These stormy spring days are full of dark clouds, so it’s time to brighten things up with ‘The Peacock’ mural in Leeds city center celebrating Marching Out Together. Even in these photos furnished by the artist Cbloxx aka Jay Gilleard, you can see how much the new piece can perk up a passerby.
The artist and organizers of this new piece say that the mural means to celebrate and encourage the further inclusivity of LGBTQ+ folks in the fandom and fields of Leeds United Football Club. Since 2017 a campaign has recognized everyone’s right to stand proudly, cheering the team.
“Marching Out Together was founded in 2017 by Andrew Tilly and Drew Harrison, with the support of Leeds United Football Club, to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ supporters, their friends, family, and allies at LUFC’s matches,” says a press release. “The group’s wider mission is to bridge the gap between the LGBTQ+ community and the stereotypically masculine fanbase of football.” Sounds good from here and looks fantastic up there on York Street.
Since the peacock image has been affiliated with Leeds United since about1842- historically playing on a patch called the Old Peacock Ground, it’s a fitting image to breathe new life into.
“The core thematic of The Peacock really is Pride; what is more sassy and full of pride than a peacock?” says the artist Cbloxx, whose work as one half of Nomad Clan has been published here on BSA several times. “Its otherworldly flamboyance, confidence and striking visuals made it a focal point no-brainer. To convey the notion of activism, protest and visibility I borrowed aesthetics from the old coal mining embroidered flags, which echo the typical northern working-class heritage that I so often celebrate in my work.”
“It’s not often that artists get the chance to have their work in front of so many eyes,” says Hayler Garner of Nomad Clan, “and with that there’s a responsibility to have that piece resonate with the area.” Garner, along with Jay Gilleard, is talking about their new mural at the gateway to Doncaster in Yorkshire, northern England.
One of the largest they’ve done, “Future’s Past and Present” is meant to open up discussions in this part of town they say – and to pay homage to parts of the town’s history.
“From a coal miner with his pit pony to a female black NHS doctor, every part of this mural is intentional and tells a story,” they say. They also note that they’ve included other historical nods, including the town’s trade in aviation and locomotive transport, as well as having true Roman ruins and an iconic castle.
“On a personal level, honoring my Grandad’s coal mining heritage in Doncaster is another high point for me,” says Gilleard. “Keeping the memory of those brave miners alive and understanding the hardships of Northern industry that shaped where we are today.”