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Outdoor gallery at Newport housing development showcases students’  nature-themed designs

Outdoor gallery at Newport housing development showcases students’ nature-themed designs

Student artists from Coleg Gwent’s City of Newport Campus are displaying their bold and colourful designs in a specially created outdoor ‘gallery space’ at Newport’s Loftus Garden Village housing development. 
The art and design students have produced a series of nature-themed artworks for a project inspired by affordable housing provider Pobl Group’s brand-new community. Their large-scale murals, created following a special visit to the garden village, are now on show on the construction hoardings at the site.
Pobl joined forces with local housing developer Lovell, which is building the new housing, to invite students to Loftus Garden Village and help them find about the environmental ethos behind the scheme which has brought the countryside into the heart of Newport.  Set to feature a total of 250 homes when complete, the modern garden village incorporates an abundance of green space, tree-lined streets, kitchen gardens and a central pond. All planting and landscaping has been carefully designed to encourage biodiversity, with habitats for birds and other wildlife. 
Sian Dinham, course leader for the 90 Credit Diploma in Art and Design at Coleg Gwent’s City of Newport Campus, says: “After the success of last year’s hoarding board project we were delighted to continue the collaboration with Lovell and work again with the company’s community coordinator Bernadette Vickery. Last year’s project focused on women in industry, the history of the site and some of the design influences behind the housing development. This year, the students took their inspiration from the fabulous communal gardens designed and managed by Frances Hope. The students have looked at the theme of ecosystems and biodiversity with an emphasis on nature. They have also drawn inspiration from other murals and community art pieces with other students from the college invited to help with the painting of the boards. The boards are extremely vibrant and I'm extremely proud how our students have risen to the challenge of producing such large-scale pieces.”
Lovell community coordinator Bernadette Vickery says: “The students’ work fully reflects the development’s focus on the natural world. They’ve produced some amazingly vivid designs which are bursting with life and brilliantly capture the vibrancy of the garden village and its transformation of the natural environment. This is the latest in a series of community projects we’ve organised with Coleg Gwent and we’re delighted that the relationship continues to be so productive. Ensuring that the local community feel involved and engaged with the development has been integral to the success of this regeneration scheme at what is such an important site for the local area.”  
Mark Trounce, project manager for Pobl Group, comments: “We are thrilled with the quality and variety of artwork that the students have produced. The artwork not only brightens up the hoardings around the construction site, but also demonstrates how Loftus Garden Village continues to capture the imagination of young people, bringing a rural feel to the heart of Newport.”
Lovell is currently working on the fourth phase of the Loftus Garden Village development with the overall scheme set for completion in 2018.
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