23 June 2022

Ian Curtis Macclesfield Mural

We were recently commissioned by Cheshire East Council to follow the talented artist Akse as he transformed the wall of a building in Macclesfield, to create a striking new image of the Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis. Akse is a graffiti artist based in Manchester. His expertise in creating freehand high definition photo realistic graphic portraits has seen him create iconic murals of several well-known personalities, including Mark E Smith, Tony Wilson and Marcus Rashford.

Curtis had close links within the town, having been brought up there and been taught at King's School. His ashes are also buried in Macclesfield Cemetery. As the singer of Joy Division, he connected with music fans around the world, and the band's biggest hit 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' is still to this day, played on the radio. Our goal was to capture the excitement, anticipation and awe that the artwork stirred in the area, as well as capturing the creation of the mural itself.

We created two films for Cheshire East. A time-lapse of the mural taking shape, filmed over our days, and another film featuring members of the public talking about their love for the band and its impact on their lives, as well as their connections and memories of the singer. As a final celebration of the band's music, we produced and performed a version of 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' which features on both films.

Reaction to the mural itself has been overwhelmingly positive, and the films allow fans from across the world the opportunity to experience the talent of the artist Akse and the mural in all its glory.

The Cultural Economy Team from Cheshire East Council commented

"Squeaky Pedal were safe hands to steer the creative direction of the project and deliver exactly what we needed... They are super friendly and approachable, responded to short timescales for proposal, planning and production and delivered above and beyond. We are really pleased with the films they created."

To watch both the time-lapse and the short film, click here.

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