Winning artwork for Printworks Big Art unveiled

Huge public art installation unveiled in Manchester’s Printworks

Printworks’ Big Art competition, created in partnership with Wild in Art, set out to commission a local artist for a larger than life public art installation in the refurbished venue.

The newly unveiled design is the work of winner Alex Sylt, an illustrator and screen printer based in Ancoats. His concept was chosen by public vote and a panel of judges and was revealed to the public by Brit and Grammy award winner Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim last year.

Norman Cook unveils Alex's winning artwork

The artwork now takes pride of place on 210 square metres of space on the Nuffield Tower in the Printworks pump yard for all to admire. It is the first completed element of the overall, ongoing Printworks refurbishment which will be unveiled in spring 2024.

Alex comments “This piece has taken almost a year to create from start to finish, no surprise considering the scale! Of course, I always knew it would be huge but when you see it for the first time it’s such a joy. I hope that people will enjoy trying to spot the different references and will see something different each time.”

Alex Sylt with the final artwork. Image: Jason Lock Photography

Manchester’s heritage is intricately woven through every inch of Alex’s artwork. Inspired by the city’s architecture, Alex wanted to celebrate Manchester’s past and present by highlighting its history and culture including the suffragette movement, the LGBTQ+ community, as well as its sports and music.

Among the winding letterpress equipment, which pays homage to Printworks’ origins as a printing house, viewers will find something new every time they look at it, from detailed window scenes to canals meandering through the maze-like design.

Ben Reed, Head of Creative Development at Wild in Art said “Public art is hugely important, and Manchester especially is a city packed full of it. This latest piece is so personal to the city and is a true celebration of people, place, and the history of Manchester.”

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