Outdoor Gallery @ The Island Quarter

Outdoor Gallery @ The Island Quarter is an exciting initiative to showcase the creativity and talent of local artists and organisations that contribute to Nottingham’s unique identity. We wanted to give a platform to artists at every stage of their career, from established names in the industry to those just starting to explore their style.

Nottingham artist, Reiss Mallet was appointed to curate and launch the initiative, which has seen him bring the new ‘city within a city’ to life through creative projects. Reiss has overseen the delivery and installation of an outside display below the The Island Quarter plinth on London Road.

The installation consists of a frame in which sit eight large format 4ft x 8ft panels and each one has been painted by one of eight local artists who were selected from a high number of applications. Very much modern-art and abstract orientated all the pieces displayed are colourful, vibrant and characteristically very different. The overall effect lifts completely what was a drab wall into a a captivating view for the patrons, and staff, of 1 The Island Quarter bringing a large splash of life, colour and interest where there was none.

Reiss Mallet: From TIQ tagger to artist in residence

Better known as ‘Soz Mate’, Reiss has more than a decade of experience completing professional street art and will now involve the wider community in creating a vibrant site.

An artistic consultant and liaison for the Nottingham Street Art project, he has forged close ties with local, national and international street artists, graffiti artists, creatives and musicians. In Nottingham he continues to engage with a vast network of creatives and has delivered projects for Mimm, Hockley.

“Nottingham has a vibrant street art scene and for this to be welcomed at The Island Quarter will truly transform the potential for artists in Nottingham and beyond.”

From opening a graffiti shop in Sheffield to creating a magazine, 50 Shades of Spray, which was received across the world by the likes of the Rockerfeller Building and Apple offices, Reiss has worked on a range of projects, with The Island Quarter marking his biggest site yet. While his personal style includes a lot of shape and form themed around togetherness, visitors to the site can expect a variety of styles from local artists as Reiss will work with the community to give others a platform.

Having first become aware of The Island Quarter when he ‘tagged’ his signature along the site’s hoardings in 2020, Reiss has gone on to make a far bigger mark than he initially expected. As artist in residence, Reiss will utilise his industry connections from a lifetime invested in the art world and oversee all art projects on the site, acting as a consultant for projects such as murals and hoarding designs.

“I want to use this unique position to give others in the street art community the chance to contribute something to Nottingham’s largest development, and a city they love.”

Embracing street art at The Island Quarter with an Outdoor Gallery

The nine-panel display (including the intro and QR code panel) beneath The Plinth overlooks the Nottingham Canal and faces 1 The Island Quarter, creating a point of interest for restaurant and party-goers at Binks Yard and Cleaver & Wake.

The eight successful artists that have submitted this first round of panel displays have really hit the brief and each one is for sale and there has been considerable interest with one already sold. It is difficult to underestimate the improvement on the canal side with this innovative and impactful union between a large property business and the local cultural street-based artists for the enjoyment of all canal users and visitors to The Island Quarter.

The artists

Alex Rubes

Alex Rubes is a Nottingham based artist who mostly works with spray paint in public spaces, painting styles are often bold, pattern based with themes of the natural world.

He has been involved in many festivals and projects in the past 30 years and has been lucky to work in several European countries, he has worked on projects as far away as Cambodia and Thailand.

In Nottingham he has been involved in several large-scale murals, most notably on Fletcher Gate on the edge of the Lace Market in the city and on Church Drive in Arnold.

In 2018 for the cities Light Night Festival, his animated geometrical designs with foxes, badgers and mushrooms were projected onto the entire front side of the Town Hall in the city centre.

With this recent project with The Island Quarter he wanted to work on a nature theme that reflected the city and a peregrine falcon was perfect, a contrast of urban and nature which is actually a common occurrence in his paintings.


Is a self-taught illustrator and loves all things abstract, surreal and make believe; nature is her biggest inspiration and is important to her in her work.

Becca’s panel for The Island Quarter shows a bunch of unlikely animal friends sitting down for breakfast, a looming city in the background, polluting the air. Becca’s hope with this piece is to provoke change with the way we impact the environment. The way we treat the natural world has an adverse effect on the creatures who live in it, who are just like us really.

Colette Rogers

Colette Rogers is a Nottingham based artist and a contemporary abstract painter.

After graduating from Nottingham Trent she has stayed in the city, studying jewellery and continuing to paint. Using charcoal and gesso on canvas as her materials, Colette interrogates the abstracted shapes her body can make when pushed to its limits. Her work takes on structural forms. The textures of brutalist buildings – smooth yet rough gives Colette’s ideas about mark-making and honesty in her paintings. Her work is heavily influenced by her womanhood and relationship to domesticity.

Given the location of the painting site, Colette felt as though the mark making should be really smooth, reflecting the fluidity of the water. Circular gestures and blue hues are a stark contrast of the surrounding buildings, but brings out the brightness and ripples of the water. She wanted for there to be an ebb and flow between painting and the water, a connection to the surrounding environment.

Kynobi & Zena Kay

Kynobi and Zena are a couple living and working in Nottingham, and both have their own freelance art practices. They illustrate, paint murals and make artwork separately, but when the opportunity to work on projects together comes they love it. Their work together usually focuses on bright, playful and colourful shapes, and they both try to bring different things from their own practices and use these projects as a chance to be playful and enjoy the time working together.

The couple used bright colours and bold shapes on this panel so people could enjoy it from the other side of the canal as well as being a splash of colour when walking close to it. The whole process was pretty organic, taking it in turns to add shapes which ended up feeling quite loose and winding, a little like the canal itself. They wanted to avoid over complicating it or have it represent anything in particular, just something to hopefully be enjoyed and add a little colour to people’s days.

Laura Decorum

Laura is a multi disciplinary painter who lives and paints in and around Nottingham and surrounding areas.

Laura has been commissioned to paint murals in listed buildings, honed her craft, you’ll even find a photo of her up in the gallery in Nottingham Castle.

She has lead creative activities and facilitated workshops for Nottingham City Council, New Arts Exchange, Goldhill Adventure Playground, Bullwell Toy Library, Mencap and Equation to name but a few.

Blue woman is a concept piece from a series of Afro futuristic abstract portraits by Laura Decorum.  With a nod to art deco, filagree and folk boat painting.

Laura has created a dominant, strong and feminine woman with embellished fine details in true contradictory form the embodiment of vintage antiquity with a futuristic form.

Nicholas Wright

Nicholas Wright has been a professional artist for over twenty years graduating from first Swindon college of art and design with a traditional illustration H.N.D and then taking a degree from Nottingham Trent University in graphic design. He has worked internationally in many capacities including representing England in fine art shows all over Europe as well as working on commissions in both traditional media as well as commissions in installation art and digital media.  He has also worked for blue chip clients on illustration projects.

This large-scale drawing is part of a series based on the Latin phrase “Memento Mori” in English this translates to “Remember you must die”.  It was used for years as part of Roman Triumphs where a slave would be employed to stand behind the Triumphant General and remind them of their mortality.

This classical trope in art has continued throughout the whole of the western tradition, often this concept could be simply invoked with just a skull or some bones in a painting. However, Nicholas wanted to modernise it for today’s audience. So within his “Memento Mori” Nicholas has included more modern symbols of decay, destruction, death and sometimes elements of modern technology. Hinting at our modern cultures throw away attitude to nature, as it is all framed in flowers and leaves.

Reggie Pugh & Gina Harries Pugh

Reggie Pugh

Followed a career in graphic design, typography and illustration after graduating in creative arts from Trent University. Moved into the role of art director for Boots and then creative director for a large greeting card publisher responsible for art direction and range development. Began life as a freelancer in 2020 and became @windowwomanrp (on instagram), creating art for the high street on windows, walls and interiors. Enjoys working in a variety of styles, collage, inks and watercolour.

Gina Harries Pugh

A graduate in fine art from Sheffield Hallam University. Worked as a teacher in early years and held the role as arts coordinator responsible for fully implementing and delivering the schools arts curriculum. Since retiring from teaching, Gina has been developing a new body of work, exploring the nature of lost and found layers within a painting.

Reggie and Gina worked together to create a piece of art that responded to the natural foliage of the canal bank but in a graphic way that was bold and very visible from across the water. The simplified shapes also connect the art to the cells within the plants.


Ruby is a Nottingham born artist that graduated from Liverpool John Moores University Summer 2023.  Her work explores connection with environment, often through organic sculptural works and the use of found materials. Language has a central role in Ruby’s practice, she often plays with the idea of language expressed as a physicality through mapping and webbing in her works.  She consistently encodes hidden messages into her practice, in turn, investigating the relationship between art, viewer and space beyond canvas level.

The inspiration for Ruby’s panel delves into the archives of Nottingham history.  The piece is an ode to the rich textiles legacy of the city, which was the hub of the British lace industry in the 19th century.  The text is a direct translation from lyrics sung by immigrant workers of the time.  In the current era of fast fashion, this piece celebrate the intricacies of our textile history and the forgotten voices of those behind the stitching.

This panel has been sold.

The artist panels are for sale, if you are interested, please contact [email protected] for further information.

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