Street artist ATM returns to Lowestoft

A brand-new wildlife mural will soon appear in Lowestoft town centre as street artist ATM returns for his third commission as part of Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s creation of a giant new nature reserve at Carlton Marshes.

ATM is set to paint the new mural in Lowestoft town centre on the wall of Angel Hairdressers, close to the Bascule Bridge and train station. It will feature a well-loved bird that is regularly spotted in the town centre on Lake Lothing as well as at Carlton Marshes nature reserve. However, the species will be kept under wraps until ATM begins painting from July 29th.

The mural will be something of a partnership effort this time as the wall is particularly tricky to access. From 22 July, volunteers from SLS Painting and Suffolk Fire Service will paint the wall in preparation and Associated British Ports, Barnes Construction and Apex Scaffolding are all lending a hand to make sure both ATM and the volunteer painters can access the wall and work safely throughout the mural’s creation. Once again, Ivy House Hotel will host ATM whilst he is in town – from where he can enjoy early morning walks at Carlton and Oulton Marshes. Speaking of his time spent in Lowestoft ATM said: “Carlton marshes is such a beautiful place, teeming with life, a hugely valuable refuge for many rare species. It's a magical experience to watch barn owls drifting around on a summer evening, as the cattle graze in the vole-rich meadows. It's like a scene from a bygone age, when wild creatures lived alongside people on low-intensity farms. A huge area is now being reclaimed and restored to provide yet more wetland habitat."

He continued: "The big wall paintings of iconic marshland species around Lowestoft will help to make more people aware of how privileged they are to have such a wonderful resource on their doorstep."

The new mural will join Lowestoft’s marsh harrier and barn owl, forming part of a wild graffiti trail created by ATM. The trail will culminate with a piece of ATM’s artwork adorning the new visitor centre at Carlton Marshes, which is due to open in 2020. Once complete, the trail will see the highest concentration of ATM’s stunning murals anywhere in the world. Currently, his work can be found from Bristol to Madrid and New York, and he continues to use public art to highlight our most pressing environmental issues, including threatened species.

ATM, who studied Fine Art at Sheffield University, recently took part in Suffolk’s first Nature Summit where he painted a water vole (image above). The subject of water vole was chosen for the Nature Summit to highlight Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s ongoing measures to address the decline of this iconic riverbank mammal. The species faces a particularly precarious future throughout the country as populations struggle to cope with predation and habitat loss. Due to ongoing conservation initiatives, water voles are faring slightly better in Suffolk and as habitat works at Carlton Marshes progress the nature reserve will offer ample opportunity for the species to extend its range across the site.

Support for the mural has come from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Barnes Construction, Associated British Ports, Apex Scaffolding, Robin Graham at Angel Hair, SLS Painting, Dragonfly Decorators, First Choice Decorating, Ivy House Hotel, QD Stores and Brewers. 

William Barnes, Chairman of The Barnes Group Ltd said: "Carlton Marshes is being expanded by Suffolk Wildlife Trust to provide a remarkable wildlife haven which can be explored and enjoyed by the local community. We are delighted to be able to provide support to enable the painting of this lovely mural which will promote the nature reserve and act as an inspiring introduction to the natural world for our children." 

Paul Ager, Divisional Port Manager for Associated British Ports said of their involvement: “ABP is committed to working with local communities and is delighted to be able to support Suffolk Wildlife Trust with this wonderful initiative. We look forward to seeing the new mural proudly taking its place in Lowestoft."

Hinting at the species, Mr Ager continued: “Our new pilot boat in Lowestoft, which represents an investment of £670,000 is named after the species ATM will be painting, reflecting our ongoing commitment to Lowestoft Port and the environment.”

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  • Keep an eye the Trust's Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts from July 29, to find out what species mural number three will be
  • Watch footage of ATM painting at the Suffolk Nature Summit: https://vimeo.com/347082494
  • ATM is a street artist painting birds and animals threatened with extinction. 1439 bird species are now in serious decline across the world, including 67 species in Britain. London based ATM has a lifelong love for nature. He has a particular connection to birds, their songs, calls and habitats. He uses his skills as an artist to celebrate the beauty of birds and communicate the extinction crisis. His giant wildlife murals fill walls across London to Bristol and on to Poland and Norway. ATM uses his art to inspire people to take part in local regeneration efforts and believes that small changes repeated on a large scale can have dramatic effects. http://atmstreetart.com/