Building art can add a lot to a streetscape, providing commentary on its heritage, colour, or simply visual interest. Manchester has some real gems for those who like to seek it out.
Pixels and pineapples
The Binks Building in the Northern Quarter is home to offices and a restaurant. For those who like fruit, it also features a pineapple. A French artist who calls himself Invader has also spread his visual inspiration around Manchester in the form of pixel art, which tends to reference characters from video games such as Pac-Man. With nearly 50 to seek out, you could spend many a happy hour looking for them all.
Building art is a truly international phenomenon and the Guardian has some great examples of what artists have created in other cities around the world.
Back in Manchester, there are plenty of interesting creations. Under the bridge in Great Marlborough Street are some white discs stuck to the bricks that approximate a kind of fungal outgrowth, which is definitely quirky.
For art that is more public-oriented, try the murals at the Spring Gardens post office. These date from 1969 and really do capture the spirit of brown post-modernism.
The Northern Quarter also has a Banksy for those who are a fan of this artist’s work. It is on the electrical box on Tib Street, although it has been covered with stickers – amongst other things – and is not the easiest to see.
Others may have noticed the mosaics that comprise the LGBT heritage trail. There are 18 of these to track down.
One for the birds
Street art can also be quite sculptural. The Northern Quarter features some birds perched on metal supports that give a nod to the exotic animal shops that were once on Tib Street. They also hark back visually to Victorian construction.
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Manchester is a really interesting city, full of history, lively streets and great bars. Its collection of building art adds to the atmosphere of this thriving metropolis and provides another dimension to the heritage of this great town.