Arts student Robert, who we support, creates mural in our Stoke-on-Trent supported living service!
An individual we support at Lifeways has completed a large mural in the supported living service where he lives – and he’s already received positive feedback from other people who live there.
Late last year, Robert, who’s in his thirties, moved to his own flat in Queen Oaks Court, in the Stoke-on-Trent suburb of Bucknall.
He was one of the very first people to move into the service, which is made up of 16 self-contained apartments.
Before even moving in, Robert was already planning to place a large work of art at the service. As an arts student who is currently completing a Master’s Degree in Disability Within Art at Staffordshire University, Robert is interested in both expressing himself and his life, and the places where he lives.
So when he moved into Queen Oaks Court, Robert began work on a large mural, which is right by the main entrance of the building and visible to anyone who steps inside.
Feeling like home
The mural was slow-going – as Robert likes to take his time – and he also received help from his dad with the painting.
“I’ve loved doing this,” says Robert.
“I’m not very talented but I do love painting and artwork. Being given permission to complete a wall painting at Queens Oaks Court has made me feel like this is now my home.”
Caption: Robert's mural. At about 10 feet across and 5 feet high, the artwork took him quite a few months to complete.
Robert’s mural, which is about 10 feet across and 5 feet high, features icons of Stoke-on-Trent – depicting the city’s famous bottle-shaped kilns, and a steel structure, which both pay homage to the city’s historical pottery and steel industries.
There’s also a depiction of a well-known landmark, the Guildhall, in Robert’s hometown of Newcastle-under-Lyme, which is nearby Stoke-on-Trent.
One its other side, the mural depicts Robert himself, his cat Sable, an artist’s easel and canvas, and the building of Queen Oaks Court.
A cat’s life
When Robert’s not busy with artwork or his studies, he enjoys baking, and spending time with Sable the cat, who lives in his apartment.
“The cat’s called Sable because he’s all black – and ‘sable’ is quite an old posh word for the colour black,” says Robert.
Sable was adopted from the local rescue shelter, and spends much of his time on Robert’s window sill - or on his multi-tiered scratching post.
Caption: Sable the cat receives a stroke from Robert. “’Sable is quite an old posh word for the colour black,” says Robert.
Back in October, Queen Oaks Court held a bake-off, and Robert’s competition entry - a carrot cake - won him first prize. Robert also likes baking muffins and cheesecakes.
‘Lots of compliments’
Has the mural been popular with visitors, and other people who live and work at Queen Oaks Court?
“I have had lots of people make some lovely comments about it,” says Robert.
Hayley Brindley, the manager of Queen Oaks Court, adds: “He gets lots of compliments on the mural. Lots of people arrive and they immediately recognise Robert’s picture, and then they love looking at the little pots and the Guildhall, because it's also local to the area.”
Thank you adding your creative spark to Queen Oaks Court, Robert!
Lifeways is the UK’s largest team of support professionals providing support for adults in the community.
We support adults with diverse and complex needs, including learning disabilities, autism, physical disabilities, acquired brain injuries, and mental health conditions.
As the supported living sector’s largest team of professionals, Lifeways’ extensive experience and national reach mean we deliver extraordinary support to adults, enabling them to live fulfilling and independent lives in the community.
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