Duffield artist creates amazing mural to celebrate Derby's rich music and football culture in the 90s

Duffield artist Iona Rowland.
Duffield artist Iona Rowland.

A Duffield artist has created an immersive six metre-wide mural to celebrate Derby’s rich music, art and football culture throughout the 90s.

The vibrant artwork, designed by Iona Rowland, which comprises of multiple layers of oil paint, spray paint and silk-screen prints, was commissioned by Derby County Football Club and Umbro to mark the launch of the club’s new football kit.

Iona has employed cut and paste methods used in early hip-hop music to juxtapose visual debris from the city’s diverse music scene with iconic moments from Derby County matches.
The artwork forefronts Simon ‘Bassline’ Smith, part of British electronic production group Drumsound & Bassline Smith. Founded in Derby in the mid-90s, the group were prolific in writing dub plates and DJing at the city’s ‘Technique’ nightclub.

Iona said: “The image of Bassline Smith has been silk screen-printed multiple times using a large benday dot. The dots are overlaid and misaligned to create the illusion of three dimensions so that when you stand in front of the mural it appears to move. Much like going to a drum and bass night or a football match, it’s experiential and immersive.”

In the centre of the mural, silk screen prints of musician and Derby County fan Niall Horan begin to metamorphose into one another, shifting between 2D and 3D - something the artist says will ‘feel cinematic for the viewers’. Adjacent to Niall is Iona’s depiction of Paulo Wanchope’s 1997 wonder goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford, realised in oil and spray paint.

Also featured is the ‘Progress’ nightclub logo which has been screen-printed onto the artwork using the Iona’s signature ‘freestyle’ technique. During the 1990’s, ‘Progress’ helped Derby become well-known for house music and was innovative in its use of live musicians and resident DJs.

Iona Rowland's design can be seen on the Morley Hayes South Stand walkway at Pride Park.

Iona Rowland's design can be seen on the Morley Hayes South Stand walkway at Pride Park.

The background of the painting gives a nod to one man band ‘White Town’ with a solarized, hand-rendered film still from his number one hit ‘Your Woman’, released in 1997, the video for which was filmed in Derby.

Discussing the personal significance of the project, Iona said: “It’s an incredibly special project for me, partly because it’s on home turf, and also because my grandad, Brian Fairholme, was the biggest Derby County fan. “

She added: “I’d like to dedicate it to him.”

View the mural at the revamped Morley Hayes South Stand walkway at Pride Park.

Iona has dedicated the design to her granddad, who was a big Derby County fan.

Iona has dedicated the design to her granddad, who was a big Derby County fan.