by Yony Bellows
THE Elephant Park has a wonderful jungle mural, which was the idea of Bradley Cooper and the people involved in the St Brelade Youth Project. The young people came up with a "jungle book theme" and gave a book of jungle animals to local artist Will Bertram who got started on designs.
It took about two weeks for Will get the design finalised, and the Youth Project also gave him more ideas that they wanted so it was still being put together right up to the last minute. The design was projected onto the walls of the shelter, and the bold outline of jungle and animals drawn in place over the projected image. Once that was complete, Will, Bradley and children from the Youth Project and parents filled in the outline with a variety of colourful paints over several months.
Will Bertram has always drawn, but it was only after leaving school that he realised art was his passion. He is currently doing a part time Foundation Degree in Art and Design over four years. He said "All of the tutors are working artists in various practises, so you get a wide range of skills and experience to take into your work. As it's part-time it's allowed me to take on projects like the Elephant Park so when I finish I'll have a lot of practical experience as well as a qualification."
He plans to go to Cornwall College in Camborne to finish his course next September and then after that, hopefully do more projects like the shelter. He told La Baguette: "I'd like to carry on doing freelance work and to be able to make a living off of illustration and art, but in the short term it's just to get the best grade I can at college and carry on making work. I'm actually involved in an upcoming group exhibition with illustrators Sam Bullock and Josh Bale in January at Fort Regent. It's based around medieval characters."
The mural has been a wonderful opportunity for the St Brelade Youth Project to come together and work on a design which will give pleasure to countless parents and children who visit the Elephant Park. The jungle theme is a timeless one, and fits well with the Elephant slide from which the playground has taken its name.