Trail artists swoop with secret yarn bombing to decorate Haywards Heath

Yarn bombing in action
Yarn bombing in action
  • Employees at British Heart Foundation decorated the streets with knitted hearts
  • The yarn bombing is part of Haywards Heath Art Trail
  • The trail starts at Grape and Grain and runs down South Road and Sussex Road

While residents slept on Friday night, artists took to the streets to decorate Haywards Heath with bright colours symbolising personal messages.

However, they were not graffiti artists armed with spray cans, but charity workers with hand knitted decorations.

The ‘Yarnstorm’ is part of this year’s Haywards Heath Art Trail.

Marion Wilcock is a director. Speaking before the installation, she said: “It’s to show that street art is not just about graffiti or kids with attitude, hopefully it will make people smile and laugh.

“We’re doing it in the dark so it’s a surprise, so we won’t know what it’s going to look like until the morning!”

The decorations were put together by employees at British Heart Foundation (BHF), Haywards Heath.

“We take drab pieces of public structure and cover them in really bright colours, but we don’t know quite what it’s going to look like,” Marion said.

She helped BHF employees Teresa Bristow, manager, Tania Rodd, assistant manager and Becky Sykes, assistant, to decorate the town.

“We had a team that sat and knitted and sewed it all together,” Teresa said.

They knitted 35 blankets decorated with hearts to wrap around lampposts, railings and street signs.

Street art is not just about graffiti or kids with attitude, hopefully it will make people smile and laugh

“The team didn’t know why they were knitting hearts, they were just knitting hearts. When they asked why we said, ‘we can’t tell you’. It was good fun,” Teresa said.

“At 8.30 we went out and started hugging lampposts! We wanted to help by brightening up the town, and encourage people to look what else there is in the trail.

“We like to get involved with everything in the town,” she added.

BHF is appealing for new volunteers.

Haywards Heath Art Trail is in its third year and includes 38 installations.

Marion explained: “The idea is to put up pieces of art in shop windows throughout the town centre.”

The trail starts at Grape and Grain on Broadway, and runs down South Road and Sussex Road.

“You would have to describe it as eclectic,” Marion said.

“They are all great, and some are just funny.”

Experienced professional artists have contributed to the tour, such as Paul Badham, of Paul Badham Designs in The Orchards Shopping Centre.

Paul has crafted a ten foot metal palm tree in Victoria Park, South Road.

Exhibits have been contributed by young, up and coming artists, and an artist made famous by BBC programme Dragons’ Den.

A sculpture on the roundabout which Links South Road and Sussex Road was created by Guy Portelli.

The artist gained an £80,000 investment in his modern art, focussing on pop icons.

His Haywards Heath creation pays tribute to rock band The Who.

Guy visited Cafe Nero in Haywards Heath on Tuesday to discuss his work, and methods of making sculptures.