Blackpool mum brings emotion to resort street through artistic talent

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A Blackpool mum and art student used her final college assignment to brighten up the area she lives in, and bring people hope during the pandemic.

Kirsty Rea, 48, painted a mural on a gate in Granville Road, beside her Durham Road home, as her final submission piece for a foundation art diploma she is taking at Blackpool and The Fylde College.

The mural was painted to represent “hope and togetherness,” which mum of seven Kirsty hoped would bring joy to people in the area after the hardships of the pandemic.

After becoming wheelchair-bound through illness six years ago, she began to feel “stuck in a rut,” until the day her partner brought home some materials, sparking her passion for art.

Kirsty Rea with her mural. Picture: Daniel Martino/JPI MediaKirsty Rea with her mural. Picture: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

Kirsty said: “My final project at college was ’emotions,’ and a lot of the things I seemed to be drawing were representing quite dark, gloomy things.

“So I wanted to paint something on a nice note, to really show different people’s togetherness.

“My partner came home with some canvases and paints around four years ago, and said ‘okay, paint, do something, find a hobby.'”

“I never really had the time before, but since then I’ve always been able to draw and paint.”
The mural represents "hope and togetherness" during the pandemic. Picture: Daniel Martino/JPI MediaThe mural represents “hope and togetherness” during the pandemic. Picture: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

The mural was painted onto the wooden gate using acrylic paint, and was sprayed with waterproof gloss sealant.

Kirsty hoped onlookers would be able to relate to the art, and said she would love to be able to paint other areas of Blackpool too.

She continued: “I would like to do it elsewhere because it’s brightening up Blackpool’s streets, really.

“I’d paint nice things, but I think it needs to be thought-provoking.

“People need to know that there are other people out there, they’re not alone, especially after all the lockdowns and mental health issues.”