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Finalists announced and designs revealed for St Maurice’s Covert mural

Earlier this year, Winchester City Council announced plans to commission an experienced artist to design and deliver a vibrant, bespoke mural at St Maurice’s Covert.

Following an open call for designs which attracted over thirty submissions, the council is about to reveal the designs of the three shortlisted finalists, Sarah Hodgkins, Molly Hawkins and Jo Swannell as part of an online public exhibition, where members of the public are invited to respond and comment.

The aim of this project is to enhance the St Maurice’s Covert passageway and surrounding environment providing locals and visitors with an attractive gateway to the cathedral from the High Street.

Sarah set up her design company, Charlotte Designs in 2005. Since then she has painted over 550 murals across the UK with clients including the NHS, David Lloyd Leisure, the Force India Formula One team and even royalty. Speaking of her design, Sarah said:

My aim is to create an inspiring mural that engages young and old visitors and residents alike. It will knit together historical and modern references, open out the space and be sprinkled with a little humour.”

Molly, who originally trained as a set and costume designer is now known for her large-scale colourful art in public spaces. As an international artist her work can be seen in Poland, Germany, and India as well as the UK. Clients have included Lucy and Yak, the ethical clothing brand, Surfers Against Sewage and Sparkasse, the German community bank.  Molly says:

My joyful design holds aspects of local heritage whilst celebrating contemporary design. Using the colours of Winchester City Council, the colour palette is curated to ignite inspiration and to enhance the surrounding environment.”

Jo graduated from UCL and took her first job at London’s Natural History Museum as a conservator, putting dinosaurs back together and making models for exhibitions. Moving away from London she worked in graphic design for some years before returning to the south east and setting up Brighton Murals in the city of that name. Her work since has included a series of murals for Brighton and Hove City Council, specialist paint finishes in some of London’s most prestigious properties, painting murals on the world’s largest cruise ship as it was being built, scenic art for many adventure golf courses, and numerous projects for business clients and in people’s homes. She says:

“This design aims to be a giant gilt-edged invitation to the people of Winchester…from all that the modern High Street has to offer, it’s just a short step this way to follow your painted contemporaries, meet some of the people who shaped this city, and find yourself in another time and space. From St Swithun to the Deliveroo cyclist in a hurry, we share the same spaces across time: we're all part of a continuum.”


Cllr Lucille Thompson, city council Cabinet Member for Business and Culture said:

“I am delighted that the response to this exciting opportunity and the quality of the designs has been exceptional. The panel have had some extremely difficult decisions to make. Each design is unique and inspiring and answers the brief beautifully. I am very much looking forward to seeing the transformation of St Maurice’s Covert for both residents and visitors to enjoy. I wish each artist the very best of luck.”


The council’s online public exhibition, where you will be able to see the designs and share your comments, will be available via the council’s website and will open online on 10 June 2022 and will run until 24 June 2022.  Follow the link here for more information:

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