VISITORS to Middlesbrough town centre may have noticed a piece of giant lace “public jewellery” adorning part of the A66.

The town recently played host to an installation by Polish artist NeSpoon on the Wilson Street underpass which links the end of Linthorpe Road to Middlesbrough Train Station.

Middlesbrough Council worked with local curator Nicky Peacock to bring the project to life.

With additional funding from Arts Council England, NeSpoon and collaborator Maniac – a fellow street artist from Warsaw – were in Middlesbrough from October 26-29 creating their work.

NeSpoon combines lace-making, ceramics and street art and refers to her art as “public jewellery”, specifically by turning unadorned spaces into something pleasing on the eye.

Cllr Lewis Young, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “As set out in the Mayor’s Vision for Middlesbrough, we want to further develop our town and wider city region as a cultural hub.

“While we already have great galleries which bring people to art, street art projects are an easy, but effective, way of bringing art to people.

“This installation is a great way of getting people to look at something, such as a functional structure like the A66, in a different way.”

Curator Nicky Peacock added: “Street art is a really impactful artform but often very misunderstood and under-appreciated. It reaches millions of people who wouldn’t necessarily engage with art and can be a positive force for social change.

“I chose NeSpoon because I think her style is beautiful and thoughtful and she stands out as a powerful female artist in a predominantly male environment.

“NeSpoon’s work is influenced by the patterns in lace and the origins of lace are preindustrial, going back to the 15 th century.

“Lacemaking was largely a female practice which enabled women to contribute to the household income and grow their independence – so it’s a very interesting historical practice.”

The site of the A66 flyover underpass was chosen as it is seen by many people coming in and out of the town via the train station.

During their stay NeSpoon and Maniac visited local arts organisation Navigator North for a presentation to artists from across the region.

Their underpass design will also feature as a colour-in and cut-out bridge which will be available for young people via mima’s daily art trolley.