Something really extraordinary happened for my birthday this year. A very special friend organised the most amazing surprise for me and arranged for a top Brighton street artist to paint my very own angel wings. What am I talking about? Here is my Brighton angel wings story…
Los Angeles Angel Wings
For a while now I’ve had an obsession with street art angel wings. While researching our family road trip around California I read many blogs about things to do in Los Angeles. I’m a relative newbie on Instagram (you can follow me here) but do love an Insta pose, so read a few ‘best instagram spots…’ blogs. Quite a few mentioned the Collette Miller wings, and I really liked the photos of them, so I decided to seek them out myself while we were there.
Collette is a visual artist and performer who started the global Angel Wings Project in LA to ‘lift the spirits of people on the streets’. She has replicated the project around the world and in LA I visited a few locations for Collette Miller wings. They are dotted around the city and there are also some wings at the top of the OUE Skyspace tower. My main blog image is of me at the Melrose Avenue wings in Hollywood.
Here are the wings at the top of the Skyspace building in downtown LA – probably the highest angel wings in the world!
For my birthday I arranged for a group of family and friends to try out a mod-themed escape room in Brighton. We had some time to kill beforehand so my sister suggested having a walk around the North Laine street art, which is something I need no persuasion to do. I am somewhat obsessed, and have written three blogs on Brighton street art (so far!) as it is such a vibrant scene there.
It all seemed very cloak-and-dagger with them taking me on a convaluted route to Trafalgar Lane, which is a back street a short distance from Brighton station which is a favourite location for local artists.
I was busy chatting away to my friend when I looked up and saw our group had stopped, and noticed the bright pink hair of one of my best friends Jo who I wasn’t expecting to see. They were all laughing and pointing at a wall which had some beautiful wings painted on them! I was in shock as at the same time a guy who looked very much like top Brighton artist Glimmertwin 32 (aka Sean Lyons) was standing with them!
My son captured the moment on video as I reacted with shock, realising that these wings had somehow been painted in my honour!
It turns out that Jo had gathered some of my closest friends and family to club together and commission Sean to paint the wings. I was absolutely speechless as this was the most brilliant idea and an amazing present. I had been having a few down days with chemo side effects and this was the perfect way to raise my spirits, echoing the original inspiration from Collette Miller.
Once I got over the shock, we all posed in front of the wings. Here are a few of the best ones!
It turned out that Jo had organised this in the space of a week, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Jo’s husband squeezed a day’s work in a morning to allow them to drive down for the big reveal, and artist Sean had a gap in his diary to paint the wings just before we were due to arrive.
We were so lucky with the weather, which had been threatening to rain that day according to the BBC. It was as though it was meant to be, with the sun coming out just at the right time.
My younger son attempted a star jump for a great pose!
I was gutted that I hadn’t worn makeup when I first saw the wings, and my hair was a bit of a mess (and still is as I’m not allowed to bleach it) so I went back a week later for another pose! Yes, I’m deliberately wearing pink, to co-ordinate with the wings and also a nod to breast cancer awareness month, which is another happy coincidence.
Since I wrote this post many of my friends (and complete strangers!) have shared their photos with me. I’m so happy that others are enjoying them too, and hope that continues for as long as possible. The wings have also been partially covered over, by another street artist, in what seems like a poignant tribute. Whilst it’s sad that the original design has been obscured, I love that the colours are in keeping with it, and if this is a tribute to someone’s sad loss then that makes them even more meaningful. Street art is transient and I’m so happy that many of my friends had their photos taken in Trafalgar Lane, with quite a few making a special trip so that they can share the experience with me.
The photos below will always remind me of this most special present organised by one of my best friends, and the surprise will stay with me forever!
Here are the original wings in all their glory!
Please do go there and take your photo in front of the Brighton angel wings! If you post them on Instagram then use the hashtag #brightonangelwings so that I can see all the images. It will continue to cheer me up immensely!
I would like to thank the gorgeous friends who contributed to make this happen. You made me so happy, I’m absolutely overwhelmed. And Jo, who did the main organisation and managed to pull off the most extraordinary surprise – I can never thank you enough!
If you fancy your own mural then Sean travels far and wide to paint commissioned pieces, whether for businesses, or people who fancy something a bit different on a garden wall, or interior. Here is his Facebook profile if you’d like to get in touch with him.
If you are visiting the area then you may enjoy more of my posts about Brighton :
If you are planning a visit then check out the latest deals on Booking.com here, or click on the link below.
If you are visiting Brighton by car then Just Park will save you money and help you find the best places to park right in the centre of the city. You can compare parking costs in a city which can charge upwards of £5/hour if you choose the wrong car park!
To get a regular update of news and new posts I’ve written please subscribe to my mailing list. I’ll also share exclusive content and discounts and promise not to spam you!
I’m always interested in your news and ideas, so please comment below, especially if there’s something new you’d like to read about on this website.
Please support Diary Of A Detour!
You can support this website by making your online purchases via my affiliates. Doing this will earn me a small commission which goes towards the running costs of the site. I include affiliate links on most of my posts and you can see a full list here. Many may be brands you already use so please visit this page and as the list is always expanding please check back regularly. It won’t cost you anything and you will pay exactly what you would usually.