A run-down symbol of Luton’s past will be reborn as Europe’s single, largest urban street art project, called Power in Paint, which is set to transform an eyesore and kickstart the town’s revival.
Power Court will be the new home of Luton Town Football Club, with a 17,500-seat stadium; an 1,800-capacity music venue; bars; restaurants; entertainment and leisure facilities, plus new public spaces, featuring the re-emergence of the River Lea.
However, at present it’s a largely toxic and derelict site that has sat unloved, mainly unused and dominated for more than a decade by hundreds of ugly, blue, perimeter hoarding boards.
That is set to change as #saveourtown has teamed up with art collective Little Red Creative Studios to create the Power in Paint project and use the bleak barrier as one big, blank canvas.
Andy King, vice chairman of #saveourtown, said: “Power Court will, in time, massively change our home town for the better and, while we have campaigned very hard for this regeneration, the physical changes that will emerge are just a part of the transformation tale.
“Now is the time for us Lutonians to start viewing ourselves in a new light. We’re a wonderfully diverse and creative community, but for years people have tried to tell us otherwise. We can change this perception. The Power in Paint project will make a big contribution to the way others see us and the way we see ourselves.
“Other cities and towns, like Brighton and Bristol, have vibrant cultures where street art is embraced with a youthful verve. It not only helps to attract visitors and boost the economy but, above all, it fills those communities with a sense of pride – so why not bring this to Luton?
“We’re delighted to have joined forces with Luton’s Little Red Creative Studios to kickstart this evolution. We’re calling on artists to interpret themes of hope, regeneration, progress and pride in Luton and its heritage, to help draw a line under our town’s recent past of stagnation and revamp a dreary, wooden symbol of this with a new sense of vitality and colour.
“Through this, Power Court’s blue barriers will be reborn as Europe’s single, largest urban street art project, breathing new life into the town centre for thousands of people to see, every single day. We’ll contribute to the cost of paint and materials, and we’ll provide the space. We want artists to supply the imagination that will leave a legacy.”
Giant posters – including one of Luton’s undefeated middleweight boxing prospect and #saveourtown supporter, Linus Udofia – have now been fixed to boards at Power Court, outlining the Power in Paint project to passers-by, while the first works of art have already started appearing, with one creator already earning a private commission as a result of his Power Court street art.
Little Red Creative Studios Director, Aimi Rix, said: “For years I have committed myself to the artistic regeneration of Luton Town and have had the pleasure of working alongside many amazing artists who share that passion.
“I am honoured to have been given this opportunity at Power Court and to have partnered with innovative #saveourtown team. I’m now looking to extend my artistic team and looking forward to working alongside some of the great artistic talent we have right here in Luton. Together, let’s breathe some life and colour into our beloved town.”
There is also a dedicated Power in Paint Facebook page for updates and information on the project, to showcase the artwork and document progress as Power in Paint evolves.
How to get involved
While the project provides the opportunity to create works of art on a highly-visible public space, the Power Court site and its hoarding boards are private property with permission given by the owners. So, if you want to add your art, have it showcased in a high-profile project, here’s what you have to do.
- Sign up by filling out our registration form and one of the team will be in touch (please be patient as everyone working on this project is doing so voluntarily). If your application is successful you will be provided with a lanyard/pass, giving you permission to create artworks on the Power Court hoarding boards.
- Create day or night
- Represent the themes of regeneration, hope, progress, Luton and its heritage, Power Court (i.e. the new stadium, music venue etc). Above all, create art that will fill Lutonians with awe and pride. .
- Do anything before you sign-up
- Just ‘tag’ or graffiti your name
- Paint profanities or insults
- Make political/inflammatory slogans or images
Any material that #saveourtown and Little Red Creative Studios consider inappropriate WILL BE removed and could be reported to the authorities.