Bruntwood opens call for art competition to transform Trafford landmark

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Leading regional developer Bruntwood has opened calls for entries for a UK-wide street art competition to transform the landmark Trafford House building in Greater Manchester with a 38 metre high mural.

The artwork will face the major arterial route of Chester Road and Manchester City Centre - brightening the commute of thousands of people who pass the building every day.

Celebrating art and creating spaces which inspire and enliven communities is an important aspect of Bruntwood’s vision, and the resulting mural will be a key addition to Manchester’s growing collection of iconic murals and street art pieces – which bring colour and spirit to everyday spaces.

Bruntwood is looking for submissions from artists from across the UK to create a beautiful piece of art on the East-facing end of the building, which is approximately 38 metres tall by 7 metres wide.

Trafford House overlooks the pedestrian route between Old Trafford tram stop and Manchester United’s Old Trafford football ground. The mural will also be visible to traffic leaving Manchester City Centre, and from over a mile away.

The area has a deep connection with the suffragette movement; Sylvia Pankhurst was born metres from the site and the developer is looking to mark the centenary of the female vote through the artwork.

Entries to the competition will be judged by an expert panel which will include Louise Sutherland, Chair of the Pankhurst Trust.

Kate Vokes, Bruntwood’s Director of Culture, said: “The spirit of revolution and resilience which informed the suffragette movement is incredibly powerful and inspiring. This mural will pay tribute to the essence of that movement and recognise the personal sacrifice and strength of character which gave life to this critical struggle for equal rights for women.

“A keen artist, Sylvia was named Best Female Artist of the Year by the Manchester School of Art where she was a student in 1901. As such, it seems appropriate to be recognising her extraordinary legacy with an artwork that we hope will bring inspiration and encouragement to the local community, people working at Trafford House, and the thousands of commuters who pass by every day.

“We are looking for bold, exciting, beautiful designs that are expressive, aesthetically interesting and that show a reflective and personal connection between the artist and the subject. Given the scale of the building, the design should be able to stand the test of time.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for a talented and creative artist to create a dynamic piece of art that will enliven and transform the landscape and contribute something new to the community and Greater Manchester’s thriving cultural offering.”

Louise Sutherland, Chair of the Pankhurst Trust, said: “Sylvia Pankhurst’s story and legacy is an incredibly powerful one, that there is much to learn from. She was driven by a determination to improve the lives of all women, and her self-sacrifice to bring about that change was immense. Even her work as an artist was connected to this quest, so it’s wonderful that this project will not only celebrate Sylvia in her home town, but will do so through art.”

Bruntwood would like to be led creatively by the artist and is open to all ideas, mediums and styles. The artwork needs to make reference to Sylvia Pankhurst, but should primarily be led by a modern, creative and conceptual approach which has a strong emphasis on the importance of the artwork itself.

The company will provide a suspended cradle for the required duration of works.

Deadline for entries is midnight on Sunday, August 12, and artists who would like to enter the competition to paint the mural, should compile a submission including:

- Concept design, with sketch visuals and accompanying text explaining the ideas and thoughts behind the artwork. A description of its suitability for the building and location, why it would make a positive impact to the area, and how it can help inspire those who see it.

- Methods – outlining chosen medium, method of application, and how will it sustain weathering.

- Artistic experience/portfolio – if possible, examples of previous artwork - ideally examples which demonstrate experience in creating street art

- Suggested programme of works

- Fee proposal - total fee proposal broken down as day rate, to include all travel and material expenses

- Contact information - email, phone number, location

Submissions can be emailed to: traffordmural@bruntwood.co.uk For more information on the competition, visit: www.bruntwood.co.uk/traffordhousemural 

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