Recycled letters spelling d-e-w-s-b-u-r-y unveiled in the Town Centre

A new art installation using recycled materials has been unveiled on the ring road in Dewsbury Town Centre.

The commission is part of a long-term project by art collective Cubic Fruit for the Dewsbury Creative Town Arts programme.

The letters d, u, r and y were salvaged by Cubic Fruits lead artist Emmeline North from a local reclamation yard in September 2021. The team then got to work cleaning up the original letters and forming the detailed designs for the missing letters e, w, s and b. The designs reference textiles and woven materials and were painstakingly fabricated by metal work artist Mick Kirby Geddes. The ‘e’ features hundreds of tiny dot welds on its face to create a spotted fabric effect.

The entire installation has then been transformed with the application of colour, painted pattern and carefully selected materials that are designed to both protect and enhance the structures.

Although in a lower case format the letters are a handsome size, standing between 1.4 m and 1m tall each and the total length of the installation is nearly 10m long. The installation can be found at a key entrance to the town centre adjacent to Long Causeway.

Cubic Fruit is made up of several talented individuals who have a combined industry experience of over 50 years and have worked with a wide range of high-profile clients over the years. Lead artist, designer is Emmeline North who also created Urban Rewild at the Princess of Wales Shopping Centre as well as Rebecca Appleby – Sculptor, ceramicist, Lauren Bower – Surface designer and Steve Ryder – Illustration.

Kate Watson, Programme Manager for Dewsbury Creative Town, said:

“It’s amazing to finally see the letters on display and hope it provides passers-by with a bright and colourful welcome to the town. Emmeline and the team have worked extremely hard to create something unique using reclaimed materials as the starting point for the installation but many hours have also gone into designing and painting them. We hope the letters create lots of interesting conversations and demonstrate how art can really change the landscape of a place.”

Emmeline North, Lead Artist at Cubic Fruit added:

“I absolutely love breathing new life into forgotten or obsolete items. Spotting the original four letters in their previous ‘orange’ format provided the foundation for the concept that has evolved to where it is today. The design process has allowed us to work with some really interesting techniques and new materials to create the final outcome. The designs are inspired by my love of textiles as well as pattern and the fabrication of garments which of course is intrinsic in Dewsbury’s heritage.  The colours of buildings found in the town centre have also inspired the overall design, and I was thrilled to be able to apply these patterns onto a 3D surface. It’s also been great to source 100% recycled acrylic from British and European companies to form the casings for the ‘s’ and the ‘w’.”

The Dewsbury Creative Town Arts Programme is a £200,000 initiative funded by Kirklees Council. It is produced by arts organisation Beam and includes a range of permanent and temporary public art interventions at various sites across Dewsbury. It also aims to provide residents, businesses, and community groups with an array of opportunities to engage with art and get involved in the commissioning process.

Photo (c) Lucille Moore

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