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Streets come to life in Basingstoke

An exciting new outdoor art gallery from local artists and storytellers celebrating the very best of Basingstoke and Deane, its history and its people is coming to life in Basingstoke town centre.

What is ‘Streets Alive’?

Streets Alive is a combination of two projects ‘Art is Calling’ and ‘Tell Me Stories’. This creative arts project aims to create an outdoor art gallery, bringing vibrancy and colour to pieces of street furniture in the Top of the Town. Created by some of Basingstoke’s most talented artists and storytellers who have taken inspiration from local history, heritage, people, buildings and biodiversity to put Basingstoke on the street arts map.

Painting has just started and will be happening over the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for new public art popping up in the town centre. When all the paintings are finished, an app will be released where you can follow a trail of the artwork on benches, planters and telecoms boxes and find out about the pieces and the artist. As a guide, they will be in London Street to Winchester Street, Church Street and Wote Street and down New Road.  Follow Basingstoke Festival to keep up to date with this brilliant project.

Meet the Streets Alive artists

Kev Munday

Kev Munday is based in Basingstoke, he is the first artist to start painting as part of the Streets Alive project. He has taken local inspiration from animals, birds, landmarks, landscapes, and characters observed in our town.

Kev creates colourful, utopian worlds and invites the viewer to spend some time living in them. Inspired by people-watching and the everyday, Kev exaggerates and celebrates the ordinary and aims for his art to appeal to all ages. His artwork has exhibited in some of England’s most notorious galleries, including The Royal Academy Of Arts, The Arnolfini and The Hayward Gallery and he was named in an article by The Telegraph as one of five ‘British Artists To Invest In’.

Sian Storey Art

Taking inspiration from local birds, blissful countryside and landscapes, Sian Storey Art plans to create a series of large bird paintings including a blue tit, robin, and kingfisher commonly sighted in and around Basingstoke. Sian is based in Basingstoke and hopes to bring joy, colour and nature to the town centre.

Sian’s work has been featured in the Independent on Sunday, The Metro, as well as the BBC website, the Telegraph website, and the Time Out London blog.

Liam Kelleher

Liam Kelleher is a UK based freelance illustrator specialising in commercial illustration and visual storytelling. With a 1st class degree in screenwriting and years of experience in both teaching and creating imagery used for the medical, music and food industries, Liam draws from a restless energy to develop visuals with a strong and compelling narrative.

While at university Liam attended illustration and design lectures and seminars in order to diversify his skillset. He begun working professionally as a storyboard and comic book artist and branched out into fine art in 2015, exhibiting paintings as well as founding Basingstoke Art Class, running an exhaustive programme of classes, workshops and events.

Liam works both traditionally and digitally, firmly believing that continued and sustained focus on fundamental principles allows him to continue to develop and grow as an artist, developing his ability to communicate visually while pushing the variation of styles within his work.

Corinne Marsh

artWell is a not for profit creative arts organisation that provides a diverse range of creative activities in fun and welcoming atmospheres to inspire positive use of the imagination, promote mental wellbeing and inclusion across the whole community. We believe that everyone is creative and that by being creative, better and more vibrant communities are created. Each workshop is underpinned with psychological approaches and understanding that supports each member toward overcoming challenging life experiences.

Corinne Marsh is the founder of artWell and her work challenges notions of traditional sculptural practice. Over the last 15 years her work has increasingly focused on the psychological aspects of art, why and how creative expression is not only important for an individual but for the community as a whole. This interest, and the power of art to heal, is the motivation for the founding of artWell.

Her sculpture practice has evolved from Installation to working directly within 3D environments that are our communities. Her own work has been shown in the Jerwood Space, London and other national and local exhibitions. Often temporary and using materials such as wood ash or soot and responsive to movement of air her work evokes the connection between our interior experience and the external world that is spanned by breath. Her research considers the psychological power of art to create change and that a sublime experience contains the emotion of fear and is literally breathing taking.

Her psychological training investigates the mechanics of fear through the disciplines of neurology, psychology and philosophy. She is a registered psychotherapist and has taught creative expression extensively in the UK and in Europe. Together with the artWell team she brings her knowledge, sculptural practice and a passion to create better communities to project work where each individual can feel validated, a sense of belonging and inspired to explore their own ideas and mode of creative expression and perhaps mediate life’s most challenging circumstances. Each artWell project is co-produced in the spirit of equality and as a combination of the ideas and themes that exist within each group. This is an exciting process and produces work that is unique

and relevant to each group. What is clear is that the projects that evolve support the wellbeing and creative talents of each person at the heart and in this way plays a part in enabling better life experiences and confidence for some of our communities most vulnerable and excluded, pays attention and includes them.

Jacky Purtill

Local practicing mixed media and public artist Jacky Purtill works across a range of fine art disciplines including painting, illustration, mixed media, printmaking, craft/3D, mural and wall art. Jacky has worked within the creative arts for a number of years as both a practicing artist and crafts person, teaching across a wide age, gender and ability demographic. With a passion for colour, texture, pattern and mixed media and a fascination of exploring and creating unique artwork based on the natural world. Jacky creates and sells artwork independently and through local galleries and shops within North Hampshire and West Berkshire “I am very lucky to be able to explore my love of art and feel privileged to be able to work within my local community and town as a local artist and craftsperson.”

Laura Messin

Laura is a stationer, who specialises in calligraphy and signage. She founded Lucca Studios in 2021 and has since had her work featured in Vogue and Flower magazine. Taking inspiration from people’s stories and her surroundings, Laura creates work that is meaningful and naturally elegant. Laura creates wedding stationery and signage, teaches Modern Calligraphy in Basingstoke and the surrounding counties and works on larger scale projects and collaborations with other small businesses.

Joanne Morse

Joanne is a self taught Artist local to Basingstoke. Her inspiration for her pieces take shape from the magic of nature and the colours that surround her. Specialising in Colourful fantasy art Joanne loves bringing her whimsical style to life. You may remember Joannes Hog “beauty within watership down” AKA “HOGGLE” from last years Hampshire hogs trail.

Joanne is currently producing and working on her whimsical art from her Hampshire home in Basingstoke. Her benches for “Streets Alive” Feature her signature whimsical style, that ooze Bright colours and host a magical unearthly feel. Focused on places and folklore that surround Basingstoke Joanne has taken these ideas and made them her own. These benches are going to capture the Fantasy world that Joanne loves to bring alive.

Neil Jepson

Basingstoke based Neil Jepson is a traditional artist and digital illustrator who has previously produced work for film and television. He has also illustrated two children’s books, one of which is now on sale in Waterstones. Neil’s passion has returned to traditional painting and in particular oils. Neil has worked on commissions such as horses and enjoys painting his own wildlife art which he is hoping to exhibit in London next year. He is happy creating the work he loves around an engineering job, which allows him to create art with a sense of freedom and without pressure. Neil also enjoys occasionally teaching art to children and adults at the Westside Community Centre in South Ham, Basingstoke.

Willow the Wispa

Willow the Wispa is a street artist who also enjoys illustration and canvas, skate deck art using mediums of acrylic pouring paints, paint pens and spray paint.

Inspired by graffiti, comic book art and street artists from all over the world, Willow the Wispa paints fun characters with surreal backgrounds in bright and bold colour combinations.

She lived in Barcelona for a semester whilst studying Graphic Art at University which kick started her interest in street art as it was everywhere around the city.

Rachel O’Connell

Jo Woodgate

Meet the Streets Alive storytellers and illustrators

Families were welcomed to take part in writing workshops with local writers, Lydia Thomson, Rebecca Lyon and Josh Dixon as part of the Love Basingstoke Presents February half term events programme. The writers used these creative sessions to create Haiku poetry which forms ‘Tell Me Stories’ the spoken word and public art project within ‘Streets Alive’

The Haiku poems will be bought to life on benches in the Top of the Town by local illustrators Fatima Pantoja and Laura Fisher.

Josh Dixon

Josh is a local playwright, poet and storyteller who specialises in children’s theatre and entertainment for a family audience. Josh created Pumpkin Pantos Theatre Company in 2012 and has since written, directed and produced shows that have toured to Theatres, Art Centres, Community Halls, Schools and Festivals – including the Edinburgh Fringe. As a writer he has provided scripts for various theatre companies across the globe. Performances of his work have taken place locally in Hampshire & Surrey, further afield in North Yorkshire and even as far as Australia.

Most recently Josh created and performed a series of online fairytales for Basingstoke’s virtual festival. The light-hearted and comical rhyming stories provided some much-needed entertainment to families during lockdown and can be viewed on Basingstoke Festival’s YouTube page

For updates, keep visiting this page and follow Basingstoke Festival on social media!

This project is funded by Arts Council England and the Welcome Back Fund and supported by Openreach, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Love Basingstoke.

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