A colourful timeline-style mural on display in Abbey Street depicts the transformation of Nuneaton town centre.
Part of the Transforming Nuneaton initiative, the mural was commissioned by Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council via community art group Reel People and painted by local artist Nathan Parker, also known as N4t4.
The innovative artwork incorporates iconic aspects of Nuneaton from past and present. The town’s historical brick and tile making industries, ribbon weaving heritage and Nunnery are featured, as well as memories of the town being bombed in the blitz.
The portable piece depicts present day aspects such as the River Anker, Nuneaton town centre clock, the Gurkha community and the museum. Looking towards the future, the artist has also weaved in some Transforming Nuneaton concepts.
Established in 2014 by schoolteacher James Bennett, Reel People have been delivering community art projects and supporting young people across Warwickshire for the last eight years. Working with over 100 of the country’s top street artists, the group have created over 40 pieces of street art locally. As well as setting up Nuneaton’s first ever street art and breakdance festivals, Reel People also founded the town’s first ever legal graffiti space with the aim to set up more in the future.
With work such as a double decker bus in support of NHS staff and the England wall, they have helped put Nuneaton firmly on the international on the map for its street art and graffiti scene.
“We really hope that this is one of many murals that will be commissioned around the borough. Street art has the ability to help with people’s mental health, inspire young people and transform uninspiring architecture.
“We would love to help transform the town with our art, making it a place that people can really enjoy visually. With the new impetus and investment that the Transforming Nuneaton project is injecting, there’s a real feeling of renewed pride and excitement for what the future of our local towns could look like.”
Artist N4t4 added:
“Murals like this really engage people and help shine a positive light on graffiti art. The feedback I’ve had for this piece has been overwhelmingly positive, I hope it will inspire people of all ages to get creative.
“It is great for the redevelopment of the borough, adding colour and expression to the local streets and helping to brighten an otherwise dull space.”
The Council’s Director for Regeneration and Housing, Dawn Dawson said:
“We wanted a piece of art which told the story of the evolution of this great town. The mural that James and Nathan have created captures the essence beautifully. We hope that people enjoy the work and can take from it a real sense of the history as well as a look towards the future of the town and its potential.”