Carnival-inspired mural unveiled in Chapeltown

On 3rd October, we unveiled Reflections of Carnival – a new mural by artist and costume designer Rhian Kempadoo-Millar – in Chapeltown, in partnership with Leeds West Indian Carnival and Leeds City Council.

As part of LEEDS 2023, the artwork, which celebrates the rich, vibrant history of Leeds West Indian Carnival, features on the gable end of a two-storey house on Savile Mount in Chapeltown, at the heart of the Caribbean and Carnival communities.

Taking inspiration from ‘ole mas’ characters – such as masqueraders and moko jumbies – and the theatrical creations of Leeds’ infamous costume designers, Rhian blends elements of traditional Caribbean carnival with contemporary visuals for the mural, Reflections of Carnival. With input from Carnival and Chapeltown communities, including local school children, older people and costume designers, this important artwork brings a piece of the legendary celebration to the neighbourhood as a permanent tribute.

Rhian Kempadoo-Millar said: “I’ve been making and designing costumes for Leeds Carnival for over 25 years. It’s the highlight of my year! I feel well and truly part of the family. Being able to work closely with the local Carnival communities to help shape the design of ‘Reflections of Carnival’ has been a real pleasure.

“My aim was to create a feeling of movement, flow, colour and passion in the piece, which captures the overall atmosphere of Carnival on the road, and its wider influence and impact on Chapeltown and the city.”

‘Reflections of Carnival’ is the latest in our award-winning A City Less Grey series which brings new and unique artwork to the streets and neighbourhoods of Leeds. Rhian Kempadoo-Millar’s artwork sits alongside pieces across the city including Add Fuel’s Burmantofts Pottery-inspired mural ‘ECHOES’ on Mabgate, and will be joined by a further public artwork later in the year, both of which also feature as part of LEEDS 2023.

A launch party to celebrate the official unveiling of the mural will take place at the Leeds West Indian Centre, next to the mural, from 12pm to 3pm on Saturday 28 October. Join us for food, dance, music, and family activities.

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