Eleanor Taylor and Jessica Darch are both practising artists. They met during their Architecture BA Degree in London. Since then, they have worked together on several mural commissions. Jessica works predominantly as an acrylic abstract multimedia artist. Eleanor is an illustrator, printmaker and independent teacher.

We spoke with Eleanor, who reveals: “It started with Octopus House. We bought the derelict building on Castle Steps a few years ago. It has been a gradual development and is very near completion now. My husband is the architect. Jessica Darch painted the glorious octopus across the elevation. It has become a popular symbol on the Upper Rock and was a precursor to other interesting public art, including the lovely portraits near The Kasbar.

I entered the Gibraltar Cultural Services Street Art competition in December 2017. I knew that I wanted to continue the project that I had developed in London with school children, exploring the theme of human rights. I wanted to see those rights through the eyes of young people in Gibraltar. (Visit aboatcalledhope.com to see a great video by Davina Barbara, and the explanation of the Gibraltar project on the following page. There is also a gallery.)

Jessica and I completed the mural last month, whilst I split my time between London and Gibraltar. My husband is a practicing architect in Gibraltar and is designing the Island Games stadium.”

The idea for the ‘Boat Called Hope’ project came to Eleanor last year as she strolled along the beaches of Bolonia and Barbate. “While being enthralled by the beautiful wooden boats that sit in the sand along that coast, I was also struck by the human stories that are held in those hulls. The untold stories of journeys and of freedoms. It has been a whole heartedly positive project focussing on the beauty of family, safety, security… everything we hold dear, particularly in these unsettled times. I know that Gibraltar, more than many places in the world is acutely conscious of this.”

For more information visit aboatcalledhope.com and follow @aboatcalledhope on Instagram.