Blackburn Open Walls Review – Part two

Part one of this round up from the third edition of Blackburn Open walls in the North East of England leaned heavily on the bigger name artists so now it’s time to show a little love to the local artists who contributed some excellent work for the festival.

First up is Mr Teaone from the town of Preston about 10 miles from Blackburn who painted a tractor scene celebrating Lancashire’s farming on museum street.

Mr Teaone

Mancunian artist Jay Sharples painted his iconic & colourful street art gorillas on Richmond terrace.

Jay Sharples

Boo Who? also from nearby Preston painted a pop art chip shop inspired connect four game on the side of the Chippery. Which is as awesome as it sounds!

Boo Who

Blackburn local Emma Colbert painted beautiful patterns and colour on a shop frontage in Northgate.

Emma Colbert

BOW Exhibition organiser and fellow Blackburn resident Alexandra Gallagher created a stunning design of gold, nature and geometric detail for the Roomali Restaurant.

Alexandra Gallagher

And last but very much by no means least creator and curator Hayley Welsh. This year she painted her super cute characters on the back of Forbes Solicitors on Duke Streets. Her piece titled ‘be happy in this moment… this moment is your life’ Adding to the overall positive vibe of the festival.

Hayley Welsh

Hayley Welsh said about BOW: “The project couldn’t have gone any better this year. We had some awesome world class artists come to town and that attracted other artists from across the UK to come along too, so the project just kind of snowballed. We only planned to have 7 artists this year but had so many people get in touch, in the end had over 14 artists making Blackburn beautiful.

There was such a buzz around the town seeing people create beautiful artworks in public space and the feedback from the community was amazing. I couldn’t have done it without the help of my husband and partner in crime Andy Faraday, who has been hands on with me every step Of the way, making BOW happen and to all the artists who have their talents and time to the town.

The artists were amazed by the local communities response to their work. They mentioned the lovely people of Blackburn were, bringing cakes, teas and thank you cards to them, as they painted as well as having laugh with them through the week. Issac Cordal who came from Portugal said he felt a great energy in Blackburn – that the town is ‘Alive’ and that people in Blackburn have a ‘good sense of humour’ especially with his almost creepy sculptures popping up around town.

Seeing the actual artists hard at work, making something with their bare hands has a real energy, I think, especially compared to seeing a finished piece hanging in a gallery. This project is all about bringing people together with shared memories and creative conversations in public space, and I think this year that has happened”

For anyone looking to visit Blackburn for a street art themed break, the artworks are all permanent and there for the community to enjoy with street art maps available to do your own self guided tours of the outdoor gallery – a free fun activity for the kids this summer”

Maps are available from Liz n lils, the museum, the bureau and tourist information as well as online on www.blackburnopenwalls.com .

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