Over the past year Unipol has been working with various local partners and artists around the city to brighten up the Blenheim area in Woodhouse, which sits between the University of Leeds and Leeds Arts University.
The project has provided local artists with the opportunity to showcase their work in a public space as well as bringing a wave of colour and nature to an urban area which was previously strewn with graffiti and tagging.
Here is a little more information about the artists and their works which are featured in the area. Go check out the murals next time you’re near the uni and give the artists a follow on social media! (Links to their Instagram pages are below.)
Click on the circles below to view the full mural.
1. Izzy Dugen
2. Maisie Baker & Phoebe Walker – @neon.leopard
Maisie and Phoebe are both Leeds based artists, and together they make Neon Leopard. They specialise in creating alternative prints, artwork, and graphics. They describe their mural as a ‘technicolour jungle’.
3. Charlotte Preston – @charlotteprestontattoo
Charlotte is an illustrator and tattoo apprentice based in Leeds and Harrogate, and this style can be seen in Charlotte’s mural design which spans the access road by Blandford Gardens.
4. Jamie Steward – @cortisolkid
“Cortisol Kid is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Leeds. He divides his time between mural work, portraiture and tattooing. His piece on the Blenheim wall combines his love for portraiture and nature. The colour scheme and floral elements were chosen to compliment the surrounding area.”
5. Lily Beal & Claire Stephenie – @lilyrose.design
“I’m Lily Beal and I’m in my final year studying textile design at Leeds Arts University. I love to paint and draw as part of my degree and most of my inspiration comes from nature, so when our Housing Officer mentioned a mural project around the theme of urban gardens, my housemate and I jumped at the chance to collaborate on a mural. We wanted to come up with something which would almost blend in, and so the idea of a trellis with flowers and insects scattered across was what we went with, as it reflected the ‘real’ boxes and trellis already created by Unipol in a new way. Painting on the bricks was a difficult task, as well as painting through the winter months, but it feels rewarding seeing the outcome in the springtime when the daffodils start to grow through in front and look as though they are part of the design.”
6. Jake Klone – @klonism
Jake is a graffiti artist and designer from Leeds and has worked as ‘Klonism’ since 2002. His mural at the Blenheims is the largest of them all in size, and features the famous Leeds Owl!
7. Ashbury Levi – @ashbury_levi
Ashbury is a tattoo artist based in Leeds, and his mural is situated next to Jake Klone’s Leeds Owl, complimenting the style and colour palette. Continuing the nature theme, it features a characterful frog and some bright and colourful toadstools.
8. Jaydon Rowbottom – @jaydonrowbottom
“I’m a freelance Illustrator, animator and graphic designer based in Leeds. I take influence from each area of my practice and feed it into the next, using black outlines from animation, bold shapes and colour from graphic design and the labour of drawing from illustration. I attempt to simplify ideas as far as I can for each commission, as over complicating something doesn’t tend to sit right in my mind.
It seems like so long since I painted the mural for Unipol. I remember having lovely conversations with passers by about the piece; there were many lovers of nature that appreciated a mural that showcased plants, bees and other tiny critters in an environment that doesn’t typically see it – a main road in the city. If my work does nothing more than remind people of our mother nature then I’d still consider my job as a success.”
9. Chloe Bradley – @chloebradleydesign
“I’m a Textile Designer having recently graduated from Leeds Arts University. I’m a digitally influenced designer and my work is inspired by colour, comfort and illustrative style. It can be hard to appreciate just how pretty and vibrant nature is in such a busy city like Leeds. My mural design was inspired by pictures I took during spring time of beautiful flowers on daily walks around more quiet areas of Leeds. I wanted a design that was happy for the community, and reminds people just how beautiful Leeds really is.”
10. Megan Dobbyn – @megdobbyn_illustration
“I am an illustrator who makes work with a focus on sustainability and environmental impact, I create imagery inspired by the natural world around me to tell stories and narratives and I want to use my illustration practice to celebrate the beauty of nature and our duty to protect it. This mural is inspired by the companionship and mental well-being we can access when spending time together in nature and the joy that comes from watching something grow under your own care.”
11. Charlotte Davison – @charlottextiles
“Charlotte Davison is a recent Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern design graduate for both fashion and interiors, with a keen interest in all things flora and fauna, as well as the shapes and textures found within both the manmade and natural world. This particular piece finished as a digital repeat and was taken from her second-year collection looking into line, shape and form found within fruit.”