The rain was tipping down on Monday, but that didn’t stop an emotional ‘tour’ around the Whitchurch Art (Bollards) Project as memories of a young artist who was tragically killed one year ago came flooding back – the very appropriate pun may have amused Liam’s creative mind!
The Project’s designer John Buckley, wrote last year that:
“Without Liam (Lyster) the Whitchurch Art Project, the decoration of the town’s bollards, may not have got off the ground … I remember being excited by his quiet and thoughtful approach…”
“I recall one street corner meeting when we worked together in a spate of rather off-the-wall idea storming and came up with the black and white design near the Surgery. Why? Because in some disorganisation Liam had only brought those colours with him by accident, and some instant creative thinking was needed. Perhaps that will always be Liam’s bollard.”
That bollard was a focus of a walk around the art scheme with perhaps his closest friend, Hazel Wakeford.
Following Liam’s tragic accident a group of his friends set about celebrating his short life, and made contact with the Art Project. Led by Hazel they looked after his early murals at Viables in Basingstoke and learned about his involvement with Whitchurch and the project that “he was so excited to work on”.
Special wrist bands were produced with the characters ‘WWLD?’ and donations collected. A ‘T’-shirt with his design work is being produced and a gathering is soon to be held at the Basingstoke pub where he worked – The Bounty – just one day short of the anniversary of his sad accident.
Hazel took a very wet tour of the 20-plus bollards presently decorated, describing them, with a smile as “not just artistic, but a bit quirky”. They are to have a spring clean and further designs added soon, but the uncertainties of the weather are causing some difficulty. It is hoped that some of Liam’s designs which were not implemented will be included, and maybe even decorated by some of his friends.
Finally Hazel handed over a very welcome contribution to the scheme – over £300 had been collected by his friends and they chose the Art Project as a most suitable recipient.
Whitchurch should thank these young people for such a kind and appropriate thought; how it is used within the project is now being finalised.
So what about those wristbands with WWLD?
What does it all mean?
It stands for WHAT WOULD LIAM DO?
We will sadly not know, except it would have been creative – with a lot of, as Hazel described, his “strong will and passion”.
Liam was killed in a car accident, aged just 23, on 24th June 2011.
Our previous article is HERE