Upperthorpe mural artist says Aseel was "watching over him" as he created touching tribute

Ben Gourvenec has made a mural to honour the victim of the Upperthorpe shooting on Daniel Hill. Picture: Chris Etchells
Ben Gourvenec has made a mural to honour the victim of the Upperthorpe shooting on Daniel Hill. Picture: Chris Etchells
0
Have your say

The artist behind the incredible Upperthorpe mural to Aseel Al-Essaie believes the 23-year-old was "watching down" on him as he created the work-of-art.

Ben Gourvenec spent three days painting the emotional tribute on the wall of Red Monkey Tattoo Studio on Daniel Hill, the same road where Aseel was shot dead on Saturday, February 18.

Ben Gourvenec has made a mural to honour the victim of the Upperthorpe shooting on Daniel Hill. Picture: Chris Etchells

Ben Gourvenec has made a mural to honour the victim of the Upperthorpe shooting on Daniel Hill. Picture: Chris Etchells

The mural, painted in striking black and white, shows the 23-year-old with a beaming smile and the message 'Aseels World...Rest In Peace Bro' either side.

Ben explained that he was asked to produce the mural after a post on Instagram asked for artists capable of producing a life like portrait of Aseel.

The artist said he hoped the mural would help to spread a lot of "love and positivity" in the Upperthorpe community following the shooting.

He said: "The community loved it, a crowd gathered even in the rain just to show support and see it come together, the weather was frustrating but we got through it in the end after three days.

Ben Gourvenec has made a mural to honour the victim of the Upperthorpe shooting on Daniel Hill. Picture: Chris Etchells

Ben Gourvenec has made a mural to honour the victim of the Upperthorpe shooting on Daniel Hill. Picture: Chris Etchells

"Everyone is still devastated, groups of people pass by on an hourly basis to pay respects and leave flowers, it's an emotional time I almost felt he was there watching down on us.

"Hopefully the painting represents where we come from, where we live as a community and that these kind if things shouldn't happen."

Mr Al-Essaie was shot at around 1.35pm on Daniel Hill, Upperthorpe on Saturday afternoon.

Since the shooting, eight people have been arrested and bailed including a 32-year-old man held on suspicion of murder on Tuesday night.

Ben Gourvenec has made a mural to honour the victim of the Upperthorpe shooting on Daniel Hill. Picture: Chris Etchells

Ben Gourvenec has made a mural to honour the victim of the Upperthorpe shooting on Daniel Hill. Picture: Chris Etchells

Despite never having the opportunity to meet Aseel, Ben said that he was sent a picture that "everyone agreed represented the kind of guy he was, always smiling and putting others first before himself."

"I'm aiming to one day set up my own business as an artist and this painting is really going to help expand my portfolio with more work to come," he explained.

"Fingers crossed more positive paintings and not for loved ones that have tragically passed.

"Again, thanks to everyone that's shown support. I hope this is something Aseel's family and friends can forever appreciate."