UK's tallest mural set to hit Leeds city skyline

    News, Leeds

    Nomad clan are back with their biggest project to date. 

    Work begun this morning on an art installation set to give Leeds international acclaim.

    The giant artwork, standing 137 ft. (41.9m) tall will be the UK’s tallest piece of street art, as well as being the finishing touch to a major refurbishment of the landmark building which is to be its canvas.

    This ambitious and bold mural, entitled ‘Athena Rising’, is to be painted the full length of the east elevation of the Platform building, formerly known as City House, and will be visible from station platforms and beyond. Work began on Tuesday 6th June and it will take up to four weeks to complete.

    The striking design, which will be 137ft x 36ft / 41.9m high and 11m wide, features an owl in flight as its centrepiece, alongside the moon and a crown – a nod to the artists involved. 

    The huge statement piece is part of the citywide street art project ‘A City Less Grey’, initiated by East Street Arts and fully funded by LeedsBID (Leeds Business Improvement District), animating the city and incorporating works of art onto the buildings and streets of Leeds.

    The artists behind the artwork are Nomad Clan - Cbloxx and AYLO, aka Joy Gilleard and Hayley Garner - an internationally-acclaimed street art muralist pair, dubbed 'one of street art's finest female duos'. The pair are experienced giant muralists and have painted some of the largest murals in the North of England - the biggest to date being a seven-storey building in Liverpool.

    They will spend their days suspended down the side of the building in a cradle on a harness to hand-paint the artwork, using emulsion and spray paint.

    Cbloxx of Nomad Clan, said:  “It's a great privilege to paint something of this scale in Leeds. It's a place that one half of Nomad Clan still thinks of as home, after living and working there for over 8 years. As a West Yorkshire lass born and bred, it really means the world to me!”
    “It is our biggest challenge yet, but we feel ready to give it our all and create something stunning for the community.” 

    The installation is the result of key collaboration between the artists, East Street Arts, LeedsBID, Bruntwood and Network Rail, and is testament to how artists and businesses can work together to produce new pieces of art for the community. 

    Craig Burrow, Bruntwood's Leeds Director, said: "We're very excited to be part of this project and pleased that Platform can provide the canvas for this mural. Bruntwood firmly believes that the strength of our cities is directly impacted by social and cultural vibrancy, so it's great to see citywide projects like 'A City Less Grey' bringing organisations from across the region together to create powerful art. 

    Platform is located directly above Leeds train station and when it's completed this summer will provide twelve floors of workspace, including a tech incubator for digital start-ups. The space will be a platform for creativity and innovation, both inside and out. The creation of ‘Athena Rising’ by the very talented team at Nomad Clan fits perfectly with the importance we place on art to inspire people.”

    ‘A City Less Grey’ sees both local and national artists creating art installations and events across five sites throughout the city centre. This is an exhilarating time for urban art in Leeds that nevertheless recognises its commitment to creating space and opportunities for street art to be part of everyday life.

    The project aims to, inject colour into key sites around in the city to enhance the look and feel of areas for residents, commuters and visitors alike, with artwork already in place in Kirkgate and Sovereign Square.

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