Finally, after multiple techchnical challenges and days lost to the weather, our spectacular landmark mural is complete.
CBloxx has been working away today adding final details to the work, most notably richer texture to the fabric of the banner surround, iridescent patches of rainbow light, and the final details of Leeds Utd and our own badges in the tips of some of the peacock’s feathers.
Please click the button below for creative notes explaining the themes and components of the artwork by CBloxx.
Finally - with the return of good weather - CBloxx is able to do more work and complete the body of the design.
The peacock now has a new banner above its head with the words ‘Marching Out Together’: the name of our group is a clever twist by the funders of the group on the famous club anthem ‘Marching On Together’ which is always sung out - loud and proud - by the supporters both at Elland Road and by the travelling fans at away games.
It’s been a challenging time over the last few days with strong winds, rain, sleet and snow all conspiring to hold up the work. But despite that it is still attracting a lot of media interest.
Check these out:-
Yorkshire Evening Post article (written by our member Flora)
Leeds Inspired who provided the bulk of the funding for the project have produced a blog feature explaining the background and process for the project.
Local news and events website Leeds Plus+ covered the project including a short video piece during the painting.
BBC Look North ran a two-minute feature on the mural and Mick Ward appeared on BBC Radio Leeds to talk about it.
06.04.22 (updated 12.04)
Turns out it wasn’t the weather, but a failed lift motor that would hold us up!
But that gave CBloxx the chance to join some of our members at the Holbeck Club and go on to experience ‘Marching Out Together’ at Elland Rd for their first visit, and the 1-1 draw v Southampton.
With the taller lift platform now in place CBloxx is working on completing the peacock, and the scale of the work is becoming more evident.
If the weather holds, it may only take a few more days to add the remaining details in the top half of the design, and then the full image will emerge. Fingers crossed!
Today was freezing cold and a mix of snow & sleet. Perfect timing, because this is where we bring in the taller lift for the top half of the work.
And time to reflect on progress. Anyone remember when there was bright warm spring sunshine… and a blank wall?
Today was coat-on, coat-off as CBloxx had to contend with some nasty and ever-changing conditions… but in the brighter spells was able to complete a lot of detail and depth on the peacock. [Pic - Instagram @Spraydays]
Reaching the maximum height for the first lift, CBloxx has almost completed the depth and detail of the peacock’s tail, and also added texture to the surround (more on that to come!)
Just in time too, because the weather forecast isn’t good for Day 5. Looks like that is mainly going to be bringing in the taller lift for the top half… and to reveal the final elements of the design.
With the image growing, and details to complete before raising the platform to work at a higher level, CBloxx has been filling in details and colour… and going through a lot of paint!
The peacock now has a panel below which reads “We are so proud”. This will be recognised by all fans as a key line in the club’s anthem ‘Marching On Together’ which is always heard so prominently at both home and away games.
The emphasis here links with the ‘Pride’ movement and stresses that LGBTQ+ fans share the same love of the game and the club as all fans do. This statement asserts that LGBTQ+ fans should be welcomed and accepted and free to be themselves at Elland Road as well as when following the team elsewhere.
The dominating image at the heart of the mural is a peacock.
‘The Peacocks’ was the nickname of Leeds City FC and subsequently Leeds United FC after its establishment in 1919. This originated from the name of the playing fields owned by the brewery of the pub opposite what later became Elland Road stadium… and which to this day is still a favourite of fans on matchdays (currently renamed ‘The Bielsa’ in honour of the much-loved manager who engineered LUFC’s return to the Premier League).
The occasional flamboyance of peacocks, and the expression ‘Proud as a peacock’ also resonate with the LGBTQ+ community.
Painting of our LUFC LGBTQ+ mural on a landmark site in Burmantofts above the A64 will begin during the weekend of 26/27 March and is expected to take around ten days.
For background on this project which is being delivered in partnership with East Street Arts, funded through Leeds City Council’s Leeds Inspired programme, and with the support of Leeds United FC, see the launch announcement below.
Whilst the work is the design of international street artist Jay Gilleard (AKA CBloxx, who with Nomad Clan produced the spectacular Athena Rising mural above Leeds City Station) this was devised after discussions with members of Marching Out Together and other key stakeholders. CBloxx is pictured here at work on their latest project in Mexico.
Until it is fully painted we have agreed with the artist and ESA not to release the full image. The artwork is a different style to the many LUFC murals which have become a wonderful addition to the city in recent years, which are easily-recognised images of legendary LUFC players and managers. Our mural is more subtle and conceptual in style and carries a number of messages: given that, we aim to explain and set the context for each element as the work is progressively revealed during the painting.
The broad concept of the mural is to proudly assert the fact that LGBT+ fans are part of LUFC and football in general, just as we are throughout the community, in workplaces, education, in any leisure setting and throughout society.
LUFC fans will recognise many key themes which will be familiar to them from supporting the club, including images and messages which are a reference to the deeper experience of being a supporter on matchdays – for LGBT+ people just the same as for all fans.
Look out for further updates here and on our social media: we will say more about each component as the image emerges…!
Click here to see the official Press Release announcing the project, 11 August 2021
Marching Out Together announced via our official Twitter page that we will be commissioning a landmark Marching Out Together mural in the heart of Leeds City Centre. This has been made possible largely thanks to a grant from Leeds Inspired which will cover the majority of the cost of this project. The mural will be painted in a prominent position, overlooking the York Road and the Burmantofts area, and will be seen by approximately 70,000 people per day. The brief for the project is that the piece “[…] will develop an iconic presence for fans of the club and people that associate with LGBT+ communities. It needs to be a strong, simple, creative message”, and has been created in consultation with our LGBT+ Fan group and the stakeholders involved. It is envisaged that the piece will be present for at least 5 years.
The mural, in collaboration with Leeds-based East Street Arts and Manchester-based Nomad Clan, is projected to be completed in the autumn of 2021, aims to promote and increase LGBT+ visibility in football, especially at a time where us fans cannot attend Elland Road in person just yet. It will compliment the growing number of murals and artwork present around Leeds, as well as being one of the few large LGBT+ artistic public projects in the city. Leeds United will use their considerable social media presence to help promote the project, the benefits of this being invaluable.
East Street Arts are an award-winning organisation who have extensive experience in communicating and engaging with the local community to consult on arts products, while Nomad Clan are experienced LGBT+ artists who have delivered murals locally and internationally, notably “Athena Rising” at Leeds Station. Leeds United Football Club, and the Leeds United Academy will also work with us on this project. We are also consulting with LUDO – Leeds United Disabled Organisation with the aim of making the piece as accessible as possible.
The cost for this project will be approximately £10,000, with the majority of which being covered by the Leeds Inspired grant. We will also be holding fundraising events soon to fun the remainder of the costs, with some great Leeds United prizes, so keep an eye on our social media pages for details!
‘Hart Island’ with Noman Clan for New York City ‘Pride’ and Stonewall (2019)
Pic Brooklyn Street Art
‘My Body’ with Urban Nation, Berlin (2018)
‘My Body’ studio (Berlin 2018). Pic - Nika Kramer.
As proud Leeds United supporters we are excited to establish a new group that will welcome fellow LGBT+ fans and their friends.