Mural offering message of hope unveiled at Swan Lodge
published on 8 Aug 2022
A North East-based artist has painted a stunning mural on the walls of The Salvation Army’s Swan Lodge in Sunderland.
The eye-catching artwork by Frank Styles features a seascape with swans flying up the side of the building in High Street East, Sunderland.
Swan Lodge is a Salvation Army Lifehouse providing accommodation for up to 65 adults aged 18 and over who are homeless. As well as providing a place to stay, the service offers support to help people overcome the reasons they became homeless in the first place and move on with their lives.
Christine Ritchie, Swan Lodge Service Manager, said: “We’re delighted with how the mural has turned out! We wanted the swans to be flying into the air representing a journey, as many of our residents are on their own journey; many will have been at the lowest point in their lives, but are now being supported as they make their way back up.
“The mural really brightens the building up, it’s so colourful and hopeful. We’re really pleased with it and hope that it puts a smile on people’s faces as they come to Swan Lodge. It’s representative of what we are trying to do here - bringing joy and hope.
“Our thanks go to Frank, who has done a fantastic job working with us on the design and executing it perfectly. We loved teaming with a local artist representing what Sunderland has to offer.
“Our residents love it. A couple have mentioned how it brings colour to the outside of the Lifehouse and how realistic the swans are, especially as they are in flight.”
Frank, an artist who focuses on large scale murals often themed around the north, spent five weeks on the mural.
He said: “I'm very grateful for the opportunity to paint this building on a busy route through Sunderland. It's been an eye opener listening to some people's stories of what they've been through and how they've been helped by the Salvation Army, their goals and aims moving forward. I hope this mural will inspire those who need inspiration and praise those who make the effort to help those in trouble.”
It’s been an exciting year for Swan Lodge so far with them hosting the lighting of the beacon to mark the Queen’s 70th jubilee. Christine was also a baton bearer for the North East to mark the start of the Commonwealth Games currently taking place in Birmingham.
A hive of activity, Swan Lodge will be hosting its own Commonwealth Games for residents later this year.