The city centre’s streets are brightened up this summer by bold and beautiful banners, created by Brighton artist Kate Forrester, and artists from Rocket Artists’ Studios, to signal the start of a celebratory season of creativity.
Kate Forrester’s illustrative Brighton-inspired banners, exploring the city’s love of the sea, music and food span the width of North Street and Western Road, while lamp post banners on Preston Street feature colourful artwork from Rocket Artists’ Studios – an inclusive artist-led group who celebrate their diverse identities, abilities and art practises.
The artwork is organised by the 517 businesses who form Brilliant Brighton (also known as Brighton’s Business Improvement District), who each year aim to add extra colour to the city centre streets, from early May through to September, and supported by Gaydio. It further develops their Enliven Brighton Art Trail (in partnership with the ABCD Cultural Recovery Plan), with artists’ work, including Kate and Rocket Artists’ Studios, already in place on walls and street furniture within the city centre.
“It has been an honour to decorate these streets with my illustrations this summer, in celebration of our unique city’s spirit,” Brighton illustrator Kate Forrester says. “After so much time locked up at home, it feels especially poignant and important to get out and enjoy everything Brighton has to offer.”
“This has been such a lovely and valuable project for us to be involved with. Being visible and sharing your work publicly is important to ALL artists, however, many of us at Rocket Artists’ Studios are vulnerable and face additional barriers – and some of us are currently still shielding, over two years on. So this project is a wonderful opportunity for some of the most marginalised artists in Brighton and Hove to present their work physically, amongst the hustle and bustle of the city – even when they are themselves still face restrictions and are working from home,” Jo Offer, director and co-founder of Rocket Artists’ Studios explains.
The banners are part of Brilliant Brighton’s dressing the city campaign, which aims to brighten up the city centre during the summer months for visitors, holidaymakers and residents alike to enjoy. The campaign also includes cheerful bunting displayed in North Laine and The Lanes (with design for this led by artist and Brilliant Brighton gallery owner, Kellie Miller of Kellie Miller Arts Gallery) and stunning floral hanging baskets.
“We love dressing the city in the summer and are so excited to see 2022’s campaign come to life, especially following the pandemic,” Brilliant Brighton’s Marketing and Events Manager Shelley Welti says. “It’s been fantastic working with artists for our Enliven Brighton Art Trail, in partnership with the ABCD Cultural Recovery Plan, including Kate and those from Rocket Artists’ Studios and we’re delighted to further highlight their work with these brilliant banners! We hope that they put smiles on people’s faces as they pass them – whether that’s on the way to work, on a shopping trip or parading in the Children’s Parade or during Pride!”
Alex Baker, Programmes Manager at Gaydio Brighton, who are supporting the campaign adds: “We’ve been broadcasting in Brighton and Hove for over a decade and we know being a part of the city they love is important to our audience, so we’re really excited to be supporting Brilliant Brighton’s dressing the city campaign this summer. Brighton is a city that’s really important to Gaydio and also to the LGBTQ+ community and it’s great to be at the forefront of summer celebrations across the city.”
See the Brilliant Brighton banners, designed by Kate Forrester on Western Road and North Street and bunting and lamp post displays by Rocket Artists’ Studios in Preston Street (and supported by Gaydio), as well as bunting in North Laine and The Lanes, and hanging baskets throughout the city centre, between May and September.
View the Enliven Brighton Art Trail throughout the city centre until September – featuring murals from Dave Pop and Eelus on businesses’ walls, Josef Cabey and Gil Mualem-Doron’s bright graphics on bus stops, Kate Forrester’s delicate detailed sea-inspired illustrations on planters in North Street, Liberty Cheveral’s work spreading positivity on bins, and artists from inclusive, not-for-profit organisation Rocket Artists’ Studios adding vibrancy, with artwork wrapped around banners in Preston Street and North Laine.