Thursday 22 February 2024
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Nottingham artists invited to ‘make their mark’ on The Island Quarter development

Nottingham street artists are being given the opportunity to have their work take centre stage at The Island Quarter, as part of The Nottingham Project’s Street Art campaign, which focuses on the Rebels and Pioneers of Nottingham, in a competition that has been launched today 6 June.


The historic 36-acre site is famed for being home to the original headquarters of global pharmaceutical business, Boots, spearheaded by Florence and Jesse Boot.

The Island Quarter and The Nottingham Project has collaborated on this competition to create a bespoke piece of street art focused on the pioneering duo, their contributions to Nottingham and Boots’ role in developing in the city.

The winner will be selected by a panel chaired by none other than Emma Houston, great granddaughter of Boots’ founders. 

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The Island Quarter seeks Nottinghams next street art pioneer

Emma said: “I am thrilled to be playing a part in the future of the site that was once home to my great grandparents’ business. Boots has become an iconic Nottingham company, and I’m so pleased The Island Quarter is embedding the important history of the site in its future.

“It’s an honour to chair the panel that will choose the final design, which will pay homage to not only my great grandparents, but to pioneers of Nottingham industry.”


In collaboration with The Island Quarter, The Nottingham Project will award a total of five monetary prizes, with the winner securing £2,000 for their mural, and a further four finalists will each be paid a fee of £250 for their designs.

The winning design will be painted on to a series of metal sheets, which will be installed overlooking the canal and first phase of The Island Quarter, Canal Turn, which is opening this summer.


The panel will be chaired by Emma Houston, with support from Deborah Ware, of The Island Quarter, Sophie Clapp, company archivist for Boots, and Reiss Mallet, artist liaison for The Nottingham Street Art Project. 


Lee Walker, director of The Nottingham Project, said: “The Rebels and Pioneers project, which started in summer 2021, is not only providing paid opportunities for street artists but is also bringing art and history alive in Nottingham city centre. We’re embracing the creative and artistic talent of our city, while simultaneously rejuvenating Nottingham’s streets and attracting tourists to view the unique and varied work that’s being created.


“We’re so pleased to be working with The Island Quarter for the next commission as part of this series, as the site holds particular importance to the city. We’ve been working hard for street art to be widely considered as art and having such a unique piece showcased in this prominent location is great step in the right direction.”


Tom Huffsmith, part of project delivery team at The Island Quarter said: “Throughout the process of developing the site, we’ve always considered its rich history and wanted to maintain an element of this in its future. We are equally passionate about involving talented local people, and this project is a fantastic opportunity for Nottingham artists to make their mark on the city’s biggest development by bringing a piece of history to the fore. We look forward to installing the final mural for all visitors to see.”


Artists are being asked to submit entries no later than 5pm on Monday 27 June, with the winner being announced on 6 July. Information about the competition, including submission forms and specifications can be found here:

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