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, 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, another iconic figure with local connections, 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. 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.”
Planning permission from Conwy County Borough Council represents the culmination of two years of hard work involving residents of the revitalised estate, the social enterprise Culture Action Llandudno (CALL), housing association Cartrefi Conwy and North Wales Housing Association, which owns the wall.
The estate’s artist in residence, Kristin Luke, worked closely with residents on the project known as ‘The Wall Is _____’ to explore how best to spruce up the wall.
A lengthy engagement process included more than 25 activities involving residents, such as an art van being on the estate for a week and nature walks.
It would be the ideas put forward by father-of-three Kevin – who has a degree in Art and worked as a painter and decorator – that really 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.”
The mural will be accompanied by an interpretation panel that offers information about the project and celebrates the heritage of the estate, with residents having again shared ideas for what could be included.
Sabine Cockrill, director of CALL, was involved in helping identify funding for the project. This included making a successful application for a grant to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
Iwan Evans, tenant participation co-ordinator for North Wales Housing, said:
“We own the wall and are pleased with what is going to go on it. I believe the mural will be beneficial to the area and the wall is in a prominent location.
“This has been a team effort involving ourselves, Cartrefi, the artists, members of the community and CALL.
“It has been pleasing to see the amount of community engagement that has taken place during the project. It is nice that the community has been so involved.”
It is hoped installation work will begin shortly and the mural will be on view from the spring, with an unveiling ceremony planned.