The mural was created after the late rapper and brother to Bristol’s mayor Marvin Rees, Martin Walker, committed suicide in November 2020. The mural marked a meeting point for friends and family of the musician each year to celebrate his life.
Friends of Walker said that the destroyed mural was a “low blow” from the artist, who has since apologised to family and friends. The original mural was painted by JODY, a friend of Walker, alongside local artist Turoe following his death.
Money is now being collected in an effort to repaint the destroyed mural. The new piece will go in a more permanent location off of Mina Road Park.
Gemma Jennison, a close friend of Walker, said that the destroyed mural was particularly devastating given that this week marks the anniversary of his death. Martin Walker passed away on November 30, 2020, by suicide.
“We were alerted that the mural was painted over by another artist last week. It’s a kick to the stomach really because we managed to maintain it for two years,” she said on the artwork.
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“It felt like a real low blow. He’s buried somewhere outside of St Werburghs so for his friends and family to go and see him they would have to travel across the city. On his anniversary we would normally meet up there.”
She added: “For those affected by the loss of Martin, in particular as this week is his anniversary, it hurts because we can’t do that this year.”
All proceeds left over after the mural fund will go towards the family of Martin Walker.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter
Written by: Tim Hopkins