Giant mural unveiled at Princess of Wales shopping precinct in Dewsbury

A giant new mural has been completed in Dewsbury town centre as part of the Creative Town Arts Programme.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 12:00 pm
Coun Eric Firth, cabinet member for town centres at Kirklees Council, and artist Emmeline North

The piece entitled "Urban Rewild" has been designed by emerging, multi-disciplined artist Emmeline North, who is renowned for large scale murals and striking surface pattern designs.

Emmeline was commissioned to create a large-scale mural in the town centre as part of the arts programme, which is funded by Kirklees Council.

The brief was to create a bespoke, contemporary design, inspired by nature, flora and fauna as well as landscapes within and surrounding the town.

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Emmeline North's giant mural on Church Street in Dewsbury

Emmeline’s artwork focuses on the theme of "Rewilding", a concept which emerged through lockdown and enables artists to explore ways in which they can introduce nature into town centres.

The giant, permanent mural can be found on the side of the Princess of Wales shopping precinct in Dewsbury town centre, opposite Dewsbury Minster.

It stands approximately 23 metres wide by 5.5 metres high and took 14 days to paint, with Emmeline using a scissor lift when necessary to complete the piece.

As part of the design process, Emmeline held several engagement sessions throughout the summer in the shopping centre where members of the public could have a go at creating a mural for themselves and learn the different techniques involved with the process.

Emmeline said “It’s been an absolute honour to work on this commission and I’ve really enjoyed combining hard lines with softer botanicals on this installation.

"I think we’ve all recognised the fragility of life over the last 18 months and so, as well as adding a little colour to this previously dark, oppressive wall.

"I wanted to create a mural that in a way symbolises our movement from restrictions to freedom, and hope for our eventual recovery to full bloom.”

Councillor Eric Firth, cabinet member for town centres at Kirklees Council, said: “I think many of us found ways to enjoy nature and the outdoors over the course of the pandemic and this wonderful piece of public art brings nature right into the heart of Dewsbury town centre.

"The creative arts programme is about much more than just painting pretty pictures, it brings colour and creativity that complements our ambitious town centre regeneration plans.

"Emmeline’s work adds a welcome vibrancy to a previously uninspiring space. I look forward to seeing more art projects come to life in the town centre.”

The Dewsbury Creative Town Arts Programme is a £200,000 initiative funded by Kirklees Council as part of its Blueprint plans to revitalise the town centre.

The arts programme, which is produced by arts organisation Beam, will include a range of permanent and temporary public art interventions at various sites across Dewsbury.

It also aims to provide residents, businesses and community groups with an array of opportunities to engage with art and get involved in the commissioning process.

Beautilist artist Trafford Parsons was also commissioned earlier in the year to create an additional mural in the town centre. Further details will follow once the project is complete.

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