A Swindon artist has turned a boring tarmac playground into a stunning lagoon.
Billy Beaumont was commissioned to transform some of Unity Garden, a community garden owned by Shaw Ridge Primary School, over the course of two days this week.
The transformation of the site began as a lockdown project as a means of bringing the wider school community together during the pandemic.
Unity Garden supports the school’s vision of providing different habitats for the children to experience, from a beach to pondlife, with regular visits to enrich the curriculum.
Talking to Wiltshire 999s, Mr Beaumont said the painting project – paid for by the charity Friends of Shaw Ridge Primary School through fundraising – was the first he’d ever undertaken involving tarmac.
“It was a first for me – painting something like this on tarmac. It was a great learning curve, I learnt heaps and could definitely do more of these elsewhere”, he said.
“It’s really lovely; they’ve got a little orchard and a vegetable garden – it’s a real open and interactive space.
“It’s part of the school, for the children, but it’s also a community garden for that local area. They open it up for local families to come along and enjoy the space and take part in events, like craft sessions.”
Mr Beaumont said art projects like this would usually take longer than two days but he braved the blazing heat to try and ensure the painting was completed within the charity’s budget.
He commented: “I wouldn’t normally work flat out for two days, but the school were on a budget and I wanted to do what I could to help them achieve their vision for the space.
“I used a mix of water-based and solvent-based playground paints which I’ve not used before, but it’s really hard-wearing.
“I loved it; I thought it was great. I must admit, when it was finished I did stand back and say ‘wow’ out loud because I was so focused on it I didn’t see the bigger picture until the end.”