THE positivity of local people during the pandemic has been commemorated in a piece of artwork at Arrow Valley Park.
It all started back on April 13, 2020, a few weeks after the first lockdown began, that Church Hill teenager Lauren Mernagh, got creative in a bid to lift people’s spirits.
She began by painting positive messages on rocks and stones and leaving them along her street for passers-by to see.
Over the following weeks the line of rocks expanded as residents and visitors, young and old, painted and left approximately 7,000 stones in a trail right around the park.
These rocks have now been collected and, with the help of the borough council and the Positivity Rocks community, have become a piece of artwork with a commemorative plaque, marking positivity during a time that was so difficult for many and in recognition of a wonderful community project.
The rocks have been arranged by colour and shaped to form of a rainbow, the symbolic of hope in the pandemic, and have a Perspex shield to protect them from the weather.
It’s been designed to make it easy to read the rocks and for visitors to walk around the outside.
Unfortunately, it was impossible to use all 7,000 rocks but a cross section of around 1,000 were taken to create the artwork as a representation of the people of Redditch.
Lauren said: “After all of our planning, our ideas have made it into a reality. It feels crazy how my idea of a rock line to cheer people up has turned into an art display.
“Thank you to everybody who got involved and supported me throughout this process, I’m forever grateful. Enjoy the display!”
The borough council’s leisure portfolio holder Councillor Mike Rouse, said: “A painted rock added to the end of the line was a way of keeping our Redditch community connected without contact, each stone physically touching the other whilst we could not do so, reminding us that we were all pulling through this pandemic together.
“Lauren and her friends have created something poignant and fitting for our time, and everyone involved has my full thanks and admiration.”
An event is being planned for September where spare stones that didn’t make it into the artwork will be laid out in the park for people to view them and take one away as their own personal commemoration.