Mural of Muslim girl riding a skateboard wows Birmingham residents

10/20/2021 9:46 AM
Bunny creating the mural

An inner-city mural depicting a Muslim girl riding a skateboard has been praised for breaking down social barriers in Birmingham.

The work by graffiti artist Bunny Bread is one of several thought-provoking murals dotted around Lozells, with each location having a secret for residents to discover.

The ten murals will have unique QR codes that passers-by can scan on their phones.

"I was painting in Georges Park when I saw this young, Muslim girl skate past me," said Bunny, who created the mural

"I thought to myself: 'Wow, that's not something you often see'. I asked her about skating, and she said she'd been practising for seven months.

"Eventually, her mum came over, and we started chatting about girls, particularly Muslim girls, doing things not typically perceived as standard for them to do.

"I told them I'd love to do an interpretation of her if the family agreed, which they did. The only stipulation was that I didn't show her face, which is why she's looking away in the mural.

"They were really happy for it to go ahead as they are really supportive of her doing something she loves."

"I'm also a photographer. I just took loads of pictures of and chose the one that I thought ‘this would make sense, this really worked’, and there was a few that were really nice. So I emailed the images over and they were happy with it. So you just catch her cheek and her nose, as you see in the image. Then I started to pull the idea as a design concept."

"And what you notice as well in the actual painting, there's an actual graffiti art piece and along the sides, to paste it up. So what they are, they actually like, really large photocopy. I used the same paper, in film posters, which is called light blue back. That means that once you paste it up, it withstands rain and sunshine. I did the image, got the image up and I think it took me maybe, three or four days."

“There were some really brilliant conversations coming across through people, mostly women, Muslim men, Muslim boys, Muslim girls, and people from the Caribbean community, because literally right across the road, is a Caribbean church. So a lot of those people were seeing this being painted."

Bunny said that the young skater is yet to see the mural, which he "can't wait" to show her.

The ten walls will eventually be illustrated with untold stories, quotes and thought-provoking activism.

Lozells councillor Waseem Zaffar, the cabinet member for transport and the environment, said: 

"I'm struck by the amazing work from Bunny and his creative team. Uniting the diverse communities of Lozells and using arts as a vehicle for change."

Once complete, a showcase of all the murals takes place at Lozells' Georges Park at 1 pm on October 23.

Credit image: Punch Records