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Street art trail is taking over Ashford town centre

Published: 03/04/2023
UNFRAMED logo for Ashford Town Centre mural festival

Excitement is growing in Ashford as a contemporary street art trail, curated by Accent & The London Mural Company, takes shape in the 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.

Mr Doodle's UNFRAMED doodle in Ashford
Credit: Morgan Davies

Other artists like the celebrated Alex Chinneck, Will Redgrove and Hatch are just days away from starting to make their unique mark on the town centre.

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 and students from Ashford College.

UNFRAMED – Ashford’s inaugural Mural Festival launches on the 31 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 31 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 live music from local DJs.

All of the artworks are in close proximity 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. You can download the trail map here

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 are below:

  1. Ashford College Students - Leah Bunting & Claudia Otto
    Planters, Ashford International Station Forecourt TN23 1EZ
  2. The London Mural Company x Accent London
    Coachworks Front Windows, Dover Place TN23 1HU
  3. ODISY
    Coachworks courtyard*, Dover Place TN23 1HU
  4. Ashford College Students x Accent London
    Ashford College Wall, Elwick Road TN23 1NN
  5. Danielle Williamson aka Tinybeegle
    Storage container, Vicarage Lane Car Park TN23 1NU
  6. Alex Chinneck
    Back of former Odeon Cinema, St Johns Lane TN23 1PS
  7. Charley Peters
    Vicarage Lane Car Park, Alleyway St Johns Lane TN23 1PS
  8. Voyder
    Side of former Odeon Cinema, St Johns Lane TN23 1PS
  9. Aspire
    Vicarage Lane Car Park, Alleyway St Johns Lane TN23 1PS
  10. Ellie Fryer x Komply 
    55 High Street, TN24 8SQ
  11. Mr Doodle
    Edinburgh Road Car Park, Park Street TN24 8LR
  12. Will Redgrove
    Pilgrims Hospices, 4 Castle Street TN23 1JQ
  13. Curtis Hylton
    Bucksford Law, Bank House, 2a Bank Street TN23 1BX
  14. Andy Welland
    Bright City Church, 28 Bank Street TN23 1BA
  15. Hatch
    Low Key Taproom*, 39-41 Bank Street TN23 1DQ
  16. Chris Page 
    Picturehouse Cinema*, Elwick Road TN23 1AE

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).

Chris Dixon, Arts and Cultural Industries Manager at Ashford Borough Council, said: “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.”

UNFRAMED will represent Ashford Borough Council’s fourth and final seasonal event commissioned as part of the adopted Ashford Festival and Event Framework. Our 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.