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Striking 'Monty The Bee' mural is poignant work of graffiti artist alumnus

19 July 2017

Fine art graduate Sumit Sarkar created the street art

An artist who studied at Manchester Metropolitan University has created a mural of a giant bee to celebrate the buzz of an up-and-coming Salford village.

The two storey high piece of street art is on the side of a cafe in Monton and shows a giant bee - now nicknamed Monty by local residents -  with the words ‘amongst our bustle there's always a buzz’.

It was the idea of Monton Village Community Association (MVCA) through which residents and businesses come together to promote and enhance the neighbourhood.

The mural was created by artist Sumit Sarkar, who studied Fine Art at Manchester Met and describes himself as a digital and analogue painter and sculptor and graffiti artist.

He said: “I really enjoyed painting in Monton. Everyone was super friendly.”

Digital and analogue techniques

Sumit is a sculptor and painter working with digital and analogue techniques, taking inspiration from a variety of sources, including religious iconography, science fiction and graffiti, with recent work focusing on themes of emergence/disappearance inspired by the 3D print process.

Cutting edge technology is at the forefront of Sumit’s practice and recent projects include the exploration of the use of video mapping, motion capture, virtual reality and multi material and full colour 3D print.

Sumit has exhibited in various solo and group shows, with solo exhibitions at Cornerhouse in Manchester, DLi Art Gallery in Durham, Lanternhouse in Ulverston, and the Royal Pump Rooms in Leamington Spa, with a recent residency and exhibition at the Colombo Art Biennale in Sri Lanka. He has directed public collaborative art projects in Shetland with UZ Arts, in Exeter with Mischief La Bas and in Finland with Spearfish. Sumit also works as a designer, curator and workshop leader.

Bee as tribute

Local poet Jenny Berry helped design the artwork while Eccles Community Committee, MVCA and Playfoots bar and cafe provided between them the funding for the £2,500 artwork to appear on the side of the latter's premises in Landsdowne Road in Monton.

Jan Phelan, Deputy Chair of MVCA said: “Street art always gets people talking and really adds impact to an area. Monton is buzzing with new bars, restaurants and visitors and this has grown over the two years we have been planning this art project.

“We chose the bee idea from the start because bees are sociable as well as hard working and thought that captured the hive of activity that is Monton. Playfoots bar, which is in the building where the bee has landed also have a bee as part of their logo.

“Obviously the bee symbol has become even more important recently, given the events at Manchester Arena so our Monton bee can also stand in tribute to everyone affected by that dreadful attack.”

Art is good for the soul

Salford City Council's lead member for housing and neighbourhoods Councillor Paul Longshaw added: “I feel that any form of art is always good for the soul and it's great to see such great collaboration from this creative community.

"I’m sure this will be a big draw for Monton and make it even more bustling."