A women has been busy at work painting murals across a village in Cornwall.
Last year, photos of graffiti were shared across social media with the artist being dubbed ‘Stanksy’ as similar artwork to the infamous Banksy began popping up across St Austell and Mevagissey.
But unlike the infamous Banksy and unidentified ‘Stanksy’, Aza is not keeping her works of art a secret.
The first of four murals popped up in Mevagissey around a month ago during the ‘save our surgery’ campaign where pictures of it were used internationally in a successful attempt to save the town’s threatened surgery.
A spark was then ignited for Aza Adlam, who got involved with the initial painting of a bus stop in the village, with councillor James Mustoe, after it had been graffitied with phallic images and foul language.
The 69-year-old’s specialty is in miniature portraiture, a detailed and time consuming art form which Aza says would take her around 30 hours of work per portrait.
She said in comparison each of the four murals across Mevagissey took her a day.
Its fair to say her large mural work or ‘Guerrilla art’ across the fishing village is a far cry from what she is used to.
Guerrilla art is a street art movement that initially emerged in the UK but has since spread further afield, the concept developed as an extension of graffiti and largely involved art that is developed in public spaces and is often anonymous.
Whilst the work may not be as detailed as some of her previous stuff, she said: “The first time I took a bit longer because I didn’t know what I was doing.
“It was hard to not do it so detailed, I had to walk away.”
Aza, who moved to Mevagissey from Bristol four years ago, spoke of her long-time love for Cornwall. She used to travel to Cornwall at any given opportunity, staying in her caravan and travelling around the county, but personal reasons meant that she remained living in Bristol.
It was then that she says “everything fell into place” as she discovered a property, which she lives in to this day, was due to come on the market and snapped it up, not looking back.
She said: “I lived in Bristol in the same house for 30 years and hardly knew any neighbours, but here I know everyone.”
Her beautiful property overlooking the entirety of Mevagissey has a stunning outlook on the sea and there is no question over where Aza finds her daily inspiration.
The next mural of four is positioned at Willow Car Park, Aza told how she wanted to do a second in a similar style and was asked to do the same again, repeating the ‘Will you be our GP?’ calligraphy.
Fortunately a solution was found for the surgery but the mural went ahead as an ode to the campaign, keeping the huge community effort (hopefully) immortalised in the towns walls.
Then Aza’s murals were becoming the talk of the town. She said people were then asking if they could have their own mural and even painted one for a couple on request.
She said: “She wanted it done for her husband, specifically of him coming back into the harbour and not going out.”
We’ve set up a dedicated Facebook group for St Austell news, run by reporter Charlotte Becquart.
It’s the place to find news and content about St Austell, and you, the community, can also use it as a platform to get in touch or to share something that youâ€™d like us to follow up.
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The final mural, a beautiful tribute to wildflowers and the ‘nearly home’ trees that can be seen heading back to Cornwall at Cookworthy Knapp, can be found on the bus stop coming into the town.
You can read the story behind the nearly home trees here.
The former art teacher said: “Some of the glass at the bus stop had been replaced after being smashed, but it looked just as bad.
“It didn’t really suit the boats, so I thought it needed some flowers. I thought it would be quicker, but it wasn’t” she said.
She said that undertaking the bus stop mural was an interesting task. With a bus coming by every half an hour, she had many-an-onlooker querying her intentions – but she got there in the end and the mural is a stunning welcome to the village as you step off the bus.
A sort of ‘welcome home to Mevagissey ‘ mural if you will.
James Mustoe, Cornwall councillor for Mevagissey, said: â€œThis Guerilla Art is simply amazing. We had painted Catchpoleâ€™s Shelter on the cliffs above Mevagissey a simple white last year to cover up unsightly graffiti.
“But it took an artist with the colossal talent of Aza to transform this blank canvass into the work of art we now see, which at the time garnered international publicity as part of the #WillyoubemyGP campaign.â€
â€œAza has since gone onto create several similar murals at different places around our village, notably on the entrance to our village, transforming a dilapidated bus stop on Valley Road and brightening up the entrance to the main village car park.â€
â€œThank you Aza for all you have done, yet more positive work from within our village and hopefully a sign of more to come.â€
She has since been asked to do more work for people living in the village and whilst humbled at the request she is rather enjoying her retirement,soaking up the beauty that Cornwall offers. She said: “I will do the odd one or two – on a nice flat wall – I don’t want to make it my life’s work.”
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Community reporter Lisa Letcher has set up a dedicated Facebook group for community news discussions, called ‘Unheard Cornwall’.
It’s the place to find news and content about underrepresented areas in Cornwall, and you, the people of Cornwall, can also use it as a platform to get in touch or to share something that youâ€™d like her to look into.
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