New ‘Tree of Life’ mural to be unveiled as part of Batley Art Trail

Batley residents and visitors to the town can look forward to getting a spring in their step this April as Creative Scene unveils “The Tree of Life”, a new public mural by artist Tom Wood.

By Jessica Barton
Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 11:00 am
“The Tree of Life” mural was designed by artist Tom Wood.
“The Tree of Life” mural was designed by artist Tom Wood.

“The Tree of Life” is the second artwork as part of the Batley Art Trail, commissioned and curated by Creative Scene and supported as part of Kirklees Council’s “Heart Your Town” initiative.

The mural is a colourful design celebrating nature, the environment and new life in the town.

Nancy Barrett, creative director for the Batley Art Trail, wants to bring the spirit of Batley and its people out onto the streets through the art trail and is working with community and business partners to develop a number of artist commissions.

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The mural is a colourful design celebrating nature, the environment and new life in the town.

Nancy said: “‘The Tree of Life’ is an uplifting celebration of Batley and its people, and will mark a hopeful new start for the town in 2022.

“As well as brightening up the wall at an important gateway to the town, hundreds of school children have been involved in creative workshops to co-create the work with Tom.”

Year seven pupils from Batley Girls’ High School worked with well-known artist Tom and artists at The Redbrick Academy last summer using a combination of painting, drawing, digital intervention and collage – and students will be able to spot their contributions among the vibrant design.

Tom grew up in Liversedge and attended Batley School of Art, where he later went on to teach.

He has been commissioned to paint portraits - including of Prince Charles, Alan Bennett and Barbara Windsor - and has work in the collection at the National Portrait Gallery.

This new work, covering four storeys of the Redbrick Mill wall, is set to make a big impression.

The project has been generously supported by Redbrick Mill and owner Joe Battye, who is delighted that the outlet will get a facelift through the installation of Tom’s mural.

Joe said: "Redbrick are delighted to support the new mural and the wider campaign to introduce art to Bradford Road.

“Redbrick prides itself as a destination for design and a pleasant place to visit. We hope this work brings more people to the area and brings a smile to their faces."

“The Tree of Life” is the second artwork in the Batley Art Trail.

The first work on the trail is Emmeline North’s murals at Batley Train Station, which were created with students from Upper Batley High School.

Further artwork is planned over the coming year and Creative Scene is keen to hear from any local businesses or public buildings that would like to get involved and host an artist to design and create an artwork for their building or premises.

All are welcome to attend the public launch on Thursday, April 7, at 1pm, outside at Redbrick Mill, Bradford Road, Batley.

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