Artist’s mural gives hope in Knaresborough

An artist’s lockdown love of nature has soared to high acclaim.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 3:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th March 2021, 8:08 am
22nd March 2021 Pictured local resident and bird watcher Katie Plowright-Hall takes a look at the swallow mural on the side of a building in Cheapside, Knaresborough Picture Gerard Binks

Sam Porter is putting the finishing touches to his countryside scene mural this week which he has been painting for six days in Cheapside in Knaresborough.

The 38-year-old fine art and sculpture print making graduate said of his work, commissioned by householder Lindsey Bradley: “Obviously there has been loads of attention and really amazing feedback.

“I had hoped that people would embrace it, which they have far more than I thought they would. Me and Lindsey hoped it would have that impact.”

The commission follows a tough past year for Sam who, as with many artists during the Coronavirus pandemic, saw his work dry up. But he started to plan his next project.

“During the first lockdown business slowed down quite a lot,” said Sam.

“I had been painting murals for years, more intensively for the past three or four years.

“Most of my work has been in big cities like Leeds and Manchester and I have had quite a bit of work over in Chester recently.

“During the first lockdown I was thinking what could I do to cheer people up.

“Everyone was painting rainbows, which was great, but I thought I can do more than that and use my abilities to give people hope in what has been a very grim year.

“During lockdown walks, I got back in touch with nature and being inspired by it and I thought what better thing to do.”

He painted a bluetit on the side of a shed which led to work to highlight green spaces in urban areas which is something the Harrogate-based artist is interested in.

Sam added: “When the second wave of lockdown came I decided to reach out to local people and let them know that I’m around.

“There aren’t that many people around doing this and I put up a post on social media.

“Lindsey got in contact and said she loved what I was doing and wanted to do this mural on the side of the building because she loves nature and loves birds of prey and butterfies.

“We were hoping that it would appeal to the general public.

“I have designed something based around Yorkshire and had to design a bit around the steps because they are right in the middle of the wall.

“Lindsey likes swallows and swifts so I went with swallows and thought it would be really nice to have a sky that would merge into the actual sky on a sunny day.”

“I wanted to give Cheapside an illusion of looking out to a beautiful view.”

Sam’s work can be seen at https://muralminded.squarespace.com/