The Girl

Shorelines Project Unveils First Mural, ‘The Girl’ by Calvin Innes

The first mural piece as part of The Shorelines Project – a recently launched art and activism project in partnership with Rights : Community : Action and being delivered by Hull based creative agency, Drunk Animal – was completed in just five days.

Following the project’s launch on Friday 9th October, CEO of Drunk Animal and illustrator Calvin Innes alongside local artist Andy Pea, got to work early Sunday morning to bring the first mural to life as part of the 12 month community engagement campaign. With the aim to empower Hull’s residents to be better informed, educated and prepared for climate change, a series of 10 giant murals will be seen popping up over the city to act as a reminder of the real risks the city faces if no immediate action is taken.

Hull faces a bleak future if rising sea level predictions are to go by.The Environment Agency has estimated that sea levels could rise by 1.55 metres over the next 100 years. What that means for cities like Hull, which sits predominantly below sea level, is that we face a very wet, flooded future. 

Naomi Luhde-Thompson, Chief Executive at Rights: Community: Action said:

Climate change is happening; it’s now an inevitable part of our future; but as a city, we are not prepared for its long term impacts. More needs to be done to safeguard the city and its communities for the future. We want the Shorelines Project to act as a lasting reminder to the people of Hull that its future can be re-written if we work together to demand change.

Art has the power to transport people to an imagined future where climate change doesn’t have to be an issue. By using art, and delivering it through a community-led engagement programme, we hope we’ll be able to empower the Hull community and give them the confidence to know that they have the collective power to tackle it head on.”

We want Hull to lead the debate in climate change. The city has the potential to become the leader in flood prevention, but only if the community raises the issue to the highest levels. Through our art project, we want to empower communities and make them believe that their voice is valid; it’s essential in the fight against global warming.”

Hull College is the chosen location for the first mural, standing a huge 9.78m high x 6.75m wide. The Shorelines Project will be seen breaking records for the largest murals at least 5 times over throughout the campaign, and so it’s hard to believe that Hull College is actually one of the smallest walls as part of the series. 

Using art to visualise the future of Hull City is the key focus of The Shorelines Project and the campaigners thoughts behind each mural started with the idea of sending communities on a journey from ‘Dark to Light’. As people become increasingly enlightened and educated on the threat of climate change to our City, the murals will start to evolve from the darkness representing fear and uncertainty, to light and a sense of optimism for the future.

Launching with such a dark, ominous piece is representative of the fact that at the moment, many are unaware or have turned a blind eye to the very real, very serious threat of Climate Change to our City. As knowledge grows, communities will finally be able to see clearly and start to demand change for Hull’s future.

Introducing you to The Girl, designed to capture people’s attention and spark a discussion, The Girl, who is young but deliberately ageless, sits cross legged over a collection of crudely sketched illustrations, created with coloured pencils. The illustrations are child-like depictions of people trapped in flood water, in boats, wading through flooded areas. The image is largely blue, with a water-line at the very top. 

The intention is that upon first glance, the girl appears to be seated, basked in blue light, closer inspection will reveal that she is in fact sat under water;  iconic Hull buildings blurred into the background.

Toys, coloured pencils and other small items float around the girl, depicting a childhood potentially lost to the flood waters. The look on the girls face is deliberately designed in the same way the Mona Lisa’s smile works – a look Italians describe as ‘sfumato’. It means blurry, ambiguous and up to the imagination.

Calvin Innes, CEO and Creative Director at Drunk Animal said:

“The piece is designed to make some people feel slightly uncomfortable, others hopeful, and to instigate discussion about climate change, flooding and how it will affect future generations.

We’re encouraging as many people to get involved with The Shorelines Project as possible. Community engagement is crucial because it’s our people, our future, that will be affected by Climate Change and flooding.”

Make sure you follow The Shorelines Project across all of our Social Media channels for exclusive content and sneak peeks as murals start to come to life across the city.