Street Art in the City


We recently set up a (slow burning) twitter account and blog extolling the virtues of street art in Leeds. Needless to say we were instantly approached by the eagled-eyed Culture Vulture about our passions, inspirations, motivations and everything else in between.

Being lovers of all things playful (loose code, for slightly out of bounds) street art naturally appeals to us. From the world famous likes of Banksy and Ben Eine to the secret hidden gems from unknown artists and illustrators who left their mark to you smile, we love them all even the ones that aren’t really our cup of tea.

The thing about street art is that it can be, and is anything you like. It’s completely un-curated and unsanctioned. As much as we love the galleries and museums, and certainly wouldn’t be without them, they are the playground of the few who are considered worthy. Sure anyone can go and visit and look, comment and discuss but few can genuinely participate. The curation of exhibits is decreed by a few who, whilst very knowledgeable and skilled in their field, could never reflect all of the complex likes, fears, emotions, politics and passions of the many. Pleasing them all is neither their talent nor their remit.

Cowboys and Indians

This is why we love street art and think it has a bigger part to play in Leeds. Nobody sanctions it, often people are against it, but it carries on regardless. It’s a moment in time, it might be gone tomorrow but nobody is precious about that. That sticker, that poster, that lovely piece of urban gardening, all had their day and those who saw it appreciated it.

Streeterarti follow lots of blogs, tweets and Facebook pages the likes of Street Art London, constantly posting and sharing work from across the world. But we also started to notice new artists, collaborations and creative people showing their work across Leeds and nobody seemed to be shouting about and sharing this anywhere. Being nosy inspired us to set up the Streeterarti blog to try to document street art in the city, it’s not a way of curating what’s out there, just sharing it and hoping to develop the same love for this art form that other art forms in the city enjoy.

I love CCTV

The Leeds inferiority complex has been discussed many places and many times. What this debate always leads back to, is the people. Street art puts a stamp on the city that shouts louder than any branding exercise and Leeds is starting to embrace it in all its guises. One of our main passions with street art is that you don’t actually have to be an awesome artist to do it (although this helps). We’ve seen yarn bombing with dropped stitches that still looked beautiful and spontaneous seed bombs that sprouted three feet apart, or huge installations that lasted a day or a week and became soiled and grubby, but still made us look again.

Over the last twelve months we’ve found everything from tales of the wild west played out in stickers along the banks of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal by unknown illustrators, to fluorescent wool adorning the grates of Holbeck thanks to new collective VEF. This is the spirit of the Leeds people that normally comes out to play at Light Night or other city festivals but is there year round if you look for it – which is exactly what we aim to do.

Streeterarti plans to do the leg (and camera) work bringing snippets of amusement to your daily life and showing the widest range of creative talent at street level. We’re pretty new at this but thought we’d give it a go. We’ve got no preference for form or function, just a nosy interest in street art. We’d like to meet the artists as well as showcase the work and find out what inspires people to take the streets for themselves. From time to time we might post up things we found in other cities just because they’re worth sharing but generally our focus will be Leeds.

So if you see anything you like on your travels, take a picture and pass it on to streeterarti{at} We’d love to know what’s out there.


  1. Love this. Here’s hoping to see a proliferation of street art throughout Leeds, it imbues a city with such life, and a sense of playfulness.

    Keep fighting the good fight… And planting your delighters city-wide!

  2. Thanks for your comments Rich, we’re pleased to see others loving the street art scene too 🙂

    Although it appears there’s some way to go before people stop seeing street art as vandalism. Some less than impressed comments over on our blog:

    That said it’s nice to see some debate on the subject rather than it just going unnoticed. Thanks for the opportunity Culture Vultures!

  3. Having lived in some of the cities you talk about here I am with you 100%. I would spend hours walking around Barcelona checking out the art on shutter doors, abandoned train carriages and on the side of creative buildings. It makes any city so much more interesting.

    I hope for an explosion of street art in Leeds. It can really help to animate and set a tone when walking around a city. Once the people already involved in that type of art have started to showcase their work you will get more and more people not currently involved in the scene coming forward and putting their stamp on places around the city.

    I understand there will be some concerns about certain buildings and places being tagged but if people are encouraged to use the right spaces generally that will not become too much of a problem. Do we want to continue being vanilla? Or do we want to encourage creativity? If it is the latter you have to take some risks and open yourself up sometimes!

  4. I love street art, it’s definitely something makes me smile and feel connection to people.
    As a foreigner, I’m pleasantly surprised by so many things in Leeds when I first arrived. Since time goes by, you can’t help getting used to it. So I’m very happy the other day I saw 3 graffitis on the sidewalk of Parkrow. Though it was gone the next day, it still brought me joy!

    I posted the pictures of 3 graffitis on my fanpage UK Observing Diary, which you can see it here:

    It got 574 likes as the result. 😉

  5. I adore playful and beautiful street art. Like a green shoot in the grey. However, Im not 100% sure that street art or street artists need a central supporting website? It seems to take away from the serendipity and magic in some way to me. Maybe they do.

    I challenge anyone dislike how this great street artists used light:

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