WILD goats whose cheeky antics on Llandudno’s deserted streets during lockdown attracted global attention are being immortalised in a stunning new work of art.
The boundary wall around the town’s Tre Cwm estate is to be given a colourful makeover, after planning permission was granted for an eye-catching new mural to be placed on it.
The artwork captures many of the things most associated with Llandudno, including the Kashmiri goats who became known around the world after heading into the town centre en masse last year and munching on whatever took their fancy.
The mural will be seen by thousands of motorists every day as they enter Llandudno from Deganwy, potentially serving a similar role to the distinctive ‘Welcome to Llandudno’ sign that greets visitors arriving via Penrhyn Bay.
Artist Kevin Stonehouse, 65, who has lived on the estate for most of his life, has depicted the goats in their more familiar surroundings of the Great Orme.
They are accompanied on the artwork by Alice in Wonderland and other familiar sights like town’s promenade, ski slope and tramway.
“The goats are very much a part of the town’s heritage. It was nice to be able to include them,” said Kevin.
“I was also happy to be able to include Alice in Wonderland. I’ve often put her in paintings and decided it would be right to find space for her on this.
“I have tried to include lots of different things that people associate with the town. It is such a beautiful town.
“I’m excited that the artwork will soon be going on the wall and I feel very proud.
“I just wish my parents were still alive to see it. I look forward to seeing how it looks on the wall.”
Planning permission from Conwy County Borough Council represents the culmination of two years of hard work involving residents of the revitalised estate, working with artist-in-residence Kristin Luke, the social enterprise Culture Action Llandudno (CALL), the MOSTYN gallery, housing association Cartrefi Conwy and the North Wales Housing Association, which owns the wall.
It also marks another welcome step in the revival of the estate, following an extensive and successful regeneration programme.
In recent years, the 400-home estate has been transformed by a £4.3 million makeover by Cartrefi Conwy to upgrade the properties and a massive environmental improvement programme.
Kristin, appointed by the project partners, worked closely with residents on the project.
She organised an engagement process which included more than 25 activities involving residents, such as an art van being on the estate for a week and nature walks.
It was during this process that the ideas put forward by father-of-three Kevin – who has a degree in art and worked as a painter and decorator – caught the eye.
He drew upon his talents to produce a colourful scroll capturing Llandudno life, but he was surprised by just how well received it was.
“I spent a few days working on it but I thought it was just a few ideas to help them. But they really loved it and wanted to use it for the wall,” said Kevin.
“I have lived here for a long time and know so many people on the estate. Hopefully, everybody will enjoy seeing what we’ve done once it is up on the wall.”
Kristin described the experience as “life-changing”, having relished engaging with residents and helping ensure the final result would meet their wishes.
“This has been a long journey and it is very exciting we have now reached this stage,” said Kristin, who hails from Los Angeles and has settled in North Wales near Betws-y-Coed.
“Having something like this on the wall will hopefully make people aware of the community who live behind it. I hope it creates a further positive perception of the estate.
“It has been a pleasure to meet with the residents, some of whom may not normally get involved in things like this. There are a lot of great people on the estate, who have all wanted to be involved.”
It is hoped installation work will begin shortly and the mural will be on view from the spring, with an unveiling ceremony planned.
For more information, visit www.thewallis.cymru