an opportunity to help brighten people’s day.”