Some might say it’s not cricket but it’s a project that’s helped combat graffiti and anti-social behaviour in Honley.
The Honley Open Gallery runs along the back of the century-old Honley Cricket Club pavilion and it’s a wall for street artists to showcase their talents.
From the front, the pavilion and cricket field makes for as traditional a scene as you’re ever likely to see, with the Huddersfield Cricket League season set to start on Saturday.
But go round the back into what is Honley football field and rec and you’ll find an uber-cool urban street art gallery.
Honley Open Galley was an initiative set up by local police and Kirklees Council youth leaders in 2012. It was ‘managed’ by street artist Gareth Lewis who still runs it today.
Anyone can book in to spray paint a panel and create a piece of art on a substantial scale.
The latest artwork includes a stunning – if sinister-looking – clown. Art, however, is always subjective.
Clr Charles Greaves (Ind, Holme Valley North) said originally the project had been a gamble but it was one that had paid off.
“There was a problem with graffiti and anti-social behaviour and we took a punt and it’s worked really well,” said Clr Greaves.
“It’s an urban gallery where anyone can go and create some art as long as they have asked permission first.
“There were lots of predictable concerns at first, of course, and there was a lot of ‘let’s suck it and see.’
“Over the years we’ve only had three complaints from people who don’t like the idea and we’ve only had one complaint about the content.
“We ask the artists to remember it’s a public space surrounded by housing and it’s a place for kids. We can handle dark just nothing too grotesque.
“We once had a hanging meerkat and we were all racking our brains to work out what it meant. Was it a reference to Compare the Market and rampant consumerism, was it a socio-political comment?
“It turned out to be none of those things. The artist said everyone loves meerkats but they didn’t and that was it! It was just something provocative.”