Make History Every Day in York, advocates artist Leah Pendleton in new walkway mural at Coppergate Centre. Trail to follow…

Leah Pendleton’s mural, Make Hstory Every Day, at Fenwick, Coppergate Centre, York

LOOK out – and up – for the new mural inspired by the 1970s’ Coppergate archaeological dig, painted on the side of the Fenwick store, at the Coppergate Centre, St Mary’s Square, York.  

Commissioned by York BID (Business Improvement District) and designed by York-born artist Leah Pendleton, the mural is part of an ongoing programme to tell stories that reflect York’s history and identity through a mural trail, to be launched this summer.

It joins the murals on Foss Walk, York Barbican, Coney Street, and Queen Street – all commissioned or supported by York BID – and follows the launch of York BID’s Colour & Light project at York Art Gallery, celebrating the city’s “built heritage” through a large-scale outdoor projection that can transforms the gallery frontage at Exhibition Square from 6pm to 9pm nightly until February 25.

Rachel Bean, project manager at York BID, is leading the mural trail. “York’s 2000-year history is evident everywhere you look, but Leah’s design reminds us that we are all an important part of that history and have something to contribute,” she says.

Wall-to-wall coverage: before and after, as Leah Pendleton brings colour to the Coppergate Centre

“This is the third mural commissioned by York BID in the last 12 months, and I’d like to say a huge thank you to the Coppergate Centre and Fenwick for their support”. 

The new 42m² mural was created by Leah in her trademark style that combines bold typography with playful illustration. “The design was inspired by photographs of the Coppergate dig, where you can see layers of history being unearthed,” she says.

“I wanted to interpret the history of Coppergate in a contemporary way using brightly coloured lettering. I’ve used the phrase ‘make history every day’ to highlight that each small story contributes to how a place is built and evolves over time.” 

The mural features bold lettering formed from different coloured layers, inspired by the nine metres of archaeological layers discovered during the Coppergate dig in the 1970s.

Leah Pendleton applies the finishing touches to her Make History Every Day mural

The design celebrates the idea that York’s varied history provides solid foundations for the present and future. The characters dotted around the mural highlight the importance of individual action, while the artefacts represent the deposits unearthed during the dig.

David Jennings, chief executive of York Archaeology, notes that the dig was not only influential for York, but for “the way museums present their collections across the world”.

“It is wonderful to see the dig represented in this way as a reminder of the remarkable archaeological heritage that we have, particularly on a site that is world-renowned for its rich deposits and incredible preservation of items from the Viking Age,” he says.  

Coppergate Centre manager Prajay Shah says: “The new mural is a great addition to the Coppergate Centre and shows why York is such a special place to visit. We were delighted to support this project and further enhance the great experience offering that we have here.”

Discover more about the York Mural Trail at:

Leah Pendleton: the back story

Leah Pendleton at work on her mural at Fenwick, York

YORK-BORN artist, highly experienced muralist and sign painter, now living in Edinburgh. Her work can be seen in many York establishments, such as Spark: York, Ambiente Tapas and the soon-to-be Criminally Good Books, on Colliergate, York.

Follow Leah on Instagram at @LeahPendletonDesigns.

Charlotte (Emmeline) North evokes city’s culture and music in York Barbican mural

Charlotte (Emmeline) North’s mural on the Fishergate side of York Barbican

LOOK out for Charlotte (Emmeline) North’s new mural at York Barbican, celebrating the city’s music and culture.

The work has been commissioned by the York BID as part of an ongoing programme to introduce more street art to York.

Yorkshire mural artist and designer North won the commission to design a mural based on the “York Narrative”, representing what York means to the people who visit and live in the city.

Charlotte says: “I think it’s great that businesses are invested in art for the city. I’m thrilled to be creating a mural in York; my mum’s side of my family are from here. We’ve had a great response so far, and it’s been lovely to hear that gentle York accent while chatting to people.” 

Featuring Charlotte’s signature bright and abstract style, reflecting movement, rhythm and connection, the mural is the largest to be commissioned by the York BID so far at 14m long and 2m high.

Created in environmentally friendly paint, it runs along the Fishergate side of York Barbican, a busy route for those accessing the city by car, bicycle and on foot.

Made by Graphenstone, the paint is free of plastic and other harmful toxins and uses natural materials developed into a formula proven to absorb CO2 from the environment, creating a “living” mural that acts as an adult tree.

Rachel Bean, projects and finance executive at York BID, says: “I love the energy and flow of Charlotte’s work. York is bursting with creative talent and this piece beautifully captures that. Our ambition with this project is to create new destination points in the city and hopefully encourage residents and visitors to explore new areas.”

York Barbican manager Sam Ryder says: “Arts and culture is in the bloodstream of the city of York. At York Barbican, we continue to strive to bring the best live entertainment to York, and we are very grateful to be a part of this cultural transformation of the city. Now everyone will take in a piece of the incredible atmosphere that’s created inside the Barbican as they travel past”.

Mural artist Charlotte (Emmeline) Scott

Charlotte (Emmeline) North: the back story

Studied Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design at Leeds Arts University with a focus on materials and sustainable design. 

Began her first exterior installation in 2018.

Firm believer in the concept of turning art galleries inside out, having work for all people to see, and hopefully enjoy, as they go about their day. 

Her work can be spotted in York, Leeds, Dewsbury, Batley and Birmingham.

Her studio is at Red Brick Mill, Bradford Road, Batley.