Leeds Waterfront Art Trail
22nd October 2020
The streets of Leeds have an ever-growing collection of art adorning its walls, brightening up spaces across the city. In particular, the area around the waterfront has seen many a piece pop up in recent years, adding character to the already striking backdrop of the city’s river and canal. This trail takes you from one of Leeds’ most-recognised murals, through to some of our hidden gems, all whilst guiding you on a scenic waterfront tour.
Athena Rising by Nomad Clan
Nomad Clan completed ‘Athena Rising’, officially the UK’s tallest mural in the summer of 2017.
The huge statement piece soars a monumental 46.8 metres (153 feet) from the ground. Using the full length of the building as its canvas, the striking 11 metre-wide mural was part of the citywide street art project ‘A City Less Grey’, initiated by East Street Arts and fully funded by LeedsBID (Leeds Business Improvement District). The mural towers over the train station and is instantly recognisable to the thousands of commuters coming and going from the city every day.
Leeds Wall by Artworks Creative Communities
Funded by the waterfront enhancement fund, the Leeds Wall is designed to be a dynamic, changing piece of street art that will evolve over time to reflect different seasons and events in the City. Established in 2019, the Wall has already attracted positive attention on social media from runners and walkers who go along the canal regularly.
As you pass Sovereign Square, be sure to look to your left for an alternative view of Athena Rising
Paving the Way by Akse P19
Leeds United and Roc Nation paired up to deliver this mural on the Calls in the heart of Leeds, painted by Akse P19. The mural proudly honours the football club’s diverse heritage, featuring players Albert Johanneson: South African winger and the first high profile black player to represent Leeds United; Lucas Radebe: another South African who became something of a cult hero to the club in his 11-year stay, and Kalvin Phillips: current midfielder, Leeds born and bred as well as immensely proud of his Jamaican heritage.
You&Me, Me&You by Anthony Burrill
Situated on the side of a historic canal-side building, this mural is a result of a collaboration between In Good Company and artist and Leeds Beckett alumnus, Burrill. Unveiled at the beginning of 2021, the piece displays a message of unity at a time when the world has never needed it more.
Grey Heron by Peter Barber
Peter Barber is a fine artist and modern mural painter working UK wide. He specialises in spray painted figures, photo realism and murals. His personal work is at home outdoors, alongside other street artists and graffiti artists. He was commissioned to paint the Grey Heron mural in June 2019, and the Mural is designed to appear and disappear as the river level rises and falls throughout the year.
Washing Marine by Replete
This large artwork in brewery wharf was completed in November 2018 by Artist Ralph Replete. Walking towards it from the riverside the mural of a deep sea diver wearing an old-fashioned suit gives the viewer a distinctly 3-dimensional perspective. Replete is a world-leading specialist working globally in graffiti and street art paintings and murals, anamorphic optical illusion art, street, pavement and floor painting as well as sculpture and installations and artwork painted live for events, festivals or product launches.
Crown Point Tunnel by Benjamin Craven
Benjamin Craven is inspired by everyday sights and occurrences, from the bright colours of the supermarket cleaning aisle, to architectural collisions – high, low, and all around. The surroundings of the day-to-day makes up his source of inspiration and, through his work, he sets out to encourage the viewer to consider playfulness in art and life. Using found textures, clashing colours, and patterns, his heavy use of geometric lines make for a bold signature style. His recent projects include working with BBC’s DIY SOS, and developing his own line of homeware products.
Heroes of Leeds by Artworks Creative Communities
‘The Heroes of Leeds Trail’ is a 2019 installation delivered by waterway and wellbeing charity Canal & River Trust. Artworks Creative Communities created the work from laser-cut steel, which are installed along the South Bank of the river, near Leeds Dock. The installation includes eight ‘heroes’ all who have significant links to the city, this includes the father of the waterways John Smeaton, prominent civil rights activist Leonora Cohen and Yona Knight-Wisdom, the Leeds born and bred diver, who represented Jamaica at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro.
Leeds Dock Waterfront Murals by Affix
A collection of murals including the one pictured celebrating famous figures from Leeds, and welcoming visitors to the Leeds Dock waterfront make up the last entry on this list. Funded by the Canal and River Trust, Sheffield artist Affix produce large and small scale public art using spray paint as a primary medium to “create external galleries from vapour and imagination”.