A new mural entitled ‘Welcome Home’ by artist Jo Peel has been unveiled in Huyton Village.
Produced by community arts organisation Heart of Glass and commissioned by Knowsley Council, the mural has been developed through conversations with the local community and is inspired by the ongoing evolution of Huyton Village and the growth and journeys of its residents.
Jo Peel, the artist behind the mural, is known internationally for her bold illustrative designs which tell the story of forgotten buildings in urban spaces. Her work can be seen in Brazil, Poland and Japan and in UK cities such as London, Bristol, Sheffield and Leeds.
Heart of Glass, who recently took over a unit in the new Make Huyton Village development, brought together Jo Peel and local artist Cathy Cross to engage local businesses, shopkeepers and residents in conversations about Huyton Village, to develop ideas for the mural.
Through a series of drop-in sessions and meetings, people of all ages shared their stories, many of these have been woven into the artwork.
The mural depicts the buildings of Huyton Village, including the old Mayfair cinema. Trees and plants symbolise new growth and new residents who have laid down roots in the area. Throughout the artwork there are nods to stories of family businesses and generations working together.
The mural can be seen on the side of Bexleys Craft Butchers, across from the new Make on the Corner space on Derby Road, Huyton Village.
Patrick Fox, CEO, Heart of Glass says: “We’re so excited to be unveiling Jo Peel’s wonderful mural in Huyton as part of our ongoing collaboration with Knowsley Council. Throughout our conversations with the community we’ve been so inspired by their stories and commitment to this historic high street. We firmly believe in the power of art to bring us together, imagine new futures and create real change, and we’re excited to be part of the ongoing conversation for Huyton and the wider borough.”
Cllr Shelley Powell Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods said: “In recent years Huyton has become home to several beautiful murals and I am excited that we are adding to that portfolio with this new artwork. Murals are a really accessible form of public art and projects such as this one give our local communities an opportunity to contribute their stories and memories to create something beautiful for everyone to enjoy.”
The mural follows on from five murals that Heart of Glass have commissioned across St Helens and more planned for sites across Knowsley. This includes the Strong Women programme that will culminate in a large-scale mosaic mural to be unveiled in 2024, celebrating women from the borough.
About Heart of Glass
Heart of Glass is a Merseyside-based community arts organisation. We believe that art has the power to bring us together, imagine new futures and create real change, for the people of our community, and the place we call home. Through collaboration and conversation, we bring meaningful art projects to surprising spaces throughout St Helens, Knowsley and beyond. Our philosophy is simple: art belongs everywhere, to everyone.
About Jo Peel
Jo Peel is a painter, print maker, animator and filmmaker. She is best known for her distinctive line drawings which document ever-changing city landscapes. Peel has worked extensively around the world to capture and record in detail the urban landscape around her. Inspired by the process of change, particularly the ways in which a city comes to develop its own personality and culture, she often works in acrylic and spray paint.