Commercial mural

project story 
MURIEL the multi storey octopus

March 2022

Local business owner Gemma Crawley Roberts had a vision. Her beautiful shop is situated beneath Lurke Street multi storey car park, a very dull and uninspiring building, just off the main High Street in Bedford. The area is a well used thoroughfare from the Lidl store and the car park itself, but lacks colour, style and interest. When Bedford Council invited local businesses to submit ideas for art based projects, that would enhance the town centre, Gemma saw her opportunity and asked Sarah at Charlotte Designs to help her submit an application.

Her vision was simple, she wanted a large, colourful octopus to be flowing through the layers of the car park structure, so that is exactly what Sarah designed. The tentacles of the octopus gave Sarah the opportunity to have a little fun. One tentacle points to the entrance of Gemma’s shop, The Arc and others creep around the corner, giving a tantalising vista from the High Street, encouraging the viewer to explore further. Sarah’s ability to execute the painting on such an awkward surface and at a height of upto 20m, was key to the success of the project. The reaction to the mural during the painting process was a good indication of how the final mural would be received. The public stopped to ask questions and get photographs of the artist at work, throughout the week long installation.

Lurke Street octopus with artist and commis

The Outcome

“I can not recommend Sarah at Charlotte Designs more.” said Gemma after the project was completed, “Her project document was so well informed from all her years of experience, that filling in my application for Borough funding was so easy.”

“Muriel, as our octopus is now known, continues to draw people to the area and every day, we get at least one comment about how great Muriel is and how much of a difference it has made to the street.” Sarah continues to get regular messages and feedback on how loved Muriel is, by the residents and visitors to Bedford.

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