Urban art paves way to bridging social gaps in iconic northern town by bringing one of UK’s largest ever street art murals

The town of Doncaster has been forever changed as history has been made with the completion of Nomad Clan’s massive and incredible mural, “Future’s Past and Present”, located on Trafford Way just opposite the train station.

Creating a mural of this scale by bringing together relics of the past fused with nods to the heritage and future of Doncaster has been a truly remarkable feat.

Internationally acclaimed street artist duo Nomad Clan have proven once again that they can deliver a project of enormous scale and scope, while keeping the community’s voice heard and inspiring future generations to come.

Together with urban art production team Art of Protest Projects, Doncaster Creates, and Doncaster Council, and with partnership from Arts Council England and the Frenchgate Centre, Doncaster has received a world class piece of art and something it can put its name to and be proud of forever.

Through two years of planning, community engagement and tight delivery, this mural sees the evolution of a town with the iconic signature style of the artists as they bring to life all the historical elements of what makes Doncaster unique, while paving the way for a stronger cultural platform and enhanced economy.

What makes this mural even more special for the artist pair is that Hayley Garner and Jay Gilleard hail from the north, with strong roots embedded within the town of Doncaster itself.

Within the mural we see a miner bonding with a pit pony, symbolising Jay’s grandfather and his experience working in the mines as a young person. Also prominently placed within this work of art is a black female doctor, proudly wearing her stethoscope and celebrating NHS workers everywhere, but with a special focus on those minority groups who are often underrepresented.

As the mural stretches and wraps around the enormous building’s edge, we see Doncaster’s iconic racehorses, Conisbrough castle, roman relics, and a plane giving nod to the engineering industry and the first aviation meeting which took place in Doncaster in 1909.

Known to be the most famous locomotive in the world and being proudly engineered in Doncaster in 1923, the Flying Scotsman proudly makes its appearance with white roses integrated throughout the mural, bringing together Yorkshire’s pride.

This mural has to be seen to be believed, with its goliath stature and poetic yet melancholic storytelling, it truly is a sight to behold, and the town of Doncaster is so grateful to receive this epic new gateway piece that its people can truly feel proud of. 

Jeff Clark, director of Art of Protest Projects said

“When the pair collaborate, their fusion delivers an unmistakable style. Each mural has a strong significance and relevance to the environment it sits in combining playful scenes, often from local heritage, with detailed portraits of characters from the tales they hear in the local public spaces. The main focus of their work is to proudly celebrate local history, but on a deeper level it often highlights the socio-economic issues affecting the area.”

Cllr Nigel Ball, Cabinet Member for Public Health, Leisure, Culture and Planning, said:

“This is another significant and powerful piece of art in Doncaster. The mural is a real statement for people arriving in Doncaster by train, proudly showcasing our heritage and our unrivalled ambition.

“We are quickly building a wealth of iconic art. The ‘Building Speed’ public art at the train station, our important mining statue, the Gaumont frieze in Sir Nigel Gresley Square and the wonderful Danum Gallery, Library and Museum. We are embracing and benefitting from great art and culture in Doncaster.”

Jay Gilleard, artist of Nomad Clan said “

The significance of being able to paint my grandfather’s face on this wall and realise his heritage, as well as looking to the future and celebrating a female doctor during this pandemic we live in is truly amazing. This mural has been our longest in the making, and as we call the north of England our home, we couldn’t be more proud to be painting our largest mural to date. Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude as we give this incredibly special work to the town. We can’t wait to come back and transform another space.”

Olivia Jones, activist, writer, creative director of Doncopolitan and founder of BLM Doncaster said: 

“Doncaster is our home, we want it to be the best that it can be and seeing the murals that pop up, it’s so exciting! It inspires people to get into their own creative arena.”

Nastasha Clarke, local artist and resident said

“It’s been a life changing experience for me, working with Nomad Clan on a mural in my hometown. I’m so proud to be a part of it.”

  • Category: Culture, leisure & tourism
Last updated: 20 September 2021 14:02:19