A professional graffiti artist in our village is among many who have provided some wonderful extra colour for Ruddington’s celebrations of Her Majesty’s seventy years on the throne.
The latest work from ‘Creed’ a.k.a. Ainsley Burton (pictured above with sons Harry and Isaac) can be found on the former changing room block at Sellors’ Playing Field – one of several he has been asked to do there over recent years. Originally the park’s custodians, Ruddington Parish Council (RPC), had proposed to demolish this building after it became a target for vandals and illegal graffiti. However, because of its useful storage space and connected utilities for park maintenance and special events, it survived.
After being approached by Ainsley in 2015, and knowing that graffiti artists generally show respect for others’ work, RPC agreed to commission him to decorate the village eyesore officially. “The old changing block on Sellors’ Park was painted black and had some ‘tags’ painted on it” recalls Ainsley. “I knew I could paint something nice and bright on it for the Ruddington community to enjoy. The ‘Gruffalo’ painting was done in 2016.”
His ‘Gruffalo’ (pictured above) – on the wall facing the children’s play area – became so popular and iconic that it survives to this day. Indeed, many locals now refer to Sellors’ Recreation Ground as ‘Gruffalo Park’ because of it! “Since then, I have kept in contact with the Parish Council and they have now allowed me to paint the other the walls of the block” explains Ainsley. His latest one is the Platinum Jubilee Crown – which now has pride of place on the most visible wall facing Wilford Road for the duration of The Queen’s special celebrations and beyond.
Ainsley’s other decorations on the old changing block – past and present – can be seen below:
Sellors’ Recreation Ground is not the only place in Ruddington that villagers can enjoy Ainsley Burton’s impressive work.
For over two years now, lucky residents and visitors who happen to pass his family home along Brookside Road can’t fail to have noticed a plethora of amazing and topical artwork constantly changing on his garage door.
Ainsley admits that his wife was initially resistant to the idea of him decorating their own property: “Nicola was always reluctant for me to paint anything on the house. However, when the country started to display rainbow pictures as a symbol of hope during ‘lockdown’, I finally got the go-ahead!” he says.
“As a rainbow became a symbol of hope for people, my wife agreed painting a rainbow on the garage door would brighten up the street and be enjoyed by passers-by. After starting the paintings on the garage there was a massive, positive response. People seem to love the sentiment and have encouraged me to keep changing the paintings seasonally.”
Nicola adds: “Since some of Ainsley’s paintings were shared on Facebook pages he has had a few requests to paint garage doors and buildings in London – and also a couple in Texas and Denver!”
If you’ve missed any (or all!) of these, a slideshow of the rest of Ainsley’s garage door artwork to date can be viewed below:
Back at Sellors’ Park, Ainsley is not being selfish with his ever changing wall paintings on the building there. In fact, he’s now persuaded RPC that it can soon become a legal area for other street/graffiti artists to display their work in our village. “I have been painting graffiti art for 35 years (on and off). There are currently numerous places to paint graffiti art legally around Nottingham but I wanted to get permission for local walls for people to paint” he says.
Here’s hoping that the many users of Sellors’ Recreation Ground and the residents of the Brookside Road estate will continue to be treated to Ainsley Burton’s imaginative and varied graffiti art for many years to come.