Art students give Virgin communication boxes a makeover

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Communication boxes in Headingley have been given a jazzy makeover to brighten up the suburb's streets.

Virgin Media offered six Leeds College of Art students the chance to decorate the street furniture with their own designs to prevent graffiti.

Emily Edwards, George Addy, Jazz Harbord, Becky Silviera, Naomi Smith and Kobey Taylor got to work after Virgin gave permission for 20 of the boxes in the Ash Road area to be painted.

The students' creativity has led to some unusual designs.

Emily, who is studying printed textiles and surface pattern design, chose an abstract jungle print.

"I thought it would really help brighten up a boring, green graffiti-covered box. This project was very valuable to me; it got me thinking about where I could apply my work in the 'real world'. I'd say it's very rewarding knowing that lots of people will walk past my design every day. I would love to do more mural/street art things like this, and am trying to find out where else I can apply my work in Leeds!”

Naomi, who is studying illustration, added:

“It took four days in total as the rain meant I had to keep stopping and starting. It’s been so good to do some work outside of the studio, try something new and speak to new people who are taking an interest in art. I have been so surprised at the positive response this has received, so many people wanted to stop and talk about the project while I was painting and some people even brought me cups of tea which was so kind). I think it’s really important for creativity to be used to make a difference and it’s clear that the project as a whole has brightened up the area and made people smile.”

Neil McNally.

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