Street art paints dramatic picture

Joy Gilleard and Hayley Garner from Nomad Clan with their artwork on Back St Annes Road West

Joy Gilleard and Hayley Garner from Nomad Clan with their artwork on Back St Annes Road West

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An eye-catching new feature in a Fylde town centre is proving a real talking point.

St Annes’ first example of street art pays homage to the town’s history as well as the children and dogs who revel in its beach and other open spaces.

The 12ft x 12 ft work at the corner of Back St Annes Road West and Orchard Road has been painted by 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 were 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, who completed the St Annes work in just a few days, were one of the headline artists, at this year’s Sand Sea and Spray Festival in Blackpool.

That event attracted more 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.

Hayley and Joy said: “We had a great time in St Annes - everybody made us so welcome and we look forward to going back and hopefully adding more works.

“We wanted to acknowledge the town’s history as well as recognise the features which continue to make the town so popular, now and in the future.

“The ships shown on the painting symbolise the Mexico disaster from the 1880s, while the little girl is a way of portraying the fact that St Annes is just a great destination for families.

“We came to town with those general ideas in mind for the content but when we arrived and had a look around, we saw so many dogs being walked and were told dog walking regulations locally are a big topic of the moment, so we incorporated a dog into the work.”

STEP chairman Bev Wood, who has a business in Back St Annes Road West, said: “This eye-catching work really adds colour and character to this part of town. It looks great and it has been proving a real talking point with shoppers and the many passers-by heading for The Square.

“Urban art is a great attraction to younger people but is the ideal way to give the necessary impetus to furthering the town art trail idea.

“We are very excited about the prospect of an urban art festival in town next year and we look forward to setting a date for the festival in due course.”

David Hirst, of Creative Arts and Futures, added: “It was a real privilege work with Nomad Clan in St Annes and it is great that the finished work has been wowing the public.”