Renaissance Knaresborough’s Town Windows project began with the idea of extending the popular ‘trompe l’oeil’ paintings that had appeared in Knaresborough town centre as part of FEVA, (Festival of Visual Arts).
The idea was to combine the ‘trompe l’oeil’ style of visual trickery with the ‘blind’ windows that appear on the upper floors of some of the town’s Georgian buildings. Renaissance Knaresborough put up the first artboards in 2008, all of them drew on the rich history and heritage of Knaresborough for inspiration.
Originally there were thirteen paintings on eight properties across the town, and a leaflet was produced to help residents and visitors alike to follow the Town Windows Trail, learning about Knaresborough’s history at the same time. So successful was this public art project that new windows have been added over the years, and there are now sixteen windows on ten properties.
A new Town Windows Leaflet has recently been printed and is available from the Tourist Information Office. Thanks go to Knaresborough Lions for their funding of this leaflet.
The Town Windows are in place all year round, and Renaissance Knaresborough commissions manages, maintains and insures all the artboards. Some of the earlier paintings are now in need of repair and restoration, and fundraising is underway so that this work can be carried out.
If you would like to help support this restoration work, why not consider signing up online to play the Harrogate District Local Lotto/Renaissance Knaresborough or go to ‘Local Lotto’ on this website.
Tickets are £1 each and 50p of that will go to Renaissance Knaresborough’s fundraising.
So, how did the Giraffe feature as part of Knaresborough’s Heritage? Well, Knaresborough had a zoo, founded in 1965 in the grounds of Conyngham Hall. However, the conditions became increasingly poor, and the zoo closed in 1985 after being refused a licence.
Henshaws Arts & Crafts Centre now stands on the same site, but its history is reflected in the painting of the giraffe and the zebra.