A unique artwork has taken up residence at The College Merthyr Tydfil this week as part of a project to increase awareness and acceptance of the local Gypsy/Traveller community.
A life-size horse named Diamond has been installed in the college foyer by children and young people from the County Borough Council’s Glynmill Gypsy/Travellers’ site.
The horse’s body frame and face is made from papier maché and willow, the legs from broomsticks and the mane and tail out of old rags. The sculpture is lit up from inside to create a giant lantern.
“The aim of the exhibition, called Straight From the Horse’s Mouth, is to promote equality and cohesion and express the community’s pride in its culture,” said Lillie Bramley, the Council’s Gypsy/Roma/Traveller (GRT) Community Officer.
“To complete the piece of art, community members wrote messages all over the horse expressing voice and cultural values, including such phrases as ‘keep calm and travel on’ and ‘I move a lot - I go from place to place’. There is also a positive comments book and GRT factsheets to take away,” Lillie added.
The horse was created in partnership with the charity Artis Community and funded by BBC Children in Need, and there are plans to now develop an on-site arts and literacy programme.
Judith Mulry, Learner Welfare Services Officer/Inspire to Achieve Project Manager said the college was pleased to work alongside Lillie and to offer an exhibition space to display the young people’s artwork.
“The college is an inclusive community and welcomes applications from under-represented groups,” she added. “The horse, accompanied by the factsheet, offers the perfect opportunity to promote the GRT community.’
The horse will be displayed in the main foyer until Friday, 7 December.