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Meet the local West Yorkshire artist sponsored by TransPennine Express

TransPennine Express (TPE) is giving local people the chance to get to know the artist behind the newest addition to the Snowdog trail.

Chris Leaper, also known as Jesmond Cat Designs, is an illustrator who uses traditional media for his designs. He has worked on children’s books, calendars, and now his latest project the ‘Kirklees Rocket’ Snowdog.

When asked for the inspiration behind his design, Chris said:

“I wanted to pay homage to the expansive railway links that connect our borough with the rest of the UK.

“The Kirklees Rocket features a train-like construction with metal plates and rivets, similar to an old-fashioned steam locomotive”.

Organised by The Kirkwood, in partnership with Wild in Art and Snowman Enterprises Ltd, Snowdogs Support Life, Kirklees is inspired by the much-loved animated film, The Snowman™ and The Snowdog, the sequel to Raymond Briggs’ classic picture book and film The Snowman™.

When asked what motivated him to enter a design, Chris said:

“I saw the art trail as a way to push myself out of my comfort zone, this is my first attempt at painting a 3D sculpture.

“Having worked solitary for a while, I also saw this as a great opportunity to interact with and work alongside other artists and creatives.

“I’ve also previously collaborated with TPE on designing artwork for the Huddersfield station cats, Felix and Bolt. I hoped for another opportunity to create together.”

The trail will cover key calling points on the TPE network including Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Batley and Slaithwaite.

Chris added:

“My wife and I don’t drive so rail travel and the TPE services are essential to take us to our favourite places.

“I can’t wait for the trail to open and for people across the UK to have the opportunity to see what West Yorkshire has to offer!”

Snowdogs Support Life, Kirklees officially launches to the public on September 2nd and will run for eight weeks. The art trail is set to be the largest free event of its kind to ever come to West Yorkshire.