Manchester Arndale Olympic Wall Mural

In 2016, I was approached by Manchester Arndale to create a unique, one-off artwork, but for a while couldn’t figure out what that should be. Our initial ideas stemmed from a student map of the city for freshers week to another that celebrated Manchester’s musical legacy.

What felt the most exciting was to create a welcome home map of Greater Manchester that celebrated the success of Team GB’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes returning from Rio 2016. 

This map included all the usual Manchester landmarks and a few surprises  – the Manchester velodrome, the Aquatics centre – but as a nod to the athlete’s homegrown roots I decided to add the name and professions of all the medallists in the areas that they are from. But as the Arndale is ordinarily a hustle and bustle of shoppers and fast-paced diners the work had to be completed across several night shifts, a tiring experience but probably the most rewarding I’ve experienced in my working life.

The icing on the cake came when I was able to unveil it with Paralympic and Olympic medallists. It was probably the closest I’ll ever get to winning a medal myself and, in a very small way, made me feel a part of Great Britain’s record breaking success in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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