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To celebrate Refugee week 2023, we created, with community volunteers a massive piece of land art on Saville Moor park around the theme of compassion. St Augustine’s Centre wanted to make a huge statement in support of those fleeing war and persecution to demonstrate that the people of Calderdale welcome refugees and asylum seekers.

The image, depicting Sobeda who fled Bangladesh, and Lucy, whom she met through a local befriending programme, perfectly illustrate this years’ theme of Compassion. “Myself and my husband Monir were referred to the Befriending Programme run by St Augustine’s Centre, because when we arrived here we were struggling and isolated. We were introduced to Lucy who has helped us through difficult times and reduced our sadness. This is what compassion means to us,” Sobeda said.

Measuring a whopping 64m x 64m, the main image took the team 2 days to complete in the sweltering sunshine. On the 3rd day local community groups, schools and people from the centre, joined us in field painting hundreds of birds surrounding the image representing freedom, solidarity and migration. Alongside the stencilling, The Artworks in Halifax ran a paper bird making workshop.

The day finished with hundreds of the participants sharing home cooked food and then gathering around the image for a celebratory drone shot by Charlotte Graham. The team; Liz, Jocasta, Emma, Jonathan, Lou, Mark, Rick and Hannah celebrated the end of a very hot and successful few days with ice lollies that Liz got from the chippy.

All paint used is biodegradable. The piece was commissioned by St Augustine’s Centre and supported by Counterpoints Arts, Calderdale Council, Calderdale Valley of the Sanctuary and funded by Arts council England Lottery Funding.

The client was very happy with how much press the piece received, we helped to organise the press for the day and manage to get the story on to BBC Look North and into The Gardian Best Photos

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