Residents have begun to enjoy the four murals commissioned by the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) as part of the Curating Crises Project geared at increasing volcanic risk awareness and promoting Montserrat’s rich history, culture and environment.
“This has been an exciting component of the Curating Crises Project which commenced in 2022,” the MVO said online.
The first mural was created at the Montserrat Secondary School with the help of some students.
The second mural can be seen at the front of the Victor’s Supermarket in Davy Hill. The owners also sponsored the two-story-high painting.
The MVO noted that “Embodying a message of resilience, the mural features a re-imagined “Mermaid of Chances Peak”, and a tribute to the housing schemes such as Look Out and Davy Hill, which were developed to house families displaced due to volcanic activity in the ’90s. Enclosed in the mermaid’s hand is a treasure chest of “Emerald possibilities”, for the present and future generations. A captivating ode to the advancement of technology and its impact on the sharing of information and keeping us all connected during the Crises as depicted by the mechanical arm and tail. In the background, the Soufrière Hills Volcano peaks out behind the tail of the Mermaid.”
The third mural gives a “sea’s-eye view” of Montserrat, the mural captures the four volcanic centers, impacts of the volcanic activity on the south of the island and some of our unique marine life, the MVO explained.
The mural is located at the Ferry Terminal and was sponsored by the Montserrat Port Authority.
Members of the community, including officers in the Royal Montserrat Police Service worked on the project.
The final mural pays tribute to the village of Salem and the traditions and institutions that shaped and continue to make the people and village great, says the MVO’s description of the artwork.
The design was developed in collaboration with the Salem Community Development Group, the creative team of The Goodness Tour, ably assisted by several local artists during the painting of the masterpiece.
“From the delicious bread of Walkinshaw, to the many talented musicians and artists, to the beloved Salem Primary School.
“During a time of uncertainty, the people of Salem used various forms of arts to tell the stories and express the emotions of the Salem and Montserrat community. A tradition that still exists, with Montserrat having many talented local artists, as has been highlighted by the Curating Crises Project.
“While the ’95 volcanic crises impacted Salem and changed the village in many ways, it’s original essence remains and is celebrated through the capsulation of its history and culture on the wall of the Walkinshaw Building.
The “Curating Crises” project is led by Professor Jenni Barclay of the University of East Anglia, in collaboration with University of Oxford, The Royal Society, The National Archives, The Seismic Research Center and the Montserrat Volcano Observatory.
The research project, explores the impacts of colonialism on the creation and sharing of the scientific knowledge in response to volcanic crises in the Eastern Caribbean; focusing on several volcanic and/or seismic crises in several places, particularly St. Vincent, Dominica and Montserrat and is funded through the UK Research & Innovation department ‘Hidden Stories’ research grant.