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Gowerton’s Tŷ Trafle School transformed by pupil’s graffiti mural

Pupils at Tŷ Trafle School in Gowerton have helped transform their school entrance by creating a unique piece of graffiti art on its walls with the help of street artist Jenks.

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Tŷ Trafle School is a Priority Childcare Services school run by Orbis Group which provides learning and therapeutic support for children and young people.

The artwork was completed as part of an Evolution of Art project which engages young people in a wide range of art forms: from 3rd Century BC Japanese art to modern day techniques, and the likes of Banksy.

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Sarah Collett, Head of Education at Tŷ Trafle School, explains: “At Tŷ Trafle School we are proud of our hands on pupil-led curriculum. The pupils decided to turn the school’s corridor into an art gallery displaying a range of art through the ages. To this, we will continue to add the pupils’ own artwork.’

“Pupils visited the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery in Swansea to experience a local art exhibition. They were then encouraged to design their own graffiti-style mural encompassing what they felt represented Tŷ Trafle School.”

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Graffiti artist Steve Jenkins, knows as Jenks, then took the designs and amalgamated them into a large mural on the main school wall which he painted over the course of two days, incorporating meaningful values such as Trust, Resilience, Acceptance, Friendship, Learning and Empathy, all of which came directly from pupils and staff.

Sarah continues: “Jenks brought his iPad to show the pupils how he had used Computer Aided Design to merge the designs and to see how they would look in the space. He also added his own flare to the project, incorporating every letter of the alphabet within the mural so that all the pupils could spell their own names within the piece.’

“Pupils have gained a real sense of pride throughout this activity, proudly calling me over to show me the parts they recognise from their own designs; be it an image, colour or word. All the children attending Tŷ Trafle School have had multiple moves within their lives, whether that’s academically or personally, so to feel a part of something shared and to build positive relationships is one of our key aims, and this mural has really supported us in doing that.”

Street artist Jenks said he was delighted to work with the children at Tŷ Trafle School.

He said: “I had a great time with the guys at the school, from the discussions we had about my involvement with the art to painting the actual mural. I really enjoyed the visit. The rain held off, and I even got asked for a few autographs.”

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