The idea for the installation started life as a graffiti wall, designed to help students reflect on the pandemic and its impact on mental health.
As the project progressed, enrichment officer Jodie Kempson collaborated with students, who wanted to make the wall and its surrounding area into a space to spend time and reflect.
The collaboration and the involvement of mural artist Emma Garness meant that the end product reflects the themes of inclusivity and equality, as well as mental health.
The wall features five faces of people with special connections to the college.
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Luke Crispin – a former student of East Riding College who sadly died in 2020 – his parents were honoured that the students asked if they could feature Luke on the wall.
Kirsty Young – a former student and now a member of staff. Kirsty is very open about her own personal battles with mental health, has overcome a lot of adversity in her life, and is an inspiration to thecollege’s students.
Lewis Singleton – a former student and now member of staff at the Beverley campus – Lewis has been a student at the college from foundation level to degree level, and is now a media tutor. Lewis has autism and faces his own struggles on a daily basis.
Nikki Custus – the son of staff member Sally, who works in the refectory at the Bridlington campus. Nikki sadly died in 2020 after his own battles with mental health.
Lily Smith – Lily is a student and proud advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. She has worked hard to be comfortable with herself. Students wanted her to see her face on the wall so she could be reminded of how courageous she is.
At the students’ suggestion, the wall also features positive words and phrases, bright colours and a trail of foliage, each of which represent herbs that encourage good mental health, such as passionflower, rosemary and lavender.
Jodie Kempson said: “It’s been a fantastically positive and heart-warming project to be involved with. The students led the way in including diversity and inclusivity themes alongside mental health, and I think what we’ve come up with is something that’s positive and also quite meaningful.
“The mural has created an outdoor space on campus for thought and reflection, as well as a beautiful and eye-catching piece of wall art.”
Go to youtu.be/x5PWLdJ8Jus to watch a video about the mural.