The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) Northampton Branch has seen completion of another installation in its “Art on the Arm” initiative which aims to bring artistic enjoyment to the Northampton Arm of the Grand Union Canal.
This latest instalment, completed last week, is a mural which was designed by the Blisworth Art and Craft Group and painted by the talented pupils from Year 6 at Rothersthorpe CE Primary School. The mural, which is 70 metres long and covers the non-towpath underside of the M1 motorway bridge, is nature-inspired and entitled “Canal Through the Seasons”.
This latest mural complements a mural painted last year on the towpath side of the underpass in collaboration with Lemon Pop Workshops and Year Six students from Delapre Primary School. The earlier mural is an historical timeline of Northampton.
Sandie Morton, Branch Secretary, IWA Northampton comments:
“This latest mural is part two of our work with primary schools and artists from the local community to improve the look of the underside of the M1 motorway bridge. It began with us removing graffiti and has grown from there into a wonderful artistic display. Both this year and last year, we were overwhelmed by the children’s enthusiasm for their work and the end result is a wonderful reflection of this.”
The mural project as a whole has been largely funded by local company, Cummins Power Systems, which actively supports the Northampton Arm by regularly sending corporate volunteers to IWA work parties. Other expenses were covered by a legacy from a longstanding IWA Northampton Branch member, John Faulkner.
This mural is the fourth installation in IWA Northampton Branch’s “Art on the Arm” initiative. The previous three have involved mosaics – a mural where the Arm leaves the Grand Union Canal at Gayton Junction, a mosaic bench at the end of the Arm in Northampton and a mosaic nature trail linking these two areas with panels at each of the 17 locks which make up a phrase as part of a Nature Trail Challenge.
Sandie adds: “All of these artistic installations have been designed and planned to attract more visitors to enjoy the special environment of the Northampton Arm for leisure and recreation whether it be by boat, bicycle or on foot.”
To find out more about “Art on the Arm” or if you are interested in volunteering with IWA Northampton Branch, please visit: www.waterways.org.uk/northampton.