Artist recreates the fantastic town of Dewsbury


An artist used his talent for the fantastical to create an alternate version of Dewsbury for his daughter’s nursery.

Hugh Raine made a series of pictures that show a particularly colourful and vibrant version of the town for his daughter, Bonnie.

Illustrator Hugh Raine with daughter Bonnie by the mural he has created for her room. (D514B443)

Illustrator Hugh Raine with daughter Bonnie by the mural he has created for her room. (D514B443)

“I wanted to do something quite personal for the nursery,” he said.

“I tried to create somewhere familiar and friendly for her to make up her own stories.”

He said that the pictures were created through collage with photographic and computer techniques.

Hugh, 33, said his work, which also includes comics, illustrations, photographs and his designs for UK Greetings, had sensational elements that were grounded by something familiar or local.

And the familiar element he goes for is often Dewsbury and its surrounding landscape.

The background to the pictures includes landmarks with cartoon-like animal and human characters.

Dewsbury Town Hall, Pioneer House and Emley Moor mast all make an appearance in the pictures, as well as the River Calder, which runs through it.

He said: “I need to ground the work in some way. The architecture is the main course and the characters are the pudding.”

Characters in Hugh’s comics often inhabit strange worlds in which anything is possible but everyone has a West Yorkshire accent.

The protagonist, Kenneth, in surreal Halloween yarn By ‘Eck asks his neighbour, “‘Ere, have you noticed owt strange goin’on?”

The comic is a dark and funny tale that features magic cats and biblical floods alongside local folk and Dewsbury Town Hall.

Hugh, of Willans Road, said: “I tend to approach each comic from scratch and find the appropriate style, but there are common threads.

“The locations are based on Dewsbury itself rather than me creating a whole new world when there already is one in my garden.”

Hugh studied animation in Hull. He is an active member of Dewsbury Arts Group and has recently tried his hand at stand up comedy.

The photographs exhibited on his website range from crisp images of people to cats with light sabers.

An example of his design work turns the popular saying “dress for the job you want, not the job you have” on its head with an illustration of a board room and a frustrated figure sitting on the last chair dressed as Batman.

Visit website to find out more about his work.