Street artist, Paul Curtis, has over two hundred murals on display around the region, so when Wirral scouts wanted an artwork of their very own, they knew Paul was the person for the job.
The piece entitled, #SkillsForLife, measures 72 square metres and is situated on Brighton Street in Seacombe. The image was designed with the help of young Scouts, including the two members featured in the final composition, Birkenhead Explorer, Jack and West Wirral Scout, Beatrice.
The picture hopes to represent fun, unity, inclusion and pride; the repeated themes young people wanted to focus on during the design process. When the Scouts Association was set up in 1907 it was originally exclusively for boys but now it welcomes all.
As Karen Currums, the Local Growth Officer for Scouts, explained, “The Scouts see themselves as an ever-evolving movement and its members seek to create an inclusive and friendly environment for everyone.”
The mural was unveiled on Saturday, 4 November by Wirral Mayor, Cllr Jerry Williams and Scout Adventurer, Sean Conway.
Sean is an incredible endurance athlete who holds the world record for completing 105 Iron Man events in 105 days, has written six books and starred in three Amazon Prime documentaries about his life.
Sean said a few words ahead of the official unveiling which he said it, “was an honour to attend”.
Scouts from across Wirral were also present and got to meet Sean and Paul Curtis as they all saw the mural for the first time.
Paul had a real battle on his hands this week to finish the mural as he came up against nature in the form of storm Ciaran. In fact, it was so close to the wire that Paul was varnishing the artwork in the rain and dark the night before the unveiling.
Paul commented, “I’m very proud to be part of such an uplifting project.” The artist, who took ten days to complete the work, went on to say, “The Scouts Association offers young people so many opportunities to do things they may not otherwise have a chance to do.
“I love the outdoors, [which is] just as well really considering what I do! I have really enjoyed trying to capture that feeling that only comes with being there, in the wilderness with friends around a campfire.
“That’s just a small part of the scouting life I guess, but there is obviously much more too.”
Wirral has a long history with the Scouts, with 1st Birkenhead claiming to be one of the first ever Troops in the movement. As Karen Currums, explained, “We’re very proud of our heritage and equally delighted we can still provide so many places for young people.
“However, in order to continue to grow, we depend on the generosity of adults willing to make time to help us. Finding enough adults to volunteer is perhaps the biggest challenge we currently face.”
Karen explained that she hopes the mural will help create a lasting legacy for Wirral Scouts but she also wants to grab the attention of the local community.
As Karen explained, “Working with Paul on this mural has been a dream and we’re delighted with the finished piece. Not only does it celebrate all the people already involved with The Scouts, we also hope it will spark the imagination of local people and inspire them to volunteer and assist our Scouts in realising their potential”.
If you’d like to see more work by Paul Curtis, there is an interactive map that shows where all his work is on his website, paulcurtisartwork.com To find out more about the scouts and volunteering, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Lead image: The mural on Brighton Street