Art packs a punch

Kid Acne and Ema's mural at St THomas Gym, Wincobank
Kid Acne and Ema's mural at St THomas Gym, Wincobank
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IT’S a splash of colour that could turn into an explosion of artistic expression – in Wincobank.

Not traditionally an area known for its aesthetic excellence, things have taken a turn for the brighter with a mural by Sheffield street artists Kid Acne and Ema.

The gable end of St Thomas’ Gym, run by boxing guru and all-round top Sheffielder Brendan Ingle, has been completely covered by an intriguing painting featuring a wolf and a fox boxing against a backdrop of clouds, the moon and stars and a droplet-shaped head.

It had locals scratching their heads a bit at first but it certainly brightens the place up.

Bridget Ingle, Wincobank campaigner and daughter of Brendan, is keen to give the area a new aspect through art.

“We are trying to come up with things that will improve the area and I thought we could brighten up some of the buildings with murals by local artists with a good reputation,” said Bridget.

“I tried to get some money from the council but was not successful. Then I spoke to Kid Acne and Ema over a couple of days with my dad and they agreed to give their time for free and came up with the figures in the painting.

“The one on the left is called Foxy Boxer and the other is Woolley Wolf. Both characters have local significance. Foxy Boxer has to be clever and resourceful to survive in the ring and we have Woolley Woods in Wincobank, Woolley is nordic for wolf and Woolley Wood used to have wolves in it.

“The grass bank represents Wincobank hill and the figures are standing in the clouds which represents their aspiration levels – they are aiming high.

“The head shaped like a drop is done by Ema and is the same shape as the speed boxing balls in the gym. The vertical lines on the head represent the lines on the gym floor that my dad uses to teach co-ordination. The moon and stars at the apex of the building are again about aiming high.

“The words: ‘Your hands, your feet, your voice’ are also about co-ordination and building confidence and respect which are a central part of my dad’s philosophy in the gym.

“The kids in the gym love it and local people are warming to it. When we first raised the issue of street art in Wincobank people tended to think of graffiti and they weren’t all that keen. But when we talked about murals they were more positive and now they’ve seen it I think they like it.”

The project took the reclusive Kid Acne and Ema four days to complete and the boxing club paid the £800 for masonry paint.

“I thought there might be some council funding for street art but there isn’t,” said Bridget. “But we will be hoping to get funding for other projects. We are trying to improve the area for everyone. This is just the beginning”