Graffiti tributes to Hawking spring up in Cambridge

Image credit: @MillRoadCambs, writer of the 'Mill Road Blog'

Two graffiti tributes to the late Cambridge professor, Stephen Hawking, have appeared under a bridge near Mill Road.

One work features a portrait of the professor, whilst the second displays a wheelchair with the words “be curious” underneath, a tribute to his famous phrase “remember to look up at the stars, not down at your feet.”

The two works were created by local artists Kyle Warwick and Tim Shuker-Yates, who spent nearly five hours on their tribute to the physics professor.

Warwick was inspired to create the work because of his memory of Professor Hawking’s visit to his primary school in Newnham, Cambridge, when Warwick was 10. The former fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, was there to give a motivational talk during assembly.

Speaking to the BBC, the freelance artist said: "I did it because I'm Cambridge born and bred and very proud of coming from here".

Describing his motivation, Warwick added: "It was less personal, more for what he did for Cambridge. For the people of Cambridge, he was an inspiration."

The bursar of Gonville and Caius College, David Secher, credited the artwork as a symbol of “how [Hawking] touched lives” of all backgrounds and ages within the city and helped instill “a sense of pride” in its residents.

The bridge, currently owned by Network Rail, has long been home to community art projects in the area. The graffiti is still in place, as Cambridge Council does not own the land to be able to remove the artwork. Network Rail has a strict policy of removing artwork on its property.

However, the company also said that it "would consider requests not to remove artwork" should it not impact on the safety of the railway and did not cause offense.

Hawking’s funeral took place on Easter Saturday. Hundreds gathered in the streets outside Great St Mary’s to pay their respects to the Physics great, whilst many more have left touching tributes both on social media and in Gonville and Caius’ book of condolence.

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