Spiral Arts - Inspiring Derby

See the well-dressing in the CUBE café|bar next week (27 June - 5 July)

Visit Derby’s Well Dressing Trail celebrating 175 years of the Derby Arboretum Park

From Monday 22 June to Friday 26 June, there will be 5 schools, 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 public park, the Derby Arboretum and extending into the city centre around the Cathedral Quarter.Listen_Love_Learn_Well_Dressing.jpg

Derby Arboretum is a Grade II listed landscape gifted to the people of Derby by local mill owner and benefactor Joseph Strutt on 16th and 17th September 1840. We are celebrating the park first being opened to the public 175 years ago. This trail will be one of a number of events held on the park in this anniversary year.

The trail will be launched on Saturday 27 June in the Orangery at Derby Arboretum Park at 11am and the well dressings will be on display until Sunday 5 July. There will be 4 well dressings displayed in the Arboretum Park and a further 5 well dressings displayed around the city’s Cathedral Quarter – Quad, Déda, Derby Central Library, Derby Local Studies Library and Derby Tourist Information Centre.

This 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:Dscn0370a.jpg

‘This is a great opportunity to celebrate the history and beauty of the park and to promote this area of Derby, also to work with a broad section of the community and be supported and work in partnership with Derby’s cultural organisations, we are looking forward to the exciting events planned for the year ahead.’

All Being Well Arts Group said:

‘We are very pleased to be involved again with the well dressing in this anniversary year for the park, we are delighted to be able to promote the groups artwork through this unique event.’


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

‘I spoke with the young people that were involved with the well dressings last year and they are keen to be involved again. It will also be nice for them to work alongside the Madeley youth group later in the year for more park celebrations.’

Julie Topham, Operations Manager at Derby Central Library said:

‘We are very pleased to have the well dressing in the Central Library again.’

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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 and the surrounding areas, delivering creative participatory projects as a vehicle for social interaction, 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, especially in this anniversary year for the park.

Contact Details:

Jenny Anthony

0776 587 0266