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St Helens residents and internationally acclaimed street artists Nomad Clan begin work on world class mural project

St Helens residents and internationally acclaimed street artists Nomad Clan begin work on world class mural project

Residents in Parr, St Helens have begun working with internationally-acclaimed street artist duo Nomad Clan on a new mural – the first of its kind in the area.

The project has been developed by local arts organisation Heart of Glass, in partnership with Torus Foundation and is funded by Arts Council England as part of the Creative People and Places programme.

The very first mural in the area, it will celebrate the area’s community spirit and reflect on its history. Presented on two large empty walls opposite each other on Rudd Avenue (Wisey’s Newsagent and Barbara’s Hairdressers), a key location in Parr, opposite Derbyshire Hill Family Centre, they are set to be completed and unveiled later in the summer.

Nomad Clan are an internationally-acclaimed, street art duo based in Manchester. Their stunning film-like murals often highlight social, environmental and humanitarian issues, such as social deprivation, the European migrant crisis and women’s rights. Often giant in scale, their work has been shown all over the world, from Colorado to St Petersburg and soon to be in Parr, St Helens. Each mural has a strong significance to the environment it sits in, combining epic film-like scenes often inspired by local heritage, folklore or current events. The main focus of the work is to proudly celebrate local history but on a deeper level subtly contains the socio-economic issues affecting the area.

The designs of the project are being developed through workshops with local residents and are being led by Nomad Clan and Heart of Glass artist-in-residence, Michelle Wren, with support from Heart of Glass and Torus Foundation.

St Helens-born artist Michelle Wren has spent the past months meeting local groups and residents and listening to their experiences, memories and hopes for the area.

Angharad Williams, Head of Programme, Heart of Glass says:
“At Heart of Glass, we believe art belongs everywhere and to everyone and so we are delighted that the first mural we are producing in St Helens is in Parr with the brilliant Nomad Clan. Their work has real beauty and integrity and we cannot wait to see what the people of Parr bring to this collaboration. Artist in residence Michelle Wren has already uncovered some great stories and we are excited to see how all of this work unfolds into a beautiful and significant public artwork for this area.”

Nomad Clan’s Jay Gilleard (Cbloxx) says:
“It’s a great honor to be painting Parr’s very first public murals, our hearts are set on celebrating the beautiful community spirit and unshakable endurance we have observed here, whilst at the same time reflecting back on its sturdy historical roots within famed northern industry. We look forward to creating something for people to escape into much like the abundance of greenspace around these parts, to inspire hope and to keep going/ keep growing together.”

Kate Shone, Managing Director at Torus Foundation explains:
“The Foundation is proud to provide funding for this fantastic piece of work in St Helens and to help build support and engagement within the Parr community. 

“Developing strong relationships with key local partners like Heart of Glass is an important part of how we’re delivering our vision of stronger communities and the project fits perfecting into a wider programme of work that the Foundation is undertaking to improve livability in Torus neighbourhoods. Through Normad Clan’s final concept, the murals will be a great opportunity to celebrate the sense of pride in place that’s felt across Parr and our Torus neighbourhoods.”