Mayor to unveil ‘unique’ mosaic artwork on Kingsnympton Park Estate

When enterprising Kingston community and youth worker Lizzie Cronin surveyed the broken remains of a once splendid mosaic artwork on Kingsnympton Park Estate more than two years ago, she knew she had to do something to create a new landmark for local residents.

“Part of my job is running a pre-school toddlers group for parents and carers at Kingsnympton, so every week I would look through the windows of the community centre and see the dilapidated and vandalised mosaic,” she said. “It looked so sad and neglected that I decided it would be a great idea for a community project to produce a bigger and even better centerpiece for the estate.”

And so the concept for a Kingsnympton Super Mosaic No. 2 was born, with Lizzie recognising that if she managed to involve people of all ages, interests, cultures and backgrounds in the project, there’d be a good chance that residents would feel they were part of the finished artwork, and want to look after it for years to come.

“I wanted to involve as many different people and age groups from Kingsnympton as possible to produce a design for a new, bigger and more informative mosaic that would reflect the character and history of the estate. With a wide range of people constructing the mosaic, I hoped different sectors of the Kingsnympton community would be brought together,” Lizzie added.

Two years of solid fund-raising to gain the £6,000 funds required, saw the project given the go-ahead in late 2013 when, after receiving quotes and plans from mosaic artists, well known local artist and designer Kim Porelli was commissioned to lead the venture. It started with her holding information and planning days when people were encouraged to drop in with ideas for the design, recounting interesting stories about Kingnsnympton’s checkered history.

Kim then designed the mosaic to have seven main circular panels, each representing a different theme from Kingsnympton’s past and present, while between the main panels were smaller circles comprising the outline of all the hands of the individual participants, who would later return to fill them in with the mosaic tiles.

She said: “We organised community sessions to give all the estate’s residents an opportunity to take part in creating the mosaics, with other sessions for different groups including local youth groups, the young mums’ group, Rainbows toddler group, students and children from the estate attending nearby St Paul’s school.”

Some 18 months ago, former Mayor of Kingston, Cllr Penny Shelton expressed her delight as she witnessed the mosaic’s early construction in the hands of youngsters, and this Thursday (13th August), the borough’s new Mayor, Cllr Roy Arona and the Mayoress will attend Kingsnympton’s Fun Day to formally unveil the finished artwork, which stands close to the estate’s main driveway and community centre.

Lizzie added: “A great many people from the estate have been involved in the design and creation of the mosaic panels, so they can all be proud of the end product, showing vibrant impressions of life at Kingsnympton Park over two centuries. It will greatly enhance the estate’s appearance and, I’m hoping that because all age groups have contributed, the residents will value the new installation and be proud of it for many years to come.”

NOTE TO NEWS DESKS           

The Mayor and Mayoress of Kingston will unveil Kingsnympton’s new mosaic project at 17.00hrs this coming Thursday, 13th August, during the estate’s Fun Day. Its location is on the left at the top of the estate’s main driveway, just 50 yards up from its entrance on Crescent Road, off Kingston Hill.

For further information and post-event photos, please contact Richard Grosvenor or Barry Mitchell at Kingston Federation of Residents on 020 8974 5806, or by email to: enquiries@kingstonfed.org or by using the contact form on this website.