A graffiti artist has painted a mural depicting the history of the community to make the people living there happier.
Tony Kelzo’s, or Kelzo as he’s also known, latest project takes him to Collyhurst where he has transformed a canvas of dull shop front shutters and barbed wire topped walls into a piece of artwork for Salford residents to enjoy.
Kelzo said: “There are a lot of changes going on in society, in regeneration programmes, a lot of demolition, a lot of working class areas have lost everything that they had community pubs, community buildings, community hubs. If I can do anything to help then that’s amazing.
“Metal shutters are horrible, they look brutal in their design, they need softening up on the eye with lots of colour. Every metal shutter in front of every shop should be painted to match the environment”
Kelzo took on this graffiti project because he wants the local community to “smile and to be proud of something”
He said: “It’s really important to me that the people love it and they do, we’ve already had an amazing response towards it”.
The public’s reception to the artwork has been positive, even inspiring local shop owners to cook him meals to show their gratitude.
The co-owner of Kylies Kitchen, Shyanne Leach, said: “We’ve brought him lunch yesterday and we’ve brought him lunch today because he’s done this for us, its all about giving back. If we all picked each other up instead of pushing each other down then it would be all love”
Giving back to the community has been a theme throughout Kelzo’s career. In 2016 he revamped the Kersal Flood Basin in Castle Irwell into a homage to the surrounding natural area.
Kelzo is motivated by the affinity he has with Manchester and Salford, and the people who live there.
He said “I’ve lived in Salford for many years, I like the Salford people and the working classes because I am one and they’re funny. If we live in a society when they’re not around, which in some ways they aren’t it can become quite boring.”
Though his work has taken him all over the globe, Kelzo hopes to leave his mark on the city which inspires him for many years to come.