Art takes to the street

Artists Hayley Garner and Joy Gilleard of Nomad Clan. Picture by David Hirst
Artists Hayley Garner and Joy Gilleard of Nomad Clan. Picture by David Hirst
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Street art is coming to St Annes - and is set to be the centrepiece of a festival being planned for next year.

The corner of Back St Annes Road West and Orchard Road is set to feature a giant piece of art currently being worked on by renowned specialist urban artists Hayley Garner and Joy Gilleard, who have already produced works on the 
streets of neighbouring Blackpool.

Known together as Nomad Clan, the Manchester-based duo have been commissioned by Blackpool-based Creative Arts and Futures on behalf of the St Annes Enterprise Partnership (STEP) to transform the back street in St Annes town centre which has long been touted as ‘art alley’, with various pictures hung on the wall in a bid to promote an art trail.

Nomad Clan were one of the headline artists at this year’s Sand Sea and Spray Festival in Blackpool, which attracted than 30 artists, some from as far afield as Cuba, Iceland and Portugal - and the hope is that a street art festival can become part of the annual calendar in St Annes.

“It’s an exciting prospect,” said STEP chairman Bev Wood, who has a business in St Annes Road West.

“The art is an ideal way of adding colour and character to this part of town and a festival would add even further to the visitor numbers to our town which have been increasing in recent years thanks to a wide variety of events.

“Urban art is a great attraction to younger people but will be a talking point for everyone and it’s the ideal way to give the necessary impetus to furthering the town art trail idea.

“We are very excited about the possibilities and look forward to setting a date for the festival in due course.”

The piece of art being worked on this week - indoors initially before being unveiled outdoors – is intended to be the first of many professional art pieces to be displayed in the town and David Hirst of Creative Arts and Futures said: “It is a great privilege to be working with Nomad Clan in St Annes and I’m sure the finished piece will truly wow the public.”