Giant mural by award-winning Brighton artist is unveiled at Edward Street Quarter

A giant mural inspired by Brighton’s eclectic art scene has been unveiled on the side of Brighton’s newest neighbourhood, Edward Street Quarter.

Designed by internationally celebrated artist Cosmo Sarson, the artwork named Neptune, towers over residents at ten metres high, making it one of the largest murals in the city.

Neptune looks set to become a meeting point for locals as well as a tourist attraction in its own right, as it adds to the city’s reputation for street art.

Developer Socius and Brighton and Hove City Council, in partnership with the local community, commissioned the classically trained painter to deliver this vibrant addition to Edward Street Quarter after a competitive selection process.

Community representatives, local residents, community groups and art institutions, as well the council were all involved with commissioning the piece.

A long consultation process, community workshops and several rounds of judging with representatives from local community and art groups resulted in Cosmo’s selection.

Cosmo, who lives in Brighton, said:
“The artists’ brief set by Edward Street Quarter called for a response to Brighton’s history as a fishing community and its relationship to the sea.

“I had been exploring themes of classical mythology in my own artwork and the brief tied in nicely with a Neptune idea I was already working on.

“I had been looking at classical sculpture and the ‘contrapposto’ pose I have used - where the weight is rested upon one leg - is a direct reference to that. This period of great art and sculpture depicting the nude human figure is often sexually charged and has obvious undercurrents of homoeroticism, a level of which remains in this image by design.

“Brighton is a city of sanctuary for the LGBTQ+ community and this image is a deliberate and subtle nod to that.

“I hope that this new public artwork at Edward Street Quarter finds a place in the community’s heart and proves to be an iconic and timeless addition to Brighton’s landmarks.

“I’d also like to thank my model for this painting - William Monzeer, a Brighton resident, personal fitness trainer and two times British bodybuilding champion, who is already celebrating his newfound celebrity status in Kemp Town.”
Cosmo, who lives in the nearby Brighton neighbourhood of Hanover, is known for his large-scale murals around the city, but he is also known for his oil paintings.

However, a mural on this scale in the style of an oil painting is a first for the city and Cosmo says he is delighted with the way the brushwork has translated on to the ceramic tiles, which are mounted onto laser-cut steel.

The mural has been installed on an exterior wall at Edward Street Quarter, a mixed-use development under construction on the site of the former AMEX-house site.

Neptune will join Cosmo’s latest Laughing Seagulls mural at Brighton Palace Pier which is also ten metres high and features two seagulls with human bodies in striped blue and white deckchairs, laughing and holding hands.

Steve Eccles, Director at Socius, commented:
“Neptune looks set to attract a lot of attention in Brighton and we can’t wait to hear what residents and visitors think of him.

“The brief we set was to celebrate the fact that the area was once a thriving hub for the fishing industry. This first piece is Cosmo’s fantastically creative response to the brief which helps tell this story.

“We’re looking forward to Neptune becoming one of Brighton’s many landmarks and part of the vibrant new neighbourhood we have created. Hopefully Neptune will raise some smiles along the way too.”
Edward Street Quarter also comprises 125,000 sq ft of Grade A office space, as well as 20,000 sq ft of leisure, retail and hospitality facilities. The development is being jointly developed by Socius, First Base and Patron Capital Partners.

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