A new contemporary street art trail, curated by Accent & London Mural Company is taking shape in Ashford town centre, with many blank walls and building surfaces being transformed into high quality mural paintings and bespoke integrated artwork.
The world renowned Mr Doodle, who lives in Ashford, has already created what is believed to be the world’s biggest doodle on the side of a multi storey car park, and artist Charley Peters has also already completed her “High Octane” themed wall which captures the energy of Ashford’s developing cultural profile and its rich commuter tradition.
Other artists like the celebrated Alex Chinneck, Andy Welland, Aspire and Curtis Hylton will soon be starting on their contributions.
Joining them are local artists and students who are also using the Kent town centre as their canvas. These include Ashford Snowdog artist Danielle Williamson, local designers Tiny Dog Creative and students from Ashford College.
UNFRAMED – Ashford’s inaugural Mural Festival launches on the 31st of March, and runs through the Easter holidays with walking tours, a film programme at Picturehouse and art workshops.
Artists are currently bringing the multi-location trail to life in Ashford the week, with final pieces completed on the lead up to the launch event on the 31st of March.
The UNFRAMED launch event is free to attend, taking place at Coachworks between 4-10pm, including family friendly art workshops, live painting by ODISY, artist talks and DJs.
All of the artworks are in easy walking distance of each other and will be part of the UNFRAMED art trail for local residents and visitors to enjoy. Those taking part will be able to pick up a map from Coachworks, Low Key Taproom, Picturehouse or Made in Ashford and wander around the town centre immersing themselves in the street art and learning more about each piece. Alternatively the pieces can be viewed individually and by scanning the accompanying QR code, information about the artist and work will be available.
The artworks as part of UNFRAMED are expected to remain in situ for a short while after the festival ends, with many continuing to be on show longer term – creating a legacy for everyone to enjoy in the future.
Full list of artists and locations
Mr Doodle – Park Street
Alex Chinneck – Vicarage Lane Car Park
Andy Welland – Bank Street
Curtis Hylton – Bank Street
Charley Peters – St Johns Lane
ODISY – Dover Place
Will Redgrove – Castle Street
Chris Page – Elwick Rd
Hatch – Bank St
Tiny Dog x TLMC – Dover Place
Danielle Williamson – Vicarage Lane Car Park
Ashford College Students – Station Approach
Ashford College Students x Accent – Station Road
Aspire – St Johns Lane
The project is supported by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities with a budget of £25,000 from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).
“I’m excited to welcome so many brilliant artists to Ashford as part of our first Mural Festival. Murals are a great way to showcase creative talent as well as redeveloping blank walls in town centres, making them more attractive and safer spaces to be in. I hope that residents and visitors pick up their maps and take part in the trail this April and that people enjoy the works for a long time to come.”Chris Dixon, Arts and Cultural Industries Manager at Ashford Borough Council
UNFRAMED will represent Ashford Borough Council’s fourth and final seasonal event commissioned as part of the adopted Ashford Festival and Event Framework. Previous commissions were The Fabric of Ashford (summer 2022), Create Music Village (autumn 2022) and Carnival of the Baubles (winter 2022).
Ashford Festival and Event Framework is part of the Ashford Town Centre Reset, a Council ‘Super Six Project’ to stimulate a vibrant, accessible and sustainable Town Centre for residents, visitors and businesses. A strategic priority included the need to address blank walls and building surfaces by introducing artist painted murals to help animate the town and support wayfinding.
Photo Credit: Morgan Davies