Major Street Art Project Launches in Nottingham

The Nottingham Project has announced a first of its kind street art project in the city to celebrate Nottingham’s ‘rebels and pioneers’. The project has been backed by Nottingham City Council, Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID) and the Canal & River Trust

The Nottingham Project has today (Friday 3 September) announced the launch of a major street art project in the city, which it hopes will grow in the coming years to rival similar projects around the world.

With a creative theme celebrating the ‘rebels and pioneers’ who have helped to shape the past, present and future of the city, the project is a first of its kind in Nottingham city centre. The hope is the project will not only bring life to areas of the city through the art but also drive tourism and bring people back to the city's shops and businesses as covid restrictions come to an end.

The announcement comes with the unveiling of the first mural, celebrating Nottingham’s pioneering history with the lace industry, which has been created on the NCC Car Park located on Fletcher Gate. Designed and created by Nottingham street artist Rubes, the artwork is an intricate lace pattern that includes a number of references to Nottingham formerly being the world leader in lace making - from the Spinning Jenny machine to the Luddite movement.

Creation of a second mural will start in the coming days, honouring the life and achievements of Eric Irons OBE. Created by Nottingham artist Honey Williams, the design celebrates Mr Irons’  work as the first black magistrate in the UK and how he helped to transform Nottingham having made the city his home in the 1950s. The mural will be located by Nottingham & Beeston Canal at Castle Wharf, just below Carrington Street Bridge.

Several organisations in the city have already put their support behind the project, including Nottingham City Council, Nottingham BID and the Canal & River Trust. The Nottingham Project, with support from the street art community in the city, has worked to identify a number of possible locations for murals and is now beginning the process of putting paint on the walls in an initial phase of artwork creation.

Lee Walker, Director of The Nottingham Project, said: “This is an incredibly exciting project for the city, celebrating Nottingham’s amazing cultural history through one of the most creative forms of art. The ambition is this becomes much more than just a stunning collection of murals, with the potential to create a project that establishes Nottingham as a leading creative city and delivers real impact for the city centre, it’s businesses and most importantly the people of Nottingham."

“We would like to thank all the organisations and individuals that have helped get the project off the ground. As the project grows, the aim is to work with the Nottingham community to identify spaces in the city as well as rebels and pioneers to be the focus of murals. We will also continue to provide opportunities for Nottingham artists to create the work.”

City Council Leader Councillor David Mellen said: “We’re really pleased to support this project which will provide a platform for talented local artists, brighten up key areas and buildings in the city and celebrate Nottingham’s pioneering spirit. We look forward to seeing the first one unveiled on the wall of our Fletcher Gate car park.”

Lucy Stanford, Director of Operations at Nottingham BID, said: "We are thrilled to be involved with this exciting project, which will be a welcome addition to the city - injecting colour and conversation back to the streets of Nottingham."

“Nottingham is an incredible place to live, work and visit and we hope the street art project highlights exactly this."

Phil Mulligan, regional director for the Canal & River Trust, said: “We’re really pleased and excited to be a part of this project, which will add extra colour and life to the canal. The canal is so important to Nottingham, running right through the heart of the city and giving people living and working alongside it a place to escape to, and we hope this artwork will encourage more people to come down and spend time by the water.” 

The Nottingham Project is quickly aiming to start creating murals on further sites in the city and will release information on each new artwork once work is underway. It will also be launching a website that will act as the official home for the project providing information on mural locations, the creative and the artists behind each design.

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