Street art project aims to transform Yorkshire city and restore a sense of pride

Artists are looking to transform run-down areas of Bradford with street art and restore a sense of pride in the city.

Adam Greasley's 'Yes Mush' mural outside Bradford Forster Square, Jameson Rogan's ‘Our City’ mural on Hamme Strasse and his 'Welcome Home Sexy' painting outside Bradford Interchange
Adam Greasley's 'Yes Mush' mural outside Bradford Forster Square, Jameson Rogan's ‘Our City’ mural on Hamme Strasse and his 'Welcome Home Sexy' painting outside Bradford Interchange

They have completed 15 pieces of art around Bradford this year, which were designed to celebrate the city’s unique culture, after the team behind the bid to make Bradford the 2025 City of Culture agreed to provide funding.

They include Adam Greasley's 'Yes Mush' mural outside Bradford Forster Square, poetry on vinyl floor stickers around City Park and Alhambra Theatre, Jameson Rogan's 'Welcome Home Sexy' painting outside Bradford Interchange and his ‘Our City’ mural on Hamme Strasse.

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An artist known as Stewy has also painted murals depicting local heroes around the district, including Barry Roots in John Street, Cess Podd in North Parade, and Captain Sir Tom Moore in Low Street, Keighley.

Local artist Martyn Johnston, who coordinated the project, said: “We wanted to spark interest in taking creative ownership of our streets.

“With ‘Yes Mush’, I see people taking photos next to it because it speaks to people from the local area - it resonates culturally. Bradford has a very distinctive way about it.

“And with ‘Welcome Home Sexy’, many people remember it because it was scrawled on a wall as you come out of Bradford Interchange train station.”

He added: “We want people to feel pride and joy when they come across them and it’s linked to Bradford 2025, which is all about articulating Bradford’s cultural narrative.

“Street art is quite an effective medium to convey Bradford’s Bradfordness.”

Mr Johnston, who commissioned the first mural and has invested his own money in the project, is exploring ideas for more murals in the city and is hoping to inspire other artists to create their own.

He said: “There's plenty more up our sleeve; plenty more ideas and plenty more walls.”

May McQuade, a programme coordinator for Bradford 2025, said: “We want Bradford to see itself as a district that is different, that is creative, that is welcoming.

“Street art can be a really obvious and accessible way of showing the creativity of the district.”

She added: “Supporting local artists is really, really important to us and we've done that, as well as supporting young people to help with the designs. But we also want to be a host city where artists, nationally and internationally can enjoy coming to paint and think of ideas.”

The Bradford 2025 team is due to announce another 12 commissions for artwork in the city in November.

There are 20 places from across the UK which have submitted an expression of interest to become the 2025 city of culture and the winner is due to be announced next year.