This week, Drusillas Park in East Sussex unveiled the biggest ever mural to be painted at the Park. The huge rainforest mural adorns squirrel monkey walkway and took over two months to hand paint.
The stunning mural was carefully painted by local artist Charis Williams, also known the Salvage Sister from Channel 4’s ‘Fill Your House for Free’.
Deputy Managing Director, Cassie Poland, said: “We’ve been planning to revamp squirrel monkey walkway for some time, but as it is such a big space we wanted to get our design just right. Charis has painted some really beautiful murals at Drusillas over the years, including our Safari Express tunnel flamingos, Mungo’s Station savanna landscape and the mountains at the back of the serval enclosure.”
“Charis is a really talented artist, so it was a no-brainer that we would get her to design our rainforest panoramic mural. The colours she has chosen make the whole corridor look so magical and you wouldn’t believe the detail she has managed to get in. The level of skill involved is amazing; it’s hard to believe that Charis did this all on her own!”
The rainforest mural is being thoroughly enjoyed by both Drusillas visitors and the squirrel monkeys whose enclosure runs parallel to the artwork.
Artist, fabricator and designer, Charis Williams, said: “The squirrel monkeys loved watching me work, they were running up and down tapping on the glass and trying to grab the reflection of my coffee mug! The most amazing thing I noticed was that the monkeys watched me using paintbrushes and they became so fascinated by this that they started picking up sticks that look like my brushes and chasing each other with them!”
“I thought maybe they had evolved into little artists after months of watching me paint. I half expected to come back and find them in little suits and using laptops - but perhaps that will take a bit longer!”
“I loved the company of the squirrel monkey gang whilst I painted, and they were fascinated with what I was doing. This rainforest mural is my favourite thing I have ever done for Drusillas and I’m so pleased so say that I’ve done it! I wanted to create something fairytale-like for all the family and something unexpected as well and I think I’ve done that.”
Charis made the creative decision to stay away from the traditional dark browns and greens you normally associate with rainforests and instead lifted it with brighter colours such as purples, blues and yellows, which gives an enchanting effect to the painting.
Deputy Managing Director, Cassie Poland, said: “We are so thrilled with the mural, it really is a stunning piece of work and we are so pleased to be finally showing it off to our visitors. We have had some wonderful feedback already and it’s great to see everyone enjoying this space so much.”