The label joined forces with collage artist Jazz Grant on the Manchester artwork
It’s safe to say that Marcus Rashford is by far one of the most influential people of this year. His spirited attempts to spark change touched the lives of many – be it through making sure kids were fed in the school holidays when the Tories were dead set on leaving them to starve, or encouraging them to get lost in a book. So much so that last month, Burberry announced a new partnership with him, joining forces to provide free meals and support youth organisations across the world.
Now, in a bid to celebrate the footballer’s inspirational work throughout the year – and the fact he pretty much saved 2020 – the British luxury brand has teamed up with collage artist Jazz Grant to create a mural in his honour.
With the new artwork located in the Northern District in Manchester, Rashford’s hometown, Grant explains: “It was all about creating something uplifting, positive, and dynamic with a sense of community and supporting the youth. I wanted it to feel really exciting but also to have subtle textures and tones, essences of its immediate surroundings so that in a way it blended into its environment.”
Working collaboratively, Burberry chose some of Grant’s images they loved as a starting point. From there, she combined three quintessentially Burberry sample fabrics, studio images of Rashford shot by Rafael Pavarotti, and a selection of baby photos provided by his family. The process then saw Grant create hundreds of collages until she found a version that felt right.
Despite her expert eye and ability to create the perfect collages, as seen earlier this year on her AW20 Dazed cover, this was the first time Grant created artwork for an outside environment, meaning she had to consider many things she had never thought about before such as building shapes, pipes, and doors. “It was amazing and really bizarre”, she told us about the process. “I had mapped out a scaled-down version of the building on my studio wall, every so often I would stick some of the collages into it and suddenly got a sense of how enormous it was going to be. For a collage to be painted is also really interesting.”
Unveiled in Manchester today, Grant hopes “it feels uplifting and brings a smile to the people who see it.” The finished work depicts Rashford at various points in his life and symbolises how one person can act as a beacon of hope and inspire change across the country.