Dewsbury Creative Town Arts Programme
The Dewsbury Creative Town Arts Programme is part of Kirklees Council's Blueprint plans to revitalise the town centre. The innovative arts programme is produced by Beam and includes a range of permanent and temporary public art interventions at various sites across Dewsbury. Its aim is to provide residents, businesses and community groups with an array of opportunities to engage with art as well as get involved in the commissioning process. It also creates a unique platform for both emerging and established artists to be creative in the public realm.
- Let's Talk Shop is created by Daylight Robbery - Aidan D'Abet and Kelly O'Reilly
- Two installations at both entrances to the arcade
Let's Talk Shop tells the unique stories, memories, and anecdotes of one of Dewsbury's most iconic buildings. These have been carefully interwoven into two huge pieces of art which feature in the main entrances to the arcade.
Photo credit: Phil Drakett
- Created by visual artist Saba Rifat, based in Dewsbury
- Located in the underpass under Rishworth Road
Tessella has been designed by Dewsbury based visual artist Saba Rifat. She took inspiration from the historical and urban brickwork, paving, stain glass windows and stone carvings in the town centre to create the final artwork. She also worked with design students from Kirklees College and held engagement events for the public to help develop her ideas throughout the process.
The final piece includes over 3,000 bespoke, colourful tiles and was placed on top of the previous artwork which was created by Kirklees College students several years ago circa 2002. Their work has been photographed and archived so it can be referred to in many years to come.
Photo credit: Lucille Moore
- Created by Cubic Fruit art and design collective
- Dewsbury Town Centre
As part of the project Cubic Fruit salvaged the D,U,R, and Y from a local reclamation yard. The newly sculpted E,W,S and B have been fabricated by artists Mick Kirby Geddes and Rebecca Appleby. The letters will be put on public display somewhere in the town centre for all to enjoy.
Photo credit: Kerry Lemon
- Created by Kerry Lemon
- Dewsbury Market
Kerry is developing designs to create a permanent artwork inspired by the cultural heritage of the town that will be integrated into the floor scape of the new Dewsbury Market. Kerry engaged over 150 participants in her design development through the Shoddy Factory event. Kerry invited local residents, schools and community groups to bring their favourite fabrics to be photographed, photocopied and woven into a huge community paper quilt exhibited at Pioneer House in early 2022. Kerry is also mentoring Dewsbury-based Harriet Lawson.
Photo credit: Kerry Lemon
Urban Rewild is a bespoke, contemporary design inspired by nature, flora and fauna as well as landscapes within and surrounding Dewsbury. The artwork focuses on the theme 'Rewilding,'' a concept which emerged through lockdown and enables artists to explore ways in which they can introduce nature into town centres.
Photo credit: Phil Drakett
- Created by Harriet Lawson and inspired by stories of the local textile industry
- Creative Craft Centre, Union Street
Photo credit: Lucille Moore
Tales from t'Mill was created by Dewsbury - based visual artist Harriet Lawson. It explores some of the lesser-known stories of the local shoddy industry and formed part of the town celebrations for Heritage Open Days 2022. The work features a number of elements from her research with local people whom she interviewed for the project. All used to work in the local textile industry and gave a valuable insight into what it was really like.
- Sponsored in partnership with Dewsbury Heritage Action Zone
- Part of the Snowdogs Support Life initiative by The Kirkwood
- Temporary - Two Tone Textile Tilly was on display outside the train station in Dewsbury throughout September and October 2022.
Two Tone Textile Tilly was created by artist Emelbi. He took inspiration from the rich textile history across Kirklees to create a bold, colourful and playful design to form part of the trail. The free art trail included a pack of 67 decorated Snowdog sculptures.
Photo credit: Emelbi
As part of the programme we have been working with Dewsbury Arcade to scope out options for a bespoke piece of glazing artwork at the entrance to the Arcade.
Renowned glazing artists Martin Donlin, Sarah Galloway and Chris Tipping all developed ideas for the glazing, drawing inspiration from the rich heritage and exciting future of the building. Concept designs have been on display over the early autumn for public feedback and Martin Donlin has been awarded the work subject to funding for stage 2 being confirmed.
Joint commission with WOVEN in Kirklees.
- Created by Andrew Warburton, a local designer and maker of hand-tufted rugs
Sculpting a Continent now has a new, permanent home in Kirklees College Pioneer Higher Skills Centre in Dewsbury town centre. We're thrilled that Kirklees College has kindly agreed to give his commission a home in the new centre and hope it will inspire students to find out about this locally made creative practice with locally sourced material as well as stimulate discussions about climate change.
Andrew Warburton uses textiles to raise awareness about the increase of iceberg calving in Antarctica as a result of climate change. The textile installation was intended to raise awareness about climate change and hopefully inspire people to make changes to lessen our impact on the environment. The installation included hand tufting as well as contributions made by the local community in a series of special workshops.
About the artists
We are proud to support some of our local, talented artists as well as those from further afield.
Daylight Robbery is multi-disciplinary artist Aidan D'Abet, working in partnership with frequent collaborator Kelly O'Reilly. Together they have worked on a range of participatory and public arts projects across the UK and beyond. These include Ping!, Talking Statues and The Baker Street Wonderpass.
Born and brought up in Kirklees, Aidan has recently returned to Dewsbury after more than a decade working on cultural projects in London, Brazil, and the USA. Both he and Kelly value the opportunity to connect with local communities through this project, and to create a temporary artwork for one of the town's most loved and iconic buildings.
- About Daylight Robbery
- Twitter @Aidan_DAbet
- Instagram @aidan_dabet
Saba's work includes printmaking, 3D installations and murals inspired by ubiquitous geometric shapes observed in nature, science and traditional patterns.
She closely identifies with a circle, the Mother of Shapes, as it is simultaneously organic and mathematical. Using a compass and ruler she can begin to draft patterns. Her creative process then becomes intuitive and playful as compositions evolve from the act of doing and not planning.
Saba sees patterns as a universal language. They lend a multitude of possibilities to express emotions, ideas and playfulness through spatial arrangements, repetition, tessellation and colour.
More information: Saba Rifat | Light
Emmeline North is an emerging, multi-disciplined artist, best known for large-scale murals and striking surface pattern designs.
Originally working in surface pattern and design for interiors, Emmeline studied printed textiles and surface pattern design at Leeds Arts University. She now undertakes commissions for mural installations, set designs and displays as well as bespoke artwork for the home.
Emmeline's work blends urban industrial landscapes with the natural environment through design and material application. It spans 2D and 3D surfaces and forms. Graphic lines and geometric shapes, next to biomorphic forms and textures, demonstrate a vibrant yet sensitive use of colour.
More information: Emmeline North Designs
Andrew Warburton is a local designer and maker of hand tufted rugs for domestic, commercial and commissioned floor or wall artwork. Working in the industry for over 30 years, Andrew uses locally sourced wool spinners, yarn dyers and suppliers to create one off rugs and carpets.
More information: Area Rugs and Carpets
Cubic Fruit is an art and design collective made up of four talented individuals:
- Emmeline North - Lead artist, designer
- Rebecca Appleby - Sculptor, ceramicist
- Lauren Bower - Surface designer
- Steve Ryder - Illustration
They have a combined industry experience of over 50 years and have worked with a wide range of high profile clients over the years.
Kerry is a high profile, UK artist who has worked all over the world. Based in Brighton, she specialises in public realm and large-scale retail and commercial installations as well as sculpture, painting, drawing and collage. Her portfolio of projects is impressive. Her work takes inspiration from travel, local plant life, landscape and history.
Kerry's work is commissioned by architects, developers and luxury brands and she has also worked with a range of galleries and museums in both the public and private sectors. Her work is fundamentally grounded by research, which in turn creates site-specific work in response to diverse environments. Each piece documents intensive collaboration with specialists including plant molecular scientists, botanists, archives, collections, ecologists and historians.
Kerry currently lives with her lovely husband and cannot believe her luck that she gets to call herself an artist every day!
More information: Kerry Lemon Art
Harriet is a Dewsbury-based, visual artist with a passion for all things regeneration, especially in the Dewsbury town centre. Harriet graduated from Batley School of Art with a degree in Fine Art for Design and went straight on to work for Studio Dekka, urban and architectural lighting designers, where she was Assistant Lighting Designer, producing visualisations and 3d models. Harriet is now a freelance artist, with a studio in Dewsbury Town Centre, specialising in painting, drawing and digital art.
Emelbi (Mike Barrett) is a visual artist and digital creative based in West Yorkshire. He specialises in funky imagery, colourful and impacting illustrations & graphics for fine art prints and canvas, commercial & promotional materials, web-based design, private art commissions, T Shirt designs and much more.
More information: Emelbi Art
Dewsbury Creative Town secures Arts Council Funding to enhance programme - Posted on December 12, 2022
New art installation unveiled in Dewsbury Underpass - Posted on November 17, 2022
Let's Talk Shop - A temporary artwork for the Arcade - Posted on December 21, 2021
Giant 'Urban Rewild' mural revealed as part of Dewsbury Creative Town initiative - Posted on September 27, 2021
Next stop for the Dewsbury Creative Town Arts Programme - Posted on May 10, 2021
Council announces first commission of Dewsbury Blueprint public art programme - Posted on March 2, 2021
Volunteers wanted as Dewsbury's blueprint ambitions for public art gets underway - Posted on October 26, 2020