Westquay unveils new cultural mural in shopping centre

The artwork created by local artist, Kev Munday, has been installed beside Westquay’s brand new toilet and private feeding facilities 

Today, Monday 7th December, Westquay shopping centre has unveiled a unique piece of artwork created by local artist Kev Munday as part of GO! Southampton and Southampton City Council’s Southampton Street Art Project.

‘Birds, Boats & Buildings’ is a 14-metre-long artwork that celebrates the city of Southampton’s residents, environment and history. The mural has been painted directly onto the wall with acrylic and spray paint by the new toilet and family facilities on the Above Bar Mall.

The installation will appeal to all ages and includes a number of local landmarks in a hope to evoke a sense of civic pride and community spirit in a difficult time for everyone in the city.  The artwork is the latest in the line of street artworks by Southampton Solent graduate Kev Munday popping up in public areas across the city. 

The bespoke piece takes its place along the corridor leading from the centre to Westquay’s brand new toilet, feeding facilities and a lounge area located on level 3, adjacent to Boux Avenue.

Laura Read, General Manager at Westquay said: “We’re very excited to be a part of such an uplifting community project. It is great to work with such a talented local artist as Kev Munday, whose artwork we have admired popping up around the city.

As well as revealing the art to our visitors, we’ve also opened our brand-new toilet and family changing amenities after hearing lots of requests for new facilities from our visitors. We always try to offer the very best to anyone visiting our centre, so we hope the investment we have made to provide new facilities on Level 3 enhances all we have to offer even further.”

Artist Kev Munday added: “When asked whether I wanted to create a large, hand painted mural inside a new area of Westquay shopping centre, the answer was, of course, yes! I’ve been planning this for a while now and the 14-metre-long artwork will contain many references to Southampton’s people, landmarks, wildlife and local attractions in my bold and vibrant artwork style. The piece will be entirely haand painted using spray paint, acrylics and marker pens and will be a permanent feature within the shopping centre. I’m very excited to be able to bring such a large piece to an area which will have a high footfall and I hope that the painting will bring joy to visitors for many years to come.” 

Giles Semper, Executive Director at GO! Southampton, said: “We’re delighted Westquay has commissioned this piece by Kev Munday – one of the city’s best-loved artists. This installation ties in nicely with a range of street art projects that will emerge in coming months – from us, Solent Showcase Gallery and John Hansard Gallery – as part of our city recovery plan. We hope they will bring our city centre to life, promote Southampton’s incredible street artists and make art more accessible to all as we prepare for the city’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2025.”

Kate Maple, Curator of the Solent Showcase Gallery, said: “Artist Kev Munday is a Solent University Alumni and the artwork he has created represents an exciting partnership between Westquay, Showcase Gallery and Go! Southampton.  It is the first project that launches Showcase Gallery’s “What is our Place?” – a new programme of offsite and community-based work to strengthen local partnerships and explore how creativity can contribute to the wider city. Although Solent Showcase Gallery has temporarily closed, we will be as present as ever, by expanding our work in communities and public spaces of the city, utilising our gallery window display, and maintaining our online presence. If we cannot be somewhere, we’ll be everywhere.”

The artwork by Kev Munday has been unveiled in the shopping centre by the new toilet and private feeding room located on Level 3, open to the public from Monday 7th December.