Mona Lisa smile flagged up

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Dozens of flash mob of artists chalks up a success with impromptu pavement pictures to highlight mental health issues.

For one day only, the people of Preston were encouraged to scrawl to their heart’s content on the historic Flag Market.

Dave Pyle, Abi Redmond-Best, Paula O'Mara, Florian Maier and Kevin Cross and their drawings

Dave Pyle, Abi Redmond-Best, Paula O'Mara, Florian Maier and Kevin Cross and their drawings

Thirty artists were brought in to to carry out an art ‘flash mob’ on Saturday, and armed with wash-off pastels, recreated their own images of the Mona Lisa on the flags.

Members of public were also encouraged to have a go, as part of a free Revival event organised by vintage enthusiast Mary Milnes of Dolly Dazzler Presents, alongside the city council.

Mary said: “More and more people are into the vintage theme, and I wanted to bring something traditional back to Preston, with vintage stalls and music and art.

“The Flag Market is a beautiful venue with the Harris Muesum and Art Gallery in the back drop, and we had a really, really good day, with lots of people coming together.

“With the music going on in the background, including a 16-year-old opera singer, andhusband and wife duo playing French music on the accordian and guitar, the creations were drawn on the flags.”

She added: “The Mona Lisa was picked because it’s an iconic image that people of all ages know.

“We had so many people coming up to us, asking if they could have a go at drawing their own, and that was the idea. We wanted to start with the artists and then get everyone else taking part.

“It was a great opportunity for people who might not be able to attend drawing classes to speak to the artists and maybe discover a talent.”

Dolly Dazzler Presents teamed up with mental health charity mind, who ran a traditional sweet stall on the market, and spread the word about their services.

Mary added: “The Mona Lisa also fits in with Mind – people interpret her as smiling but also as frowning. It’s not straightforward.”

The drawings were left on the flags to wash off over time in the rain.