In the midst of a city apparently ‘devoid of culture’, there is a close knit community of like-minded individuals doing everything they can to express their creativity and put Chester on the map.
Backed by a growing number of independent shops, galleries and bars Chester’s young artists are beginning to gain exposure through exhibitions, displays & activities throughout the city.
One such place is Telford’s Warehouse. Renowned for good food, excellent beer and a vibrant music scene, Telford’s has also been featuring art works for the last 20 years, hung within its gallery restaurant. The most talked about piece though has to be the stage backdrop. Telford’s charismatic giraffe, along with his friends in their colourful jungle scene has been made famous by gracing the stage with the likes of Frank Turner, Catfish & The Bottlemen and Cerys Matthews amongst countless other internationally known musicians and has often been a bigger talking point than the acts themselves!
After 12 years Telford’s Warehouse have said farewell to their resident giraffe and friends and handed a blank canvas over to local artist and graphic designer Mike Howard.
In a bid to help raise awareness of the immense talent that Chester has to offer, Mike Devoy, promoter at Telford’s Warehouse, has commissioned a fresh new and contemporary piece of artwork to accompany future musicians. He says: “After recent visits to venues in cities such as Liverpool and Manchester I have realised how dated Chester has become. I want to move Telford’s into the future and what better way than to involve the young artistic community at hand.”
Mike Howard has worked professionally as a freelance illustrator since graduating in 2012. His work has heavily featured across the Northwest; he has exhibited in galleries across Manchester, designed promotional artwork for the likes of Liverpool based music publication Bido Lito and he has created numerous screenprints for bands, DJ’s and record labels. Mike is influenced by the likes of artists such as M C Escher, Mike Perry and Steven Harrington.
Mikes commissioned piece for Telford’s Warehouse is inspired by electronic dance music giants Daft Punk and their feature film ‘Interstella 5555’. Inkeeping with the nature theme and vibrant colour schemes of Telford’s previous artwork, this contemporary piece depicts an array of abstract creatures set within a cove that overlooks a setting sun. A psychedelic take on the beautiful sunsets visible from Telford’s beer garden during the summer months.
The backdrop will stand as a focal point when the stage is dormant and create fitting scenery for when bands play the intimate space Telford’s offers its audience.
Hundreds of photos will be taken next to some of the country’s best up and coming bands, exposing a bright future for one of Chester’s young creatives.
There was a grand unveiling at Pimp Clinic’s event on February 15.
The whole process will also be getting videoed by local filmmaker Andrew Lawrence and edited into a small video for distribution online. This will then be followed by an exhibition in Telford’s gallery restaurant where you will be able to buy limited number screen prints of features from the stage itself. Details of Mike Howard’s work can be found on his website at www.mkhwd.co.uk