Pydar pop-up, St Clement Street, Truro mural

The Pydar Pop-up community space in St Clements Street has been brightened up for local residents and community groups to enjoy with a bright and colourful mural.

Cornwall Council owns and funds the pop-up community venue which was the former Hardy’s Carpets premises. Since September 2019 the premises has been leased to Truro BID who are managing the community space for a wide range of uses whilst the planned project to regenerate the Pydar site is being developed.

Local artist Cassie Penn who produced the artwork for the space, engaged with members of the Truro community to influence the mural design. The impressive mural sits on the back and side walls inside the Pydar Pop-up and measures 26 metre long.

The artwork depicts the beautiful green valley and gardens of Truro and includes trees and flowers that are featured in Victoria Gardens. At either end of the mural, the trees feature wishes from the Pydar and Truro community which include ‘more green spaces and wild areas’ and ‘a fountain splash zone for little ones to run through in the summer’.

Local artist Cassie Penn said: “It has been a pleasure to produce this community mural for the Pydar Pop-Up community space in Truro. Each individual element within the design has been informed by the Pydar and Truro community, whether painted by myself or community members.”

“Created between lockdowns, the community became involved through socially distanced conversations on the street, and via social media, zoom workshops and practical young people’s workshops. It has been wonderful to realise this project in such extraordinary times.”

Truro BID Manager Alun Jones added: “We’re delighted that everyone using the space can now enjoy the bright colourful mural and it’s great that the artwork has been created with help from the community.”

Apart from a short break during the first national lockdown, the Pydar Pop-Up has been well used by a range of groups including those involved in dance, music and theatre. The other groups who use the space for meetings, including local businesses and organisations, now have a much brighter and inviting venue.”

Cornwall Councillor for Truro Boscawen Bert Biscoe said: “Cassie Penn has exceeded expectations in the quality and empathy of her work. It is rewarding to sit and look at her mural slowly and to absorb its textures, colour, strong lines and deep sensitivity to the geography of Truro. It is always right that artists are properly employed to undertake projects.

“I think Cassie has more than repaid our investment, stripping away much of the built fabric to reveal the nature of the land, the fresh and salt water, and the air… She asks us to consider what Truro truly is.

“In the scheme of things Cassie’s mural will have to be removed when the building is demolished – it’s a big piece which needs to be in one piece – so where in Truro can we exhibit it when this community space is no longer popping up? Somewhere where as many people as possible can enjoy it – any ideas?”

During November 2019 the Pydar Pop-Up played an important role being used as a consultation space and exhibition venue for the Pydar

Regeneration Project community engagement events. Since the first lockdown, the venue has Covid-safe procedures in place, including floor markings and additional cleaning taking place.

Recently the Pydar Pop-up has been used as a rehearsal space by Coppice Theatre who are back in Truro with their Jack’s Frosty Stories walkabout theatre show this festive season.

The mural will remain in the Pydar Pop-up and there are hopes that it can eventually be rehoused once the proposed Pydar Street Regeneration is delivered.

To book the space please contact: pydarpopup@trurobid.co.uk.

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