RampArts Millbrook Park Mural

A special mural with sensory panels catering for children who are autistic or neurodivergent. The mural artist Paige le Geyt is autistic, and knows the value an element like this can bring to these children and families who visit the park.

Wandering into Millbrook Park to congratulate friends Jade and Harley Woodward on the launch of The Hut Cafe, I couldn’t help but notice the bare seating area, in contrast with the colourful playground, it was crying out for a RampArts revamp!!
Harley started the conversation with Bruce Labey, the Senior Operations Manager, and planning got underway. I approached RampArtist Paige le Geyt to consider upscaling her style and she didn’t fail to fit the brief.
*Paige Le Geyt RampArts Jersey Millbrook Mural Q&A*
Have you painted any murals before, and how did you feel about taking on this RampArts project?
I would say that this is my first ‘proper’ mural, as I’ve done a smaller graffiti mural in college, but nothing on scale this large and in a public space. I was eager to take on this RampArts project as it was a great opportunity to do something a bit different, and to do some work within the community. There was however a lot of trepidation as it was a new experience and I was worried about doing it well, though this did soon dissipate when we started painting.
What was the inspiration behind the theme for the mural?
For the jungle theme, I drew inspiration partly from the nature and greenery in the park environment. I have two young nephews, and so I thought about what they would find interesting in a mural, and jungle animals are always a favourite. I wanted to keep the style simple, fun and friendly, with toned down pastel hues that would complement the surroundings without being overly bright. The textured panels added a unique interactive element that would allow children to engage more thoroughly with the mural.
Why was it important for you to incorporate the textured panels?
The texture panels were a really exciting addition to the mural for me; I’m autistic, and part of that for me is having sensory sensitivities, particularly around tactile input. I often use the theme of sensation in my work, incorporating various textural elements that are designed to be explored, giving people an insight into my experiences. The panels were a way to cater to children at the park who are also autistic or neurodivergent as the general park environment can be really overwhelming. I hope that by providing some positive sensory input the quiet space of the hut these children will have a space to take a break and will feel more accessible to these children and their families.
What do the panels add to the space?
I think the panels make the space more inclusive to sensory needs, which accommodates the diversity within the community. I think the panels will not only be enjoyed by neurodivergent children, but any child, as it encourages exploration and nurtures that natural curiosity.
Who will benefit from the mural now it’s been created?
I think the mural will benefit anyone who visits the park; the space is now brighter and more welcoming and allows children and their families to engage more with their environment. Public art is important as it means that arts and culture are accessible to people as a part of their every day, which fits in better with people’s busy lifestyles.
Do you think more spaces should be available like this in Jersey, and why?
More public spaces are becoming aware and supporting sensory differences among other things, however more work can still be done so these kinds of considerations are commonplace. In the UK more autism friendly attractions are appearing, and I would like to see similar things be implemented in Jersey.
Following the success of this project, would you like to do more mural projects?
I’m definitely interested in working on more mural projects; I’d really like to create a mural for a primary school, incorporating textures and potentially other sensory aspects designed for children with autism and other special educational needs.
How best describes you as an artist?
I tend to be quite intense in my working practice, often ‘going down the rabbit hole’ with certain ideas. This is an asset as I’m dedicated to the projects I work on; however, it does mean that I can sometimes overwork myself, but I am learning to take breaks more often and to pace my work. There are many themes and ideas I find fascinating, and I’m able to retain a lot of the information and details I come across, which I find adds a depth of meaning to my work. My work tends to be sculptural and visually quite busy due to the textures and colour palette I use, which when combined allow people to explore the art in more ways than just visually.
Who have you been creatively influenced by and why?
I’m hugely inspired by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama; she has used her mental health conditions to inspire her art throughout her career, which is something I have also tried to do with my conditions. Despite using her struggles as a theme in her work, it is never bleak; it is colourful and vibrant and is a celebration seeing life with a different perspective. She also incorporates sensory aspects such as thousands of LED lights to create immersive installation art, which inspired me to create an immersive installation piece earlier in the year exploring the themes of senses and disconcertion in relation to
my experiences with autism.
What are you currently working on as an artist and what can we look forward to from you next?
At the moment I’m working on another sensory based project, again incorporating tactile sculptural elements, but expanding to include sound and audio input, which so far has been really exciting to  experiment with
With the support of RampArtist PJ Thomson, the mural was completed in record time. It was wonderful chatting to people in the park and hearing the best sssssss snakey sounds and roarsome roars from the children who stopped to watch us work. Jade and Harley kindly kept us going with THE BEST coffee and insane pizzas!
We are forever grateful to Robbialac & Cin Paints for believing in us and providing vibrant, professional, and FUN paint to work with.
Special thanks to Bruce and the park team, and The Hut Cafe, for trusting us to put together an eye catching, enhancing, playful mural for all park visitors to enjoy. Our focus is also community driven, to add value and bring art into the world for islanders to enjoy, sadly after only a week of completion the mural was a target by vandals. Bunting was removed from the space and two of the important sensory panels were damaged. It’s sad to think that something with such a positive
message and genuine purpose could be attacked in this way. We want to reiterate the strong community spirit the mural holds and urge those who visit the park to respect it and consider the joy it brings families and visitors
PHOTO CREDITS Barney de la Cloche
Quote from Harley Woodward from The Hut Cafe – “Coronation Park is a beautiful area and now thanks to RampArts Jersey and their wonderful RampArtists, we now have a pavilion that matches. I can’t thank them enough, it’s beautiful”.
Quote from Bruce Labey the parks Senior Operations Manager – “Just been down to see the new mural and it is really marvelous. I love the colours and the tactile pads included at nipper level. Thank you so much for your help with this and let’s do some more!”.
Quote from RampArts Jersey Sponsor Ricardo Santos of Robbialac & Cin Paints – “It’s a pleasure to support such a community focused collective, especially on projects like this with a strong positive message”.


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