As the 3 Har­bours Fes­ti­val drew to a close at the week­end, one of the prime attrac­tions was the Mural Fest in Cuthill Park,  on the out­skirts of Pre­ston­pans. Six artists faced the task of paint­ing a mural based on their inter­pre­ta­tion of the John Lind­say poem “Scary Haven”. Among the artists was local woman Shel­ley Jones.

I wanted to con­vey the idea of land merg­ing into sea and sea turn­ing into land” she explained. “In the poem the Topaz  is the boat that gets stuck.” Shel­ley rep­re­sents this idea in the main body of her mural. “The skele­ton ships are stuck in the mud and they are never leav­ing.” There is an ele­ment of hope in the paint­ing though as the artist indi­cated the lone ves­sel in the top-left cor­ner of her work. “It’s the one that got away” she added with a smile.

Shel­ley also demon­strates her inter­est in old maps in her rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the har­bour with it’s tide mill and nar­row basin. She stated that these were marked in on the 18th cen­tury ordi­nance sur­vey maps of the harbour.

Dur­ing pre­vi­ous fes­ti­vals, Ms Jones has opened her house to other exhi­bi­tions but this is the first time she has par­tic­i­pated as an active artist her­self. I asked her how she found doing the mural.

Ter­ri­fy­ing”, she said. “I’ve never done a mural before.” How­ever, despite any nerves the expe­ri­ence has obvi­ously been a pos­i­tive one for the artist. “I enjoyed being cre­ative. When you are host­ing it’s dif­fi­cult to see things.” The painter also seemed to revel in the expe­ri­ence of being around the other mural artists.