As the story of the potential Banksy stencil art in locations on the Norfolk and Suffolk coast continues to attract national interest, here is a photo-led feature of more urban art in the area – Ipswich, Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Felixstowe by a diversity of artists.
The skilled mural designers and painters are producing stunning work which carry strong social messages, from black empowerment to financial responsibility, and pieces celebrating ancient history and women-led arts.
The East of England is an overlooked region for wonderful arts and culture, so why not encourage your audience to head to the East, instead of the usual hip destinations such as Bristol and Margate, for creative inspiration?
Heroes & Power by EVEWRIGHT
The National Lottery Fund supported a youth-led mural inspired by blockbuster MARVEL film, Black Panther. Working to the theme, Heroes & Power, established artist EVEWRIGHT led young people in creating a new mural through online workshops in June 2020, with the mural painted according to Covid-safe guidelines in July 2020 on the Ipswich Waterfront.
Heroes & Power is in association with The Power of Stories exhibition at Christchurch Mansion until October 24 2021. The mural was painted by the artist, workshop participants, and members of the wider community.
Your Power, Your Story by Edward Ofosu and Raul G. Loya
Local arts organisation Art Eat Events worked with artists Edward Ofosu (based in Accra, Ghana) and Raul G. Loya, and residents at HMP Hollesley Bay prison on a mural on Ipswich Waterfront. Painted in May 2021, the mural also celebrates the inspiring Power of Stories exhibition.
The eighth mural project organised by Art Eat Events was a Covid-safe art activity for residents of the prison. Workshops were led online by the artists from Ghana and Mexico, and educational sessions about objects in the exhibition were delivered by Eleanor Root from Colchester + Ipswich Museum Service. The workshops were based on creative workbooks designed by Edward Ofosu, and the art materials generously donated by the Ipswich Museum.
Princess Sofia Duleep Singh by Artful Skecha
This mural was funded by a grant from The Women’s Centenary Fund to celebrate the life of the Sikh Princess, Sofia Duleep Singh, who was a prominent suffragette. Art Eat Events CIC worked with Sikh artist Artful Skecha who led mural design workshops with women and children at the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Ipswich, resulting in this impactful commemorative piece.
Stop Loan Sharks by EVEWRIGHT
Art Eat Events CIC were awarded a grant from Stop Loan Sharks Community Fund to work with artist EVEWRIGHT and the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality to deliver mural design and painting workshops at a local Prison.
Zoë Power mural
The mural was designed and painted in the prison and then transported and installed onto hoardings near Dance East on Ipswich Waterfront.
In 2019 Art Eat Events commissioned Bristol-based mural artist Zoë Power to delivering art workshops to the local community, inspiring the design of this mural on Quay Street in Ipswich. Involved were mental health, homelessness and young people’s charities, and over 100 people.
Riverside complex mural by 3d Creations
The inspiration for the Riverside leisure complex mural in Norwich came from its surroundings. The designer, Ian Westbrook (of 3d Creations) created depictions of the railway station, the River Wensum with its mythical monster, music, cinema and sports.
The building had its challenges in the large, black window voids servicing the car park behind. For a design to work within these large solid black rectangles Ian needed to be very graphic in style. He used strong bright colours and drawn black areas to blend in the windows. The design took three weeks to perfect and six weeks to paint on site with scaffolding on three levels. It demanded a lot of careful, accurate measuring and great skill to enlarge artwork that is 38 metres wide.
Snap the Dragon by Marca Schotten
Norwich’s history is intertwined with the image of dragons. In festivals of old, Snap the dragon was worn as a costume in street parades, with the last dragon festival in Norwich being just 10 years ago. Marca loves producing giant pictures in surprising places, and also happens to rather like dragons.
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
Murals by John Dashwood
John’s beautiful murals pay homage to Great Yarmouth’s seafaring and literary heritage, and can be spotted on buildings around town.
Splash Mural by Liam Clark
Organised by the Reprezent Project, this mural is one of 30 being painted around the seaside resort to help increase pride among local young people and attract visitors. Reprezent Projects is a social enterprise which focuses on young people who may be at risk of social and economic disadvantages, seeking to increase social entrepreneurial-ism by improving equality of choice and opportunity through artistic expression and creative endeavours.
Women-focused murals by Catalina Carvajal Reeves for the WAMFest
WAMfest is a small community event on 3-4 September which will celebrate the creativity of women in arts and music in Felixstowe. Fabulous acts, literature and exhibitions are taking place in and around the up-and-coming seaside town.
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