‘Amazing’ Brighton mural celebrates life of 13-year-old and raises awareness of youth suicide
Two artists have transformed a ‘grubby plain wall’ into a beautiful memorial with a powerful message.
The giant public mural in Pelham Street depicts Minnie Rose Eastman a much-loved Brighton student who took her own life, aged 13.
Her mother, Sacha Eastman, who has spent months planning the artwork, said it was ‘amazing’ and a ‘celebration’ of Minnie.
“Someone said to me ‘it’s iconic’ and I love that word. I want it to be, I’m proud of that,” she said.
“I don’t want Minnie to be forgotten.”
Artists Guy Favela and Fek began spray-painting the work on Thursday, the two-year anniversary of Minnie’s death.
The mural features the ‘Hopeline’ number for the national suicide prevention charity PAPYRUS, and Sacha said it would mean so much to her if it prompted just one young person to reach out for support.
“If I had an opportunity to go back and save my daughter, of course I would, but I don’t have that chance,” she said.
A short film was filmed during the process, featuring interviews with Sacha, which will also be used to raise awareness of youth suicide.
Suicide is the biggest killer of young people in the UK, according to PAPYRUS.
The charity aims to reduce the number of young people who take their own lives by breaking down the stigma around suicide and equipping people with the skills to recognise and respond to suicidal behaviour.
Sacha previously described Minnie as an ‘individual’, with a unique personality.
“She had her own style, she was kind of crazy,” Sacha said. “She was always breaking away from the mould.”
But sadly Minnie did not know how special she was.
“She took her life because she didn’t think she had worth,” Sacha said.
“So by doing this, it’s like I want to continue the power that she had, that she didn’t know she had.”
After the ‘high’ of seeing the mural painted and the flurry of media interviews that followed, Sacha said she was now back on the ‘lonely path’ of grieving.
But she is proud to have achieved her goal of creating a memorial to her daughter.
“When I want to do something, it spurs me on, it keeps me going,” she said. “It’s my healing.”
She has not yet returned to the mural since it was finished last week.
Sacha said: “I’ve not actually walked to it, and come round the corner and boom, seen it there – but I will, and it will be beautiful.”
For practical, confidential suicide prevention help and advice please contact PAPYRUS HOPELINEUK on 0800 068 4141, text 07860 039967 or email [email protected]
If you are affected by any issues raised in this story, you can also contact The Samaritans for confidential support on 116 123