I Love Art – We Love Art
Earlier this year my little town hit the headlines for all the right reasons. Two artists decided to head out in the early hours of the morning and decorate one of our drab and boring bus stops (that was at the time seriously neglected and in need of a makeover) with original pieces of art using the local composer Elgar as their muse. Sadly they were caught in the act so they were unable to remain anonymous as they had hoped – much in the style of Banksy – but what happened next made me feel proud of my town and the wonderful people we have living here. You see, we all instantly gave these guys the respect they deserved and recognised that this wasn’t vandalism, far from it, they had given us excellent art work that needed to stay exactly where it was. It was a gift.
Malvern is a conservative town (yet it’s full of some weird and wonderful people) and there were fears that our voices would be ignored by the local council. Luckily we were listened to (either we were or the amount of good press and extra tourism the artwork attracted) and we were told Elgar could stay put, hurrah! Our town Mayor even gave his stamp of approval saying ‘I think it looks absolutely wonderful – very original, very quirky, and very Malvern all at the same time. This is on Town Council property, and I am supporting calls for it to be preserved’.
Since then the bus stop has been given a £5000 paint job (a scary time as we weren’t sure if the Elgar would remain, but he did), and the two We Love Art artists, Lee and Tom, have gone on to work on other local projects including commissioned pieces for HMV in Worcester and the Elgar Museum.
I recently won a print of ‘Beats by Elgar’ (a print of the commission created for HMV) and he now lives on my dining room wall and I admire him every day. We also take the dog for walks and often go out of our way to see Elgar as he stands idly checking his smartphone next to the classic red telephone box. I feel proud of my town and of the two artists that had a creative vision and went with it.
You can order prints from the weloveart.co.uk website but if you can’t afford the art work it’s possible to buy cards from a local shop in Great Malvern called Iapetus Gallery – a favourite shop of mine, well worth a visit. I popped up there this weekend to take a look at what was available and was pleased to see they have the prints in various sizes along with greeting cards, an excellent idea for tourists and for anyone unable to afford the prints then and there. There are four Elgar prints available, starting at only £35 each for a 10×12.
If you ever come to Great Malvern I recommend you hunt down the bus stop on the Wells Road and pay Elgar a visit.