The artists, provided by the International Arts Development Foundation (IADF), were invited to do the work after displaying their talents at the recent King Dus Street Art Festival in Freetown. The 10-day festival – named after the inspirational artist – exhibited crafts, music, poetry, comedy and street art. The artists’ past projects include murals at the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs at Lumley Beach, at the National Museum, and on Siaka Stevens Street. Having fostered a close relationship with the British Council, the Foundation, who specialise in promoting the works of young local artists, were only too happy to accept the task of rejuvenating the British estate.
Valona Taylor, Director at the IADF, said “The butterflies have the colours of Sierra Leone and the UK and represents the relationship between the two countries. Painting a mural at the High Commission has been a great opportunity for IADF to contribute a unique project that will beautify the neighbourhood while inspiring those who pass by the building on Spur Road. We look forward to opportunities to work with the British High Commission again.”
The artistic director for the project, Yayah Turay, was in agreement, adding “this idea all builds up from the fact that we want change the face of Freetown as a place to work, live and play; and working with the British High Commission gives us the opportunity to do that. This mural will represent the harmony between the two nations.”
The British High Commissioner, Guy Warrington, was pleased with the results; “I am delighted with the results of this collaboration. The UK and Sierra Leone have co-operated on a wide range of environmental projects in places such as the Gola Rain Forest and this symbolises the importance or working together to protect Salone’s unique eco-structure. It was inspiring to work with the talented young team from IADF on this project“