Ashington art student sees her Northumberland College mural come to life

A YOUNG art student has been watching her design for a large mural come to life – on the tallest building in a North East town.

Jade McCormack beside her mural with fellow students and lecturer Kevin Hocking (left)

A YOUNG art student has been watching her design for a large mural come to life – on the tallest building in a North East town.

Jade McCormack, 18, won a competition to design the eye-catching, multi-coloured piece of artwork to adorn the six-storey south gable wall of the main Northumberland College building in Ashington.

The painting – which will be about 4m tall and almost 8m in length – is intended to bring new life to the landmark building, as part of the nationwide Dulux Let’s Colour project.

This week Jade, who is studying a foundation diploma in art and design at the college, has been helping fellow art students transform her winning idea into a reality, as the mural was painted on to the College Road tower.

The project, which is run by global paint company AkzoNobel in association with Groundwork North East, aims to bring colour to people’s lives.

Last November art students at the college were asked to come up with a mural which made use of bold, vibrant colour, linked to heritage, locality and industry. Six designs were shortlisted and the winner was chosen by a public vote, which saw more than 400 people take part.

Jade, who lives in Ashington, took her inspiration from the Woodhorn Colliery cutter building and pit wheel. She feels her design depicts the past, but has a modern twist as an abstract piece. The Northumberland flag colours are the basis for the background.

She said: “I was taken aback when I found out my design had been chosen, but delighted because it’s quite an achievement.

“This was the first time I have ever entered a competition for a large-scale piece. My family are all very proud of me and they are looking forward to driving past and being able to see my work.”

Andy Jackson, AkzoNobel’s project director for its new £100m paint factory in Ashington, said: “I was really impressed with the variety and high standard of the students’ entries, and was delighted that so many people took part in the voting process.

“Jade’s bold design really does brighten up the college and all the students and staff who have brought this mural to life should be very proud of it.”

AkzoNobel’s new manufacturing plant in Ashington is to start operations in 2014, and will produce 90 million litres of paint a year for sale across the UK and Europe. The mural will be painted by level three painting and decorating students for the local community to enjoy.

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