Neil Woodall
the lowry

sheffield mural

grinders hill


Completed 11 October 2000.

In September 2000 I was commissioned to produce a plaque to commemorate the official opening of the Lowry Centre by the Queen. The opening date was the 12 October, leaving just four weeks to design the piece, produce working drawings, buy the materials, arrange the cutting and dry etching of the metal and make the panels. I knew it would be tight, but despite many setbacks I managed to get the panels over the pennines and installed on time.

The piece consists of two panels which when fixed in position are approximately 5.5m high and measure 1.2m at the top and 0.9m at the bottom. The top panel consists of historical images of the area, Manchester Ship Canal and a detail of a map of the area showing the docks and piers that make up Salford docks. There is also a haunting picture of L.S. Lowry as a child in his sailors costume.

The bottom panel depicts the area as it is now. On my first visit to the Lowry to find out if it would be feasible to produce the piece on time I had aimed to take lots of photographs of the building and the area as a reference for drawings that I would develop in my studio. Luckily I forgot to pack my camera so I was forced to go round sketching the building. This was a great help as the design for the bottom panel came straight to me as I was drawing. Instead of manipulating photographs on the computer I moved my sketches about in the photo package, a much more efficient way of working.

I combined my sketches to form a view of the building from many angles which still retained the feel and character of the place.
public art