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McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Ashford launches new art installation inspired by the region in collaboration with local artist Lionel Stanhope

Visitors of McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Ashford will now be greeted by an art installation inspired by the local area and history which has been unveiled in the centre this week.

The mural design, created by local artist Lionel Stanhope, has been inspired by old London Network Rail signs whilst capturing the beauty of the flowers of the Kentish countryside and is a warm welcome to centre guests after a year of ongoing lockdown restrictions.  The piece also takes reference from the centre’s living wall installation which includes 120,00 plants to aid local biodiversity, as well as the tented design of the outlet by acclaimed architect  Richard Rogers.

On their next trip to the centre, shoppers will now be able to enjoy the commission of a home-grown artist – all inspired by the local community and Lionel’s passion to create art in the public realm. The artwork also lends itself well to being the perfect backdrop to any selfies and guests will be able to take in the creative artwork whilst visiting the centre’s premium retail and dining outlets.

Originally from Kingston-upon-Thames, Lionel’s artistic career began in his late teens when he experimented with graffiti, leading him today being a well-renowned street artist taking inspiration from London and its surrounding areas. Having previously creating a series of railway bridge murals in celebration of local pride for Network Rail, Lionel Stanhope combines his passion for the region with sign writing and street art throughout his artwork.

Centre Manager Peter Corr said “After a year which has taught us the importance of the community around us, we’re proud to be unveiling today our installation with local artist, Lionel Stanhope in celebration of the vibrancy of Ashford. The artwork will brighten up the centre whilst also showcasing our support for the arts and culture sector. We really look forward to seeing how guests will engage with the artwork and the space during the summer months and beyond!”

Artist Lionel Stanhope commented: “I’m very pleased with the final design that was chosen, the combination of the flowers alongside the colours in the railway sign really pop against the pale blue background. It was a pleasure working in such a clean and smart environment with shops and facilities right next door! Often I’m working on busy roads full of traffic.

The feedback from shoppers while painting was really positive and it makes a great feature of a blank wall.”

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