A brand new mural was unveiled today as part of New Brighton’s ever-growing street art collection. The piece, entitled “Unsung Heroes“ is a portrait of local RNLI volunteer Mike Jones who celebrates 40-years of working at the New Brighton Lifeboat station.
Painted on the gable end of a house on Virginia Road in the town’s thriving Victoria Quarter, renowned street artist SmugOne devised and executed the striking image. Known for his hyper-realistic work, Smug creates amazing large-scale wall pieces that look like they could be photographs.
The artwork now joins more than 25 large-scale pieces by both local, national and international artists which have been commissioned and funded by regeneration company Rockpoint Leisure, who are based within the neighbourhood.
The privately-funded company has worked for the past two years transforming the area with art alongside some retail and hospitality businesses. A street art tour has also now been established with a free guide available for visitors, and a contemporary art gallery is due to open in early October.
New Brighton’s busy Lifeboat Station is staffed with a volunteer crew and they answer more than 70 call-outs per year. The RNLI is a charity and is completely reliant on public donations to continue saving lives at sea.
Whilst located in the buzzy Victoria Quarter area of the town, the artwork is also clearly visible from New Brighton’s main promenade, with artist Smug capturing Mike looking out across Liverpool Bay, keeping a watchful eye on the waters.
Speaking about his portrait, Mike Jones commented
”It’s absolutely brilliant, and I’m really proud of it. I’ve grown up with the RNLI. I was 16 or 17 years old when I first started going down to the station, and here we are four decades on. The RNLI is a way of life – and I’m amazed at what Smug has done.”
Fresh from finishing the mural, artist SmugOne added:
“A great deal of my work focuses on chronicling the lives of everyday members of the community – especially those who normally wouldn’t get recognised publicly with the great work that they do. It was inspiring to be able to celebrate Mike’s long service achievement as a volunteer with the station and I hope that the work draws attention to the bravery and personal generosity of the service, and generates them much needed support.“
The unveiling attracted a great deal of attention from members of the local community who came out to support both the crew and to see the new work
Daniel Davies, CEO of Rockpoint Leisure said:
“Smug’s work is incredible and the detail in the portrait of Mike is truly breathtaking.
As part of our regeneration plans within the neighbourhood, we’ve included a number of local subjects, which tell the tale of the town’s historic past and also its present.
It’s great to add “Unsung Heroes” to our collection of street art within New Brighton’s Victoria Quarter and I’m certain that it will draw a great deal of admiration from visitors.”
To make a donation to assist the valuable work of the RNLI please visit https://rnli.org/pages/make-a-donation
For more information about New Brighton’s Street Art please visit www.newbrightonstreetart.com