Welcome to #HEARTyourtown. As part of our recovery journey from COVID-19, the council has invested in local artists to bring colour and creativity to our town centres.

As we came out of the first lockdown in the summer of 2020 #HEARTyourtown was a creative response to the pandemic, used to enhance public spaces in Huddersfield and Dewsbury. In 2021, as we begin to return to normal, the project has been extended across North Kirklees where you'll find surprising artworks on display in Mirfield, Heckmondwike, Batley and Dewsbury.

#HEARTyourtown 2021

West Yorkshire Print Workshop

  • By Julia Borodina, Helaina Sharpley, Jim Bond, Marina Poppa, Lucie Sykes, Harriet Lawson/Nicola Wind
  • Location: Mirfield, Heckmondwike, and Huddersfield

The West Yorkshire Print Workshop has commissioned 6 local artists to create a mixture of art installations, window displays, and temporary sculptures during July and August. They aim to support artists whose livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic and be part of the wider economic recovery in the area, by highlighting local creatives, independent retailers, cultural resources, and local landmarks. In addition to the installations, a number of live events will take place, including artist demonstrations/public participatory sessions, and off-street 'animation' performance to highlight the sites in Mirfield.

Creative Scene - Batley Street Art Trail

  • By Emmeline North, Tom Wood and TBA
  • Location: Redbrick Mill and Batley Train Station with further sites being confirmed

Creative Scene is working with local artists to create new artworks and murals at sites across Batley. The artworks will celebrate Batley and its people, marking a new start for the town in 2021. Work on Redbrick Mill and Batley Train station will start soon with further work planned over the coming year. Once all suitable sites have been identified there will be a street art trail across the town supported by a new Creative Scene app which will bring the works to life with poetry, music, and aminations.

WOVEN - Stitched Resilience Exhibition

  • Researched and created by Nicola Twynham
  • Dewsbury town centre and online

Stitched Resilience is an online and outdoor exhibition commissioned by WOVEN festival to celebrate our resilience in the face of challenging times. Right from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic many domestic and industrial textile makers turned their hands to making much-needed PPE for hospitals, care homes, schools, and other key workers. This enormous gesture of kindness, goodwill, and creativity has been collated into an exhibition of images of how people stepped up in a time of crisis. The exhibition also showcases how the process of making has been essential to many people's lives during lockdown as a way to process and respond to being in isolation, shielding, or home-schooling. The full exhibition and stories are available at Stitched Resilience and a selection of images are showcased in the outdoor gallery in Dewsbury town centre during June - August 2021. QR codes link passers-by to stories of individuals and industries spotlighted in the images. WOVEN Festival is a biennial celebration of innovation and textiles across Kirklees.

About the artworks

Below are the artworks you could see in Dewsbury, Mirfield and Heckmondwike. You can also see more images of the artworks on our Kirklees Council Instagram .

Vitesse

Jim Bond is creating window installations in Huddersfield and Mirfield to celebrate Mirfield resident Brian Robinson (born 1930) - the first British cyclist to win a stage of the Tour de France in 1961. A wonderful sculptural installation of suspended bike parts evoking the dynamic and explosive energy of elite cycling.

En-Plein Air

Julia Borodina is running painting demonstrations and drop-in workshops for adults and families, inspired by the local landscape. A great opportunity to see an artist at work and for people to join in. Look out for Julia's art banners around Mirfield town centre.

Sunrise

Working from design ideas contributed by local children, Harriet Lawson and Nicola Wind are creating colourful paintings featuring birds, butterflies, and bees, signalling messages of hope, positivity, and progress. They will make a beautiful intervention at Mirfield train station.

Paper Moths

Marina Poppa and Jasmine Greaves are working with local people to create a series of paper moth installations, on display in shops and community locations in Mirfield. In addition, on Saturday 17, there will be a drop-in paper moth workshop and special live Giant Moths Walkabout which will animate Mirfield centre.

Floating Memories

Lucie Sykes, in partnership with Michael Dunn, is creating a wonderful digital installation, which blurs the boundary between the physical and the virtual spaces we have inhabited for the last year. Residents of Cleckheaton LISAS chair-based exercise group, children of Fairfield School, and WYDA have had their movements captured to create digital sculptures alongside a specially composed soundtrack. Audiences will experience these floating sculptures with use of their smartphones and QR codes placed around the streets while walking in Heckmondwike town centre.

Bird Spotting!

Helaina Sharpley is creating a trail of magical 3D birds made from wire and mixed media around Mirfield town centre, sited at various heights, some inside, some outside, with a bird spotting card for the public to encourage looking in shops and places they normally don't notice.

About the artists

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for creative professionals, especially as many of them didn't qualify for financial support from the government. In addition to creating beautiful spaces for local people and visitors to enjoy, we were proud to support some of our talented artists and the wider Kirklees creative economy. Below is a little bit of information about the people behind the works.

Jim Bond

Jim is a sculptor specialising in dynamic kinetic structures and forms which express humorous intrigue whilst also exploring the fragility and futility of life. His fascination with mechanisms and human anatomy has evolved into an exploration of anthropomorphic machines as creators of a narrative. From small intricate devices to large scale installations, these mechanised performances and structures unfold to reveal hidden delights and surprises. Electronic control systems, motors, and flexible materials breathe life into delicate structures and combine with optical illusion, light and shadow to create an absorbing interaction with the audience.

Julia Borodina

Julia is a professional fine art painter originally from Tobolsk in Western Siberia, Russia, now based in Mirfield. She gained a degree in Fine Art from Omsk University followed by postgraduate study in the UK. Julia has exhibited throughout the UK and abroad including the Annual Exhibitions of the Royal Society of Painters in Water colour, the Royal Society of Marine Artists, the Society of Women Artists in London, and National Watercolour Exhibition in Russia. She also enjoys sharing creative knowledge with a wide range of students through her teaching.

Harriet Lawson and Nicola Wind

Nicola and Harriet are artists based in North Kirklees who have recently been working collaboratively. Nicola is a painter, sculptor, and illustrator. Her practise has focused on gallery and commissioned based work, along with the production of large-scale paintings in-store for retail companies. Harriet is a painter and digital artist who has worked on public art commissions and with communities as well as gallery-based work.

Marina Poppa and Jasmine Greaves

Marina has worked as an Artist and Costume Designer since becoming interested in Carnival Arts as an amateur in the 1990s. She was invited to coordinate Mirfield Carnival Parade, as Creative Director (2016-17) then as Producer from 2018. Marina has recently directed a series of Pop-Up Carnival events, delivered to a range of community locations across North Kirklees in May 2021.

Jasmine Greaves has an emerging Visual Arts practice as well as an interest and expertise in Carnival Arts. She grew up in Mirfield and is a freelance artist for Callaloo Arts.

Lucie Sykes and Michael Dunn

Lucie is a professional artist and lecturer based in North Kirklees, who has produced a number of socially engaged projects over the past several years across Yorkshire involving live performance, dance, digital and multi-media. For 'Floating Memories' she is collaborating with composer/sound artist Michael Dunn.

Helaina Sharpley

Helaina is an award-winning wirework artist, creating 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional pieces, working to commission and exhibiting nationally. She hand-forms and shapes the wire to make elegant and intricate works, inspired by the Yorkshire landscape, Victorian architecture, and the rituals of tea drinking. In addition to many private commissions and craft fairs, previous collaborative and community projects have included the Institute of the Imagination in London and Ruthin Craft Centre in Wales.

Nicola Twynham

Nicola is a textile artist and freelance community projects producer, specialising in engagement and idea development. She is passionate about creating work and projects that reflect, 'the everyday', our communities and our lives, believing that creativity is at its most authentic when it is part of the lived experience. Nicola has a particular focus on hand embroidery techniques and applique using fabric collage and mixed media to create her finished works.

#HEARTyourtown 2020

Get a flavour of #HEARTyourtown from this video featuring last year's artworks and installations.