STREET art aimed at cheering up visitors to a town centre while highlighting its history and heritage has started popping up.

Artist Paul Murray was in Darlington on Saturday as he started working in a series of art installations in the town.

The first piece – entitled "The Road to Darlo" – saw him spraying colourful signs on the pavement, based on historical names for the town.

On Sunday, he was working outside the Dolphin Centre, where he created "Darlington Cyclopedia", celebrating some of its landmarks, businesses and heritage sites.

Mr Murray, from Stockton, said: "It's been really positive so far. People have been really excited to see something happening because there's not a lot on at the moment.

"I've had a few people ask me if I'm Banksy which made me laugh.

The Northern Echo:

The Road to Darlo

"People were looking at me a bit suspiciously at first but then they were coming and asking me questions which was nice.

"I'm interested to see what people's reactions are without me being there."

The visual artist, who specialises in stencils and has previously created street art in Stockton, uses a chalk spray paint to create the pieces of art, along with a fixing agent to help it last longer.

A series of art – collectively called NowThenDarlo – is planned for all over the town centre, with new pieces set to appear every few days until the end of August.

It was commissioned by Darlington Borough Council.

Weather permitting, it is hoped all the works will last for a few weeks.

His bright primary colour scheme, as well as the use of text, was inspired by Darlington typographer and activist Alan Kitching.

All of the art will be based around parts of the town's heritage, including the Darlington and Stockton Railway.

A Pride-themed piece is also planned, which will coincide with when the Pride parade would have taken place in August.

Mr Murray added: "I didn't know a lot about some of these things about Darlington but they are all things I found really interesting. The title is a play on words, it's a colloquial term but it;s also about bringing the past and present together.

"The word heritage can turn people off but when you show it in a fun way you can engage people a little bit more."