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Demolition site decoration highlights Pride

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The fence around the site of the former Canadian Hotel has been covered with a rainbow of roses in time for the island's first gay Pride parade.

Artist Robyn Hooper, along with volunteers, has been hard at work painting a bright Love is Love Community Mural project along the orange wooden barrier at the junction of Reid Street and Court Street. The mural should be finished before the Pride parade on August 31, which helped to inspire the project.

Ms Hooper said: “I'm always looking for a place to do art, but when I got involved in Pride, I wanted to help in any way that I could. I tried to organise bits and pieces with the parade, and this just worked out.”

She said she received permission from Richard and Thomas Powell, who own the property, to put up a mural on the barrier.

Ms Hooper said: “Richard Powell reached out to me when I put out a call to see if there were any spaces to paint.

“He said I could paint everything that was orange. At least I hope that's what he said.”

She explained that she wanted the community to be involved in the project, so she put out a call for assistance online.

Ms Hooper added that she hoped the finished project would resemble a garden of roses in the colours of the Pride flag.

Work started last week with the painting of a rainbow banner along the fence and on Thursday Ms Hooper started to add outlines for the roses. Ms Hooper said: “I thought about different ways to do this. At first I wanted to blend all the colours, but, this way is quicker, so we can bang it out, before the parade.

“This way, I can chalk it out and when people come, they can copy over the lines and it gets everyone together even more. The more the community is a part of it, the more they will enjoy it, hopefully. There was a really good answer to the call for help.”

Yesterday, Ms Hooper began to incorporate words into the mural to break down the meanings of the stripes in the Pride rainbow.

Pride flags originally included six coloured stripes: red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for harmony and purple for spirit. Some groups and events, including Bermuda Pride, have included black and brown stripes, to symbolise diversity and inclusivity.

Ms Hooper said the public appeared to approve of the mural. She added: “People driving by seem to be enjoying all the colours so far. I think the people who are excited about the parade are also excited about anything that is showing support.”

Ms Hooper said: “I think every community needs more public art. Art expresses the cultural values of a community and there is always room for more art. The city is doing a great job to encourage it, and I have been grateful to have had the opportunity to do some murals for them, but this one is on my own.”

Robin Hooper, organiser of the Love is Love Community Mural project, has had help from volunteers in her work at the old Canadian Hotel at the corner of Reid and Court Streets in Hamilton (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Thinking in colour: Robin Hooper, organiser of the Love is Love Community Mural, puts on the final touches on the perimeter fence at the site of the recently demolished Canadian Hotel on Reid and Court Streets in Hamilton (Photograph by Owain Johnston-Barnes)
Robin Hooper, organiser of the Love is Love Community Mural, works on her mural (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published August 24, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated August 24, 2019 at 8:28 am)

Demolition site decoration highlights Pride

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