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A collaboration between a local artist, Basketball England, Brighton Council and a variety of other partners has produced the UK’s first ‘work of art’ basketball court in Brighton, on the South East Coast.
Artist Lois O’Hara has transformed the courts in Saunders Park, bringing an end to a project that saw her work with Valspar Paint, Basketball England, Project Backboard, Venice Ball, Sportserve, Dynamik Sports and the local council, to product what has instantly become one of the marquee courts in England.
Before and after. I have restored an old court in the UK, Brighton! Adding colour and movement to encourage more play! Thank you @ValsparPaintUK @Valspar_Paint @VENICEBALL @bballengland @DynamikSports @Sportserve_Ltd @emmajanepalin – more photos to come! 🌊 pic.twitter.com/aX2wguI7Mt
— Lois O'Hara (@loisoharadesign) September 8, 2018
Having contacted Project Backboard over 12 months ago to find out nothing like it had been done in the UK, it inspired O’Hara to take action.
“When I heard that, I worked hard to make it happen,” she told Hoopsfix. “It took 1 year to plan, get permission and to secure the sponsorships! It was worth the hard work.
“I brought colour and motion to the area as a way of encouraging more play. I hope the space is used in a more positive way. I believe that there should be more colour everywhere; especially where sport is concerned.”
O’Hara added she used the now world-famous Pigalle Court in Paris, France as inspiration for her work.
“I went to visit the Pigalle Court in Paris which 100% inspired me but my work is very fluid and liquid-like so I knew I wanted it to represent movement in some way. I also knew I wanted it to be colourful and positive.”
P L A Y 🏀
With the paint now set on this awesome project from @loisoharadesign, we'll be at Saunders Park, Brighton this Sunday from 11am for a free event open to all. Turn up, play some ball, get some coaching & enjoy an inspiring new outdoor court!#TogetherWeAreBasketbALL pic.twitter.com/sq8Fils4ZD
— Basketball England (@bballengland) September 13, 2018
The project, which was originally earmarked for the famous Brighton beach court before being unable to obtain permission from the council, took a year to plan and 10 days to paint, and the Valspar paint is said to last 15 years.
“The colours will remain vibrant. I just hope people respect the space, as it is for them. I’m worried about tagging as I’m protective about my work but sometimes it’s not worth stressing too much about the future!”
“The council didn’t let me do it on the beach court but it turns out that the area I did it in needed it much more anyway! It has really transformed the area.
To help fundraise for the project, Project Backboard sent balls for Lois to design and sell:
And could we see more art-inspired courts across the UK from O’Hara?
“I would love to paint more,” she exclaimed. “I’ve been asked to paint one in Sweden, Barcelona and Australia! It’s something that took so much planning, I hope the next one comes slightly easier .
The court is located at Saunders Park, Lewes Road, Brighton, BN2 4NH and there will be a special launch event this Sunday at 11am with giveaways, music, games and more.