Visit Derby's first ever Well Dressing Trail

From Monday 23 June to Friday 27 June, there will be children, a youth group, young adults, mums and over 50s working with local participatory artists, Spiral Arts, to produce a number of well dressings for exhibition in Derby’s first ever Well Dressing Trail around the Cathedral Quarter.

The trail will be launched on Saturday 28 June at Derby Cathedral at 11am and the well dressings will be on display until Sunday 6 July. The trail will be displayed at 5 venues around the city’s Cathedral Quarter – Quad, Déda, Derby Central Library, Derby Cathedral and Derby Tourist Information Centre.

 Crags-Close-up-Deer-1024x768.jpgThis intricate art is unique to Derbyshire. Traditionally well dressing frames are soaked in the local river before being packed with clay. A design is marked out onto the clay and then each section is carefully covered with individual flower petals, leaves, seeds, coffee beans, feathers and stones to complete the design.

Maureen Elliott, Visual Arts Director at Spiral Arts said:

‘This is a great opportunity to work with a broad section of the community and be supported and work in partnership with Derby’s cultural organisations, we hope that this will be the first of many opportunities.’

Carol Moore, Headteacher Firs Estate Primary School said:

‘Our children will enjoy taking part in the Derbyshire tradition of well dressing. Being an inner city school, many of our children do not get opportunities to experience activities beyond the home. So we are really looking forward to it.’

 All Being Well Arts Group said:

‘The work would brighten up Derby and bring some colour into the centre; it would also show collaboration between people of Derby who wouldn’t normally meet each other.’

Anne Flannigan, youth leader at St Joseph’s Youth Group said:

‘We would love to be involved in the project, since our funding was cut we do not have many opportunities we can offer our young people, so it would be ideal way of joining in with a community event.’

 Julie Topham, Operations Manager at Derby Central Library said:

‘We are really excited about the project; it is a lovely idea to have the trail around the city.
We have lots of links with schools and we would like our well dressing theme to be a young person’s book character.’


Clare Limb, Head of Dance Development and Learning at Déda said:

‘We are happy to host a Well Dressing panel in the summer; it will be a good way of showing people what our new facilities will be with an aerial dance theme.’


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For further information contact:


Jenny Anthony

Spiral Arts Creative Director

0776 587 0266

Notes to the Editor


Spiral Arts are a Derby-based collective of professional visual artists whose aim is to work in the local communities in Derby, Derbyshire and the surrounding counties, delivering creative participatory projects, working with hard to reach groups, making workshops accessible to all, discovering creativity and developing skills. 

They would like to excite communities and encourage them to creatively come together and celebrate their achievements.

They have been working together since November 2005, and have collaborated on many schools, youth groups, mental health and community projects using a variety of themes. They have extensive experience in delivering high quality workshops and their passion is to create textile-based artwork, large-scale structures and well dressings.

They have delivered projects for the city councils and many other organisations and each project is grant-funded. They have a base in the Arboretum Park in Derby and are keen to work with the community on citywide projects.


Contact Details:

Jenny Anthony

0776 587 0266