Striking new mural by Frank Styles unveiled on landmark Sunderland building Swan Lodge
A striking new mural by city artist Frank Styles has taken flight.
In a fitting nod to the name of Salvation Army’s Swan Lodge, four swans have been painted on to the side of the building on High Street East.
The building is a gateway to the East End, which is passed by thousands of drivers each day.
The mural took five weeks to complete and is the latest large-scale artwork by the city street artist whose work can be seen across the city, from the Jimmy Montgomery and Kevin Phillips pieces on The Times Inn in Southwick and a mining tribute on Donkins in Silksworth to the ode to shipbuilding in Panns Bank and the mural of Raich Carter on the Blue House pub in Hendon, which has been seen by millions as a backdrop to scenes in Netflix docu-series Sunderland ‘Til I Die.
Showing the birds as they take flight, the latest eye-catching piece is already proving a talking point.
Frank 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 and 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.”
Entitled The Journey, the work represents the journey of a resident at Swan Lodge.
The first swan in a sleeping bag represents someone who is homeless, the second swan represents them coming to Swan Lodge, the third is them beginning to take flight and the fourth is a golden swan leaving the lodge.
Service manager Christine Ritchie said they are delighted with the finished work.
"It’s something we’ve wanted for a number of years,” she explained. “Swan Lodge is a huge building, but it’s grey and it doesn’t represent what work goes on inside. So we wanted an artwork that would brighten the building, but also represent the work we do.
"We gave Frank an idea of what we wanted and he came back with this stunning design. It’s been getting a lot of attention with people stopping to take photos and it’s helped people realise what we are as some people thought we were a hotel, or pub. Most importantly, the residents also love it.”