Dewsbury – spelling it out

A new art installation using recycled materials was unveiled in the town centre in April 2023. The installation features recycled letters that spell out the town's name to welcome visitors to the town centre. This artwork was commissioned as part of the Dewsbury Creative Town Arts Programme, which is aimed at breathing new life into the town centre.

The artwork was created by a local art collective called Cubic Fruit led by Emmeline North. The team restored the original letters some of which were salvaged from a local reclamation yard. The available letters sparked the design idea and the missing letters to make up Dewsbury were then designed and created . The surface designs were inspired by textiles and woven materials, a nod to Dewsbury's historic thriving textile industry. The new letters were fabricated in metal by artist Mick Kirby Geddes, with one of the letters featuring hundreds of tiny dot welds on its face to create a spotted fabric effect. The team also incorporated recycled materials into the design to protect and enhance the structures, another nod to Dewsbury's fame  in the 19th and 20th century for the production of shoddy and mungo cloths containing recycled material.

The Dewsbury Creative Town Arts Programme is part of the Blueprint plan to bring new life into the town centre. The programme offers various permanent and temporary public art installations around Dewsbury. The £200k, 3 year programme is intended to provide opportunities for people to engage with art and for local entrepreneurs to engage in the commissioning process. This benefits local residents, businesses and community groups all at once. The programme also creates a platform for both emerging and established artists to showcase their work in the public eye in celebrating Dewsbury.

Cubic Fruit is the art collective commissioned to deliver this piece. The collective consists of several individuals with over 50 years of combined industry experience. Emmeline North is the lead artist and designer on this project, and she has previously created the Urban Rewild mural on the end wall of the Princess of Wales Shopping Centre. The sculptor and ceramicist for the project were Rebecca Appleby, Lauren Bower was the surface designer, and Steve Ryder was the illustrator.

The Dewsbury installation is a unique and colourful addition to the town centre and will undoubtedly attract attention. 


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