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Painting a Mural that made me Cry, Laugh, Feel Joy & Deep Sorrow

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From: Murals & Illustrations / Specific to: /

Today I cried, laughed, felt joy and deep sorrow, it was an emotional roller coaster today painting a mural.

The Angry Man

It started with the angry man who a few days before shouted abuse at me for 15 minutes or so, I’m not sure of his mental health but all the same, it was confronting. Anyway, he was back today, this time he kicked the mural and hurled abuse at me and my part-time boss too. After a tiny bit of confrontation, he moves on.

The Child without a Jumper

As the day went on the boy who I’ve seen hanging out on the street since I’ve been painting the mural came up to me and wanted to paint too. Anyway, today was cold as, on the edge of snowing and he is in a T-shirt which has been the case of the last 4 days. He happily helps paint and explains why he is not a school. While he is shivering and painting in the shade I asked where is his jumper. Doesn’t have one he says. Hmmm anyway across from us is a camping store, there is a sale on, so I tell him for his hard work he can go pick a jumper out. We do that and then he bolts off to find his friends, I see him later on with a smile on his face zipping around on his scooter.

The Ex-Herion Addict

Not long after that a guy comes up to me, he is familiar from a few days before, his facial features and maybe his neck tattoo gives a tiny insight to that of maybe a rugged road travelled. So then this guy pulls out a beanie from his bag, explaining how he has washed it and thought I need it as he saw me working in the cold conditions from a few days back, thankfully I take his gift. His story follows of a life of hard addiction to heroin but the last few years he is winning the battle. At this point this broke me a bit, yeah I had to cry with his story. He was okay with that and then tells me how he just saw his dad before he died a few weeks back and gave him his first hug before dying. We say goodbye and I get back to painting.

Deteriorating Muscles from Birth

Sometime after this a young guy is watching me paint, I wave hello and he comes over, we chat and he lets me know he likes mural. I casually ask about being in a wheelchair, maybe this is not the right thing to do but I did. He explains that he has a disease in which his muscle is deteriorating, it started at birth, he has pretty well much spent his life in the wheelchair. We casually talk of other things, he smiles and accepts my invitation if he would like a photo with the panda.

A Woman’s Story of Sexual Assault

After a bit of time, a lady comes up to me while I’m painting the mural. She asks me if I can paint a mural for her at her shop. Sure I say, then comes the story for the mural, has to be her story of being sexually assaulted by two men, behind her shop, I let that sink in and listen to her story, full on even without the detail. I’m still not sure how I can help but will see.

Shortly after it rains, I take shelter and look at the mural, there is a happy place out there and there are places of darkness too.

Woden mural
Rainbow after the rain

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2 thoughts on “Painting a Mural that made me Cry, Laugh, Feel Joy & Deep Sorrow

  1. Hi Bjarni, thank you for your thoughtful blog. And thanks for the love you share and your commitment to being inclusive with your work. Your story reveals what a positive contribution you are making to people’s lives, while adding beauty to an otherwise stark urban scape. Paint on!

    1. Thanks Jacquie, it was really rewarding getting to work with the community on this mural.

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