- LCFC Community Trust teamed up with local graffiti company, Graffwerk, to design a female-inspired mural which is on display in St. Matthews
- It was designed by artists Nomad Clan and portrays Leicester kickboxer, Natasha Mina
- Natasha found kickboxing to see her through her tough childhood and now aims to give other youths the same opportunity
- The Community Trust’s Female Engagement Strategy is funded by the Premier League and the Professional Footballers Association
Earlier this year, the LCFC Community Trust collaborated with local graffiti company, Graffwerks, to design a unique Bring The Paint festival piece.
Bring The Paint showcases a diverse and thriving arts scene in Leicester and attracts artists from around the world.
The mural has a stand-out back story, one of sadness that was used to turn a life around.
It is Natasha’s story – who explains what the mural means to her.
She said: “It feels surreal, I feel really happy when I see it, I am five-foot and this painting is massive – it is the biggest I’m ever going to be really!
Bring The Paint
“Having the mural is recognition from the community that I have been serving in, I have done a lot in Leicester because this is my hometown, this is where my heart is.
“The area means a lot to me because I’ve been coming to Leicester Kickboxing since I was eight-years-old, which is right across the road from the mural and is a running route for fighters - so it is going to be a motivator - a reminder of how far I have come and any traumas or obstacles.”
Graffwerks director, Izzy Hoskins, who introduced Bring The Paint, revealed how the project came together.
She explained: “We were in touch with the LCFC Community Trust, talking about potential projects and we both wanted to do something that celebrates women.
“We ran a discussion workshop with women and girls from the Trust’s community projects to talk about their stories, which was also attended by female artists Joy and Hayley of Nomad Clan.
“It was a workshop feeding into themes about what the project was going to look like. Nomad Clan painted Natasha and all the stories that were involved with the workshop.”
After a difficult childhood, one which included personal trauma, Natasha developed a fondness for the martial arts after watching her brother participate.
Natasha is an incredible woman and hopefully young people have been inspired to take control of who they are and open up if they have issues.Izzy Hoskins Graffwerks
She added: “I got that opportunity to join kickboxing and I fell in love with kickboxing – it became me, it ran through my blood.
“Kickboxing healed me, helped me and got me where to where I am now.
“The artists did a great job of encompassing my message – with the gloves on, the plaster across my face.”
Izzy discussed how Natasha’s mural is unique compared to the normal works that are created for Bring The Paint.
She said: “Bring The Paint is generally about celebrating art and getting a focus on Leicester and a change of the visual landscape of the city.
“This project sat within that, but there was more input on what was going to happen with the artwork - we were telling a story and there was quite a social impact of this wall in a way that other walls don’t necessarily have.
“This is a local story, very heart-wrenching. Natasha is an incredible woman and hopefully young people have been inspired to take control of who they are and open up if they have issues.”
Bring The Paint
While Natasha used kickboxing to help herself, now she helps others, who have had bad experiences themselves.
She revealed: “It soon came to me that I was mentoring people through the use of kickboxing – as my story became public, girls especially came to me and disclosed a lot of personal stories. I ended up designing sessions around reliving trauma and overcoming obstacles, it’s about reliving emotions and finding your innate power.”
Izzy added detail to the significance of the piece, which is located near Burleys Flyover in St. Matthews.
“Genders are irrelevant to what we’re able to do – it’s about making those examples publicly visible and saying that altogether,” she concluded.
“It’s women empowering women; men empowering women and women empowering men… let's all get on the same footing – that wall is important.”
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