Drab scaffolding in Selby town centre has been transformed into a giant and visually stunning artwork.

Yorkshire artist Ed Kluz has painted huge 'Papilio' building wraps to bring a splash of colour to streets, including Selby's Micklegate.

The name 'Papilio' comes from Medieval Latin and means tent or butterfly, referencing the nature of the wrap which is covering the building work.

Wraps will continue to appear on scaffolding in the town centre over the coming weeks thanks to grants from Selby’s Heritage High Street Action Zone. Selby's high street is one of more than 60 in the country to receive a share of the funding.

York Press: Ed Kluz

Ed was commissioned by Selby Stories  as part of an ongoing set of cultural programmes.

Previously, Selby Stories has run 'Sing a song for Selby', in which primary school children got the opportunity to write songs about stories from the town and perform them in Selby Abbey.

The wraps have been digitally printed to look like giant, tumbling folds of cloth and the tent-like structure was inspired by the historic markets which have long been part of Selby’s history.

Creative producer and commissioner of the project, Hazel Colquhoun, said: “It’s really encouraging people to see the town centre as a place where things can happen.”

Ed said: “My starting point was to sift through the early history of the town and the Abbey at its centre.

"I wanted to identify where its spirit of place might lie and pinpoint a visual symbolism which threads through its history to the present day."

York Press: Papilio

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for culture Simon Myers said: “This is a unique piece of artwork drawing on stories relating to the origin of Selby.

"I urge people from across the county to take a look when they can – the wraps will only be there as long as the scaffolding is around the buildings so catch them while you can."


Jane Jackson from Historic England said: “We’re really pleased to be supporting this wonderful art project through the High Street Heritage Action Zone.

"Scaffolding is usually a bit of an eyesore but Ed Kluz’s vibrant wraps are transforming it into something beautiful and thought provoking.”

The second and largest of the buildings to be covered is at 67 Micklegate, while 22
Finkle Street was the first building to get the artistic treatment.  A third building will follow.

The artwork will only remain while the scaffolding is on site and will be removed once the restoration work on each building is complete.