Uprising makes its bank holiday debut with twelve giant murals and arty events galore

New York, Iceland, even Mexico…Hayley Garner has travelled the globe as part of renowned street art duo Nomad Clan. But the Rochdale-born artist will be returning home for her next project, as she and colleague Joy Gilleard paint one of the town’s most iconic buildings.

The mural - one of several designed ‘to breathe life back into unloved and neglected parts of the town’ - heralds Rochdale’s major new street art festival. Debuting this bank holiday weekend (23-26 August), Uprising festival will see some of the genre’s biggest names paint twelve walls across the town centre. 

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Nomad Clan have painted across the globe

Nomad Clan, who in 2017 created the UK’s tallest mural in Leeds, will first paint the side of the historic Regal Moon pub and former cinema with a mural inspired by Rochdale’s great industrial past. Hannah Howard ‘Cookie’ will then start working on the former Kenion Street music studios, which famously played host to Joy Division, while at the other end of town Tasha Whittle will be painting a wall at the Rochdale Pioneers museum.

Other participants include Poland’s Tankpetrol, Amsterdam’s The London Police and a wealth of artists from across Britain. Venues including Waterside House, 48 Drake Street, The Walk (Max Spielmann and Fishwicks Newsagents), Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre, Champness Hall and The Baum Ginnel will also be transformed; while Marks & Spencer will receive two murals.

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Uprising festival is part of Rochdale town centre’s ongoing £400m regeneration

Uprising will also see a series of free art events spanning paint jams, mural tours and screen printing sessions - alongside artist talks and ‘after-hours’ shindings.

The festival is part of Rochdale town centre’s ongoing £400m regeneration programme; which has included the creation of the new council office, customer service centre and central library, Number One Riverside, the award-winning river reopening project and the retail and leisure development Rochdale Riverside, which will open in spring 2020. The next phase of regeneration will focus on enhancing the town’s public realm and heritage offer, alongside its residential strategy.

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Uprising festival founders Joy Gilleard and Hayley Garner, aka Nomad Clan

Garner, whose grandma owned a wool shop in Rochdale and whose family still live in the borough, said: “Our mural will celebrate the major role that Rochdale played on the world stage through the textile industry and as part of that we’ll be highlighting women, who were often the backbone of it. I’ve wanted to get my hands on the Regal Moon for years, so I was really excited when the council approached me about doing a street art festival here.”  

Rochdale Councillor Janet Emsley said: “This event, a first for Rochdale, will be a stunning visual celebration of our town, its fantastic past and its exciting future, which will stay in place for years to come. The artists have been given free rein and I’m really excited to see what they will create. Art can have a transformative effect on communities and raise aspirations and I know that it will really feed people’s imaginations and get them thinking about why Rochdale and its people are so special."  

Uprising Mural Festival takes place 23-26 throughout Rochdale - all events are free