Manchester street art – January 2022

Eight weeks after my last daytime wander round Manchester’s Northern Quarter, two days ago I made my first visit of this year to see what was new in the world of street art. Initially following my usual well-trodden route from Victoria Station my first stop was Salmon Street but the three walls often used for advertising had all been painted white or plain grey, obviously waiting for some new artwork. In Edge Street the picture of a real fox in the window of Yard & Coop chicken restaurant had been replaced by a cartoon-type fox, then round in Thomas Street the hoardings surrounding a vacant plot of land had some new funky artwork and an excellent portrait by an artist I haven’t come across in Manchester before.
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Artist – Olivierr
The hoardings on the other side of the vacant plot had some new stuff with one mural obviously being left over from Christmas, and in a corner I found a shutter with some cleverly done artwork looking like different layers of paper which had been partially torn off. Just off Stevenson Square was a business premises with some funky window decorations (in truth they’ve been there quite a while, I just haven’t photographed them before now) and round the corner I found one of Liam Bononi’s distinctive artworks which I know is definitely new. Unfortunately the bottom of it was marred by a pile of very full bin bags but I managed to get most of it in the shot.
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Artist – Liam Bononi
In spite of the dull morning Stevenson Square was looking very colourful with its recent makeover. The Christmas-themed artworks had been replaced with funky patterns and bright colours though I was glad to see that the procession of cute dogs, with a change of background, was still running along the wall of the old public toilet block in the centre of the square.
Stevenson Square on a dull Sunday morning
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Away from the square my feet took me through the streets towards the canal and I ended up at the far side of Piccadilly Basin where I came across an artwork I wouldn’t otherwise have found. Property investor TCS, owners of several office and residential developments around the basin, commissioned the artwork last year to enhance the up-and-coming area and it was created by four well known Manchester artists including Qubek and Tank Petrol. Inspired by the flora and fauna around the Rochdale Canal the four artists were given an open brief to use their own creative flair and the mural was completed in four days.
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Back in the NQ proper I continued my wander and down a narrow back alley I discovered two exotic looking young ladies, one either side of a shuttered up narrow doorway. They had obviously been there for some time but they were still good enough to take a photo of. On the side wall of a hot dog shack and bar was a hot dog with big boots and a toothy grin and across the street a rather ambiguous design on a shutter. I couldn’t make out what it was supposed to be but I liked it as it’s red, my favourite colour.
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Finally, the main reason for my visit to Manchester. Before Christmas I’d found out that Qubek had put a Christmas-themed artwork on a shutter in Hilton Street; it looked so cute I just had to get a photo of it but up to now haven’t had the opportunity so I was just hoping that it hadn’t been painted over. I was in luck, it was still there, but unfortunately workmen had put some barriers in front of it so I couldn’t get the full shot, however one of the workmen was nearby so I asked very nicely and he moved a couple of the barriers to one side momentarily so I could get an uninterrupted shot of the main part of it.
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According to the artist it’s a chihuahua ”spaced out on tequila and magic mushrooms taking itself for a walk through time and space”. It’s a shame I couldn’t get the whole artwork in one shot and it probably won’t be there when I go to Manchester again, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it is and there are no barriers in front of it to spoil the shot.

21 thoughts on “Manchester street art – January 2022

  1. I love your picture of Stevenson Square showing the art in context. Close-up I prefer realism in the paintings but seeing them as a streetscape the graphic work looks fabulous.

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    1. I don’t usually photograph Stevenson Square in general as some of the buildings at one end aren’t exactly photogenic but as both yourself and Eileen like this shot it’s given me something to think about 🙂

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  2. I really like the birds, and the chihuahua of course. It seems there’s always something new to see whenever you make a trip to Manchester.

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    1. Finding the mural with the birds was quite a surprise as I wouldn’t normally go to that particular area. The chihuahua was so cute I just had to get a photo of it 🙂

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  3. I love the parade of dogs more than the last time you photographed it and that’s definitely a Tillyalike in there. The flowers are lovely and sunny and I agree with Jayne about seeing Stevenson Square which puts the artworks in context.

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  4. The parade of dogs looks great with a different background, I hope it stays for a while but nothing’s permanent where street art is concerned. Another vote for the Stevenson Square shot so I may very well include others in the future 🙂

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    1. There’s some great art work here Kate and I like that the street art scene is an ever-changing one, meaning there is often something new to discover in places where I may have been only a couple of weeks before 🙂

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  5. I absolutely loved this Eunice. There are some absolute crackers here, and I’m so pleased to see that Manchester has embraced some great wall art to brighten up the streets. These murals aren’t graffiti, but public works of art that cost the public nothing. I can’t see anything offensive about these artistic gems whatsoever. Great post!

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  6. I’m pleased you liked it Malc. There’s a big difference between street art and (mindless) graffiti and these artworks definitely fall into the first category. I think every town should have some street art where it’s appropriate 🙂

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    1. Just as a Heads up Eunice, I’m not getting notification of your replies. I’ve ‘checked my settings and they seem ok, and I only appear to be getting these problems with you for some reason. Sorry!

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      1. Thanks for that Malc, I can honestly say I have no idea why you have this problem. I haven’t changed my own settings or anything else, in fact I haven’t changed anything about the blog since I first set it up – I’ve checked through and everything is the same as always so I can only assume that maybe the fault lies with WordPress itself, in which case there’s nothing I can do. I don’t know if following me by email would make any difference to getting notifications of my comment replies but maybe you could try it?

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  7. I’m alway impressed by the Manchester artwork & can’t believe it doesn’t get vandalised with other graffiti by stupid people. I enjoy seeing it & thinking of my grandmother & what she’d have made of it as a child. Loved the dogs & the orange/white on reminded me of a quilt in progress.
    Thanks for sharing & taking such great photos. Take care & hugs.

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    1. I’m pleased you like the photos Susan. I think the dogs are great, that’s definitely a mural to make people smile. There was originally a bus stop where the orange and pale pink design is on the road but in May/June 2020 Stevenson Square was pedestrianised and the bus shelter was removed. The pedestrianisation is only supposed to be temporary for as long as Covid restrictions last but it’s proved to be so popular that it might be made permanent.

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    1. Thank you for your comment Tony, and welcome to the Mouse House. I’ve been photographing street art for almost three years now and regularly go to Manchester – even when I think I’ve seen it all I usually find something new somewhere.

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