New royal work of art unveiled in Swanage for Platinum Jubilee

To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, a new mural created by local school children, has been officially unveiled by the Swanage Town Mayor.

The public work of art, now on permanent display on Swanage seafront, is part of Purbeck Art Weeks young artist programme and replaces an old mural that was at the end of its life.

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Mayor unveils art mural
New art mural unveiled

The new mural is unveiled by the Swanage Town Mayor Tina Foster

Depicts Queen Elizabeth’s links with Swanage

The design was inspired by the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and depicts Queen Elizabeth’s links with Swanage including fossils, a swan, a dolphin and a steam locomotive.

Dawn Clark, a ceramic artist and Swanage resident, led on the project, with pupils from The Swanage School, Purbeck View School, St Mary’s Primary and Wareham Primary School all contributing their ideas.

It took two months to create and is made primarily from clay and wood. To protect it from the elements due to its exposed seaside location, it has been coated with yacht varnish.

Karen at art mural unveiling

Singer Karen Grant entertains the crowd while they wait for the ceremony to begin

Mayor unveils art mural

After the unveiling with the mayor

Symbols and their connection

  • Fossils are a big part of our Jurassic coastline but they are also in the stone used to build Buckingham Palace
  • Swans are a traditional symbol of Swanage and the Queen historically has the right to claim ownership of all unmarked mute swans
  • Dolphins are often seen off the Dorset Coast especially at Durlston and are also part of the Crown Estate, which owns the seabed and foreshore surrounding the UK
  • Steam locomotives are a well known feature of Swanage and the Princess Elizabth loco, named after the Queen when she was just seven years old, visited Swanage Railway in 2016
Old art mural

Tiles on the old mural were starting to fall off and it needed replacing

New art mural unveiled

The new Platinum Jubilee inspired mural for 2022

“It’s completely owned by the kids”

Admiring the newly unveiled mural, Dawn Clark, who works for the National Trust on Brownsea Island, when she isn’t creating ceramics, said:

“I love it, it’s completely owned by the kids. They created the train, dolphin, swan and fossils and then I just brought it all together.

“The Swanage School designed the backdrop and you’ll notice there’s also some corgis in the mural, which was entirely down to the students at St Mary’s who came up with the idea themselves.”

New art mural unveiled

Purbeck Art Weeks trustee Anne Easterbrooke welcomes the crowd

New art mural unveiled

Project Manager Dawn Clark (left) hands a bunch of flowers to The Swanage School art teacher Zara Saganic (right) for all her help

“Makes the students think bigger”

Helping drive the project through to completion was the art teacher at The Swanage School, Zara Saganic. She added:

“This has been a great opportunity for the students. It’s not just that they are contributing to their community but also getting involved and creating art is good for you and really helps improve mental health.

“It builds confidence and a project like this makes the students think bigger. It’s also been good working collaboratively across the schools and collaboration is part of art.”

New art mural unveiled
The mayor and town crier at art mural unveiling

The assembled crowd included (left to right) Swanage Town Crier Andrew Fleming, The Swanage Mayor’s Consort Leslie Parkinson, Swanage Deputy Mayor Chris Moreton and Swanage Town Mayor Tina Foster

Funded by sponsors

The mural can be viewed on the terraced area just off Shore Road near the Swanage Information Centre.

It was funded by sponsors including the Dorset Community Foundation/Arts Council, the Valentine Trust and the Alice Ellen Cooper Dean Charitable Foundation. Swanage Town Council provided the site.

Watch the unveiling

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