Street artist follows up June Brown mural with Ali creation in Ipswich

Gnasher created the mural of boxer Muhammad Ali at Ipswich Trade Centre.

Street artist Gnasher travelled up to Ipswich for the first time to create the mural of boxer Muhammad Ali at Ipswich Trade Centre. - Credit: Archant

A striking mural of Muhammad Ali is set to become the "talking point" at an Ipswich workwear and PPE supplier. 

Ipswich Trade Centre has spent three months working with street artist Dave Nash, who is known as Gnasher, to come up with a design to fill the 40sq m wall in its Farthing Road base. 

After a poll between designing a mural of Muhammad Ali or Tyson Fury, the street artist made his first visit to Ipswich on Tuesday to complete the work in a day. 

Ipswich Trade Centre sales manager Jason Norton and director Paul Sheppard with street artist Gnasher.

Ipswich Trade Centre sales manager Jason Norton and director Paul Sheppard with street artist Gnasher. - Credit: Archant

Gnasher made regional and national headlines with his artwork in tribute to EastEnders legend June Brown, following her death earlier this month aged 95.

Starting at 7am on Thursday morning, he put down his spray can shortly before 4pm, having drawn the mural completely freehand alongside a quote from the boxer which reads, "If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it - then I can achieve it." 

Paul Sheppard, co-owner of Ipswich Trade Centre, said: "We approached him over Instagram, we had seen his work on social media about whether he could do some wall art and he said yes much to our surprise. It has been three months of planning. 

Ipswich Trade Centre sales manager Jason Norton and director Paul Sheppard with street artist Gnasher.

Ipswich Trade Centre sales manager Jason Norton and director Paul Sheppard with street artist Gnasher. - Credit: Archant

"Muhammad Ali was the first we thought of, then we considered Tyson Fury."

The business helps manufacture kit for professional boxer, and former Chantry High School student, Fabio Wardley.

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Mr Sheppard added: "We support many local people but one of them is Fabio Wardley and we are big boxing fans. 

"Myself and my business partner, we are business drivers and the quote 'if my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it', that's how we work.

"Those words can apply to all walks of life." 

Gnasher completed the mural in one day, working from 7am to 4pm. 

Gnasher completed the mural in one day, working from 7am to 4pm. - Credit: Archant

On April 6, Gnasher created a tribute to June Brown, who played the much-loved Dot Cotton on EastEnders for more than 30 years. 

Artist Gnasher paid tribute to EastEnders' star June Brown with a mural in Romford

Artist Gnasher paid tribute to EastEnders' star June Brown with a mural in Romford - Credit: Gnasher

The actress was born in Needham Market and was educated at St John's Church of England School and Ipswich High School.

There had been talks of painting a mural for the actress since last October but after getting in touch with the BBC and EastEnders, an installation was created in the underpass outside Elstree Studios with a number of characters from the soap.

Gnasher said: "The whole idea was to have her on her own wall. When she passed away, I said 'someone find me a wall' and they did in Romford and the next day I was painting."