A SPECTACULAR mural depicting a Celtic-Roman god of war has slowly been taking shape on Carlisle's West Walls.

Last week world renown Aussie graffiti artist Smug, based in Glasgow, spent a number of days working on a modern imagining of the deity Belatucadros, on part of the former Peter Tyson electrical store.

The ancient god was worshipped by lower rank Roman officers and the indigenous Celtic population of Cumberland back when England was a province of the Roman Empire.

Smug is known for his photo realism and creating images using nothing but spray cans.

The artist, otherwise known as Sam Bates, doesn't give interviews, however Ben Heslop from Carlisle's Landmark Street Art was on hand to offer an explanation.

On Friday Ben, whose city centre gallery was behind the project, said: "He was a god of war and there is lots of inscriptions on Hadrian's Wall about this god.

"This is Smug's interpretation of it.

"So far he's been on the project for about four days but I think he'll be here a couple more days.

"He may have to go-away and come back because of the weather.

"Smug is regarded as one of the world leading big wall portraiture artists, he paints walls all over the world.

"I think there is a real power in bringing a cultural experience to a community and it is important to think about how people would react to their surroundings especially in this time of Covid and the decreasing role of the high street.

"In this city art and culture can be quite insular and bringing it into the street transcends the barrier, people are able to get interested in art in all its forms."

Speaking about Smug's decision to work in Carlisle he said: "I suppose one of the good things of Covid was that Smug was doing lots of studio work at home and we had stayed in touch."

The gallery have a number of projects in the pipeline which are currently under wraps including one called Black Wall Assassins which will be about cultural experiences in Carlisle.