This summer, the National Horseracing Museum is hosting a major contemporary art exhibition, Mutiny in Colour, featuring the likes of Banksy, Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst and many more. To capitalise on the influx of visitors, Discover Newmarket, working alongside a number of other organisations and local groups, has co-ordinated a complementary creative community initiative – Newmarket in Colour.
This has developed into a huge community project that has so far involved almost 1,000 participants in the creation of 10 murals located around Newmarket, all inspired by the Museum’s street-art exhibition. Local artists and the community have come together and the result is a vibrant and colourful welcome to visitors to the town this summer.
Newmarket Town Council, Memorial Gardens
Created by local artist, Penny Sobr, and inspired by the overhead butterfly installations that adorn many of the town’s side streets, the first Newmarket in Colour mural, above, went on display at the entrance to the Memorial Gardens on High Street. Funded by Newmarket Town Council, a series of complementary creative art sessions for families were held in the Gardens during the summer holidays.
These art sessions resulted in the design of a second mural, above, which is now on display within the actual grounds of the Memorial Gardens.
National Horseracing Museum
The colourful mural above was created in the sunshine in Palace House Gardens by families working with street artist Kev Parker from Reprezent Project, as part of the museum’s free, creative, family summer holiday programme.
Reprezent Project is an urban art organisation founded in 2016 in Great Yarmouth which works across Norfolk and Suffolk. It focuses on founding unique and accessible creative learning environments that can enhance the lives of young people through artistic expression and creative endeavours. Participants in this mural discovered how street artists can work together in planning and developing such works of art.
This mural, which welcomes visitors to the museum arriving from the Rous Road car park entrance, is inspired by nature and the summer season and bursts with colour. The key concepts for the design came from the collaborating families, who together painted their chosen shapes on the board. The image contains natural elements from the garden, there are horseshoes to reflect the location of the mural in the museum and in Newmarket, as well as summer holiday treats such as an ice cream cone.
During the summer, the Guineas Shopping Centre toilets in one of the main car parks has been undergoing refurbishment. To brighten up the hoardings, the contractor, Mixbrow Construction, kindly agreed to host some of our murals and even donated the boards on which they are displayed. The community team at the National Horseracing Museum drew an outline of a horse inspired by the likeness of Frankel and gave the boards to four organisations to decorate as they wished. The results are really eye-catching.
Brampton Manor Care Home
Staff at the Brampton Manor Care Home dedicated a weekly creative session to designing a horse board. The team came up with the idea of residents using their fingerprints to make individual flowers and then putting their initials in the centre. The result is a very beautiful, personalised mural, below.
The Racing Centre
Families attending a drop-in session at The Racing Centre during the summer holidays decorated the second of our horse boards, above, also on display in the Guineas car park. They chose grey as their favourite horse colour, although they did add a touch of glamour to its tail.
Newmarket Day Centre
Newmarket’s Day Centre is the third horse mural, above, and appears alongside the Inspire Social Care design. Visitors to the Day Centre were delighted to be asked to take part in this exercise and had great fun playing with the colour blue.
The mural is situated at the entrance to the town from the Rowley Mile Racecourse off the High Street on the vacant site next to the Shell petrol station.
Diversity Hub, Inspire Social Care
The fourth of our horse boards, above, was given to the Diversity Hub, which came up this colourful jigsaw piece design at one of its arts sessions. The team thoroughly enjoyed working with their customers on this project and being part of this community initiative.
This mural welcomes visitors to Newmarket town centre at the Rowley Mile end of the High Street.
Newmarket Leisure Centre
An impressive large-scale mural, above, was co-designed by children from Laureate Academy and artists Kev Parker and Ruben Cruz from Reprezent Project, funded by West Suffolk Council. A design competition was held in the school and the design is an amalgamation of all the winning entries and feedback following a spray-painting educational activity. The striking mural hangs inside the Abbeycroft Leisure Centre and it has prompted the staff there to consider using more murals to celebrate the range of sports available at the venue.
One of the largest murals, made up of four panels and located on the Market Square, above, is by Phoenix Cycleworks. Based at Kentford just outside Newmarket, Phoenix hosts one of the largest bike parks of its kind and is all about the urban vibe, featuring street art around its site. So, locating this mural next to a cycle rack is very apt.
The Phoenix team were very keen to be part of this project and enlisted Maxim aka Samuel Benjamin Harris, their resident artist and a top rider who has helped craft, design and build the park over the past two years. The designs of the murals were inspired by the four businesses that operate from the site and aim to encourage conversations about the environment and our health.
MarketPlace and Teen Chill
MarketPlace is one 39 Creative People and Places programmes developed by Arts Council England with support from National Lottery Fund. Its mission is to work with local people to create exciting, innovative and fun creative experiences across the unique landscape of Fenland and the Forest Health area of West Suffolk, which has been identified as an area of low artistic engagement nationally.
The team began talking to the young people at Teen Chill youth club – which is run by Abbeycroft Leisure – in the spring and discussed various project ideas that they would like to be involved in. Murals were of interest and the Newmarket in Colour project provided a great opportunity for the young people to get to work on a project.
Inspired by a visit to the Mutiny in Colour exhibition, the youngsters particularly liked works by My Dog Sighs, Banksy and KAWS. They spent two research sessions mind-mapping ideas with arts educator Hillary Cox-Condrun before identifying themes and experimenting with designs.
During the first week of the summer holidays, the group spent three days bringing their ideas to life with Hilary at The Racing Centre. None of the group had ever worked at such a large scale but rose to the challenge brilliantly, learning new stencilling techniques using templates and creating their own patterns with masking tape. They worked extremely hard and at the end of the three days revealed their vibrant, though-provoking piece, ‘The Human Race’ which is now also on display at Abbycroft Leisure Centre close to where Teen Chill youth club is based.
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Job Opportunity: Marketing Executive
Discover Newmarket is the official tourism body for Newmarket and the surrounding area.
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