Art for Norwich's sake: Stories behind city murals

The black and white line drawing City of Stories mural in Theatre Street by Beverley Coraldean. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The black and white line drawing City of Stories mural in Theatre Street by Beverley Coraldean. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

The artists behind Norwich's striking 'City of Stories' murals have spoken about their work.

The Business Improvement District (BID) searched far and wide for artists to provide designs to help enrich the city streets when the project began in 2016.

And after the paint had dried, Norwich was treated to nine unique works of art dotted around the city.  In the years since families have enjoyed visiting as many of the city centre murals as possible.  

Now some of the artists have recounted the tale of how the designs came to life - and their hopes for the future of the works. 

Norwich's largest mural has been unveiled at Frankie & Benny's, Riverside. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich's largest mural has been unveiled at Frankie & Benny's, Riverside. Picture: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

Ian Westbrook is the artist behind the work above Frankie & Benny's restaurant in Riverside titled 'City Living'.

"We wanted to go with a very graphic pop art-style because of the location - everything in Riverside is geared towards entertainment.

Ian Westbrook designer of City Living

Ian Westbrook, designer of City Living, shown down Riverside - Credit: Ian Westbrook

"The windows are just black rectangles from the outside which were difficult to work with so we needed to incorporate them, so people didn't notice as much."

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With the end result looking like something more akin to a marvel comic strip, Ian believes the piece has helped improve the area.

He added: "It was a good opportunity to enhance the city and I think we made the right choice going with bold colours, trying to match the area."

The City of Stories red dragon mural in Red Lion Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The City of Stories red dragon mural in Red Lion Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

Malca Schotten designed the piece known only as 'The Dragon' which is emblazoned on the side of a building in Red Lion Street.

The 60-year-old artist-come-illustrator attributes European fairy tales told to her as a child to the design.

"It really had an impact on me," she said. "I wanted to incorporate that energetic way of drawing and expressing yourself.

"I've always wanted to design a mural and love the idea of creating this big piece of work. It's connected to the dragon at the castle museum."

Malca is hoping her work continues to inspire future generations to embrace art.

"Kids see the work up there and their eyes pop out of their heads," she added.

Malca Schotten designer of the Red Dragon

Malca Schotten, designer of the Red Dragon mural - Credit: Malca Schotten

Where you can find each of Norwich's City of Stories murals

City of Stories
Artist: Poppy Cole 
Location: Pymm & Co, Ber Street, NR1 3EJ

Black and White Line art
Artist: Beverley Coaraldean 
Location: Hatch Brenner, Theatre Street, NR2 1QY

The Dragon
Artist: Malca Shotten
Location: Above Evans clothing shop, Red Lion Street, NR1 3QF

The Case for Norwich
Artist: Derek Jackson
Location: Virgin Money Lounge, Castle Street, NR2 1PD

The Sun has got his hat on
Artist: Julia Allum 
Location: Back of Tesco Metro, Pottergate, NR2 1DS

Old Norfolk Folklore
Artist: Ella Goodwin 
Location: Tickety Boo!, London Street, NR2 1HL

The Market-Place of the Iceni
Artist: Joey LaMeche 
Location: Next to Castle Galleries, Arcade Street, NR2 1PN

City Living
Artist: Matthew Owen and Ian Westbrook 
Location: Frankie and Benny’s, Riverside, NR1 1WZ

City of Stories & Mavericks 
Artist: Andrew S. Wilson
Location: St Stephens Street, NR1 3QR