Leeds-List: The Best & Most Insightful Guide to Leeds

The Best Street Art & Murals in Leeds

· Darcie Hewitt-Dudding · Culture

Get out of the galleries and on to the streets.

Mabgate Mural

Whether you’re a long time resident or new to Leeds, these are the best pieces of street art and murals you need to check out.

Itching to go exploring? What better way to discover new art and new parts of the city than seeking out the best of Leeds’ street art and murals? We’ve got animal art in industrial spaces, art that explores the lives of Leeds residents and even murals that celebrate our beloved football club – and these are just a small selection of what Leeds has to offer. It’s time to get your comfy walking shoes on…

Athena Rising

Nomad Clan Athena Rising

Credit: Bokehgo

Athena Rising is officially the UK’s tallest mural, with its height being about equal to the Statue of Liberty in New York. It reaches 46 metres into the air, on the side of Platform. The design, created and executed by Manchester-based Nomad Clan, features two owls, a moon and sacred geometry, rendered in grey and gold, all inspired by Leeds. It greets visitors as they come into Leeds train station, and the best place to see it is from one of the higher levels in Trinity Car Park.

Athena Rising, Platform, New Station Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4JB.

The Grey Heron

the grey heron

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Ellie Hodgson

The Grey Heron in flight is painted on a bank of the River Aire. It looks like it’s really there, but it’s designed to be revealed and submerged as the water levels rise and fall. It was painted by modern mural painter Peter Barber and commissioned by the Waterfront Enhancement Fund in 2019. Inspired by the real grey herons that you can spot further down the river if you travel past the Royal Armouries, this piece of artwork celebrates the health of the waterway.

The Grey Heron, 11-15 Wharf Street, Leeds. West Yorkshire, LS2 7EY.

Washing Marine

Washing Machine, Replete, Leeds BID Art Trail

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Cloë Keefe

Brewery Wharf is home to one of the most impressive pieces of street art in Leeds. Washing Marine looks 3-D, showing an old-fashioned diver climbing out of a washing machine on its side. Photos don’t do it justice – it has to be seen in person. This artwork was created in 2018 by Replete, an internationally renowned 3D graffiti artist. It was commissioned by Rushbond, but he was given complete creative freedom, creating this playful take on waterside domesticity.

Washing Marine, 2 Brewery Place, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1NE.

Winifred

Winifred, Qubek, York Place

Winifred is an armoured elephant, inspired by the one on display in the Royal Armouries. She’s surrounded by a wreath of Yorkshire white roses and has iconic Leeds buildings on her back. She was painted by graffiti artist Qubek and she’s named after his grandmother, who was born and raised in Leeds. Winifred is pretty tucked away, so you’re unlikely to stumble upon her by yourself. You can find her in a small courtyard between 31 York Place and 33 Park Place.

Winifred, 31 York Place, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2BA.

The Linnet

The Linnet

The Linnet is a beautiful little bird, recreated in large painterly form on one of Sheaf St’s exterior walls. Its pink, yellow and beige feathers stand out against the black background, making you stop and take notice. Exactly what creator ATM wanted as he brings attention to the dwindling numbers of the bird. Originally part of a show exploring our impact on the environment at Munro House, you can find a couple of other pieces in the area from the same event.

Sheaf St, 3 Sheaf Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1HD.

Cornucopia

Cornucopia, Call Lane

Can you believe this mural is over thirty years old? It still looks as good as it did when it was first painted, thanks to the use of specialist paints. Cornucopia was commissioned by the old owners of Leeds Corn Exchange and painted by Ilkley-based artist Graeme Wilson. The artwork references the Corn Exchange, the harvest and abundance – there are architectural details, classical figures like the Greek goddess of cornucopia and Victorian Leeds folk.

Cornucopia, 16 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DN.

Mabgate Mural

Mabgate Mural, Janet De Wagt, Leeds BID Art Trail

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Cloë Keefe

Another long time hero of the Leeds’ street art scene, the Mabgate Mural has been around since 1988 and it still holds significant cultural importance today. It was painted on the end of a building by community artist Janet De Wagt, who worked with a local high school to create the design. It represents the lives of Caribbean people as they settled in Leeds and lived their lives through the ages, as far back as 1880. You can find it with a short stroll up Mabgate.

Mabgate Mural, 93 Mabgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 7DR.

INSA x The Moniker

INSA x The Moniker is one of the latest street art installations in Leeds, completed in 2020. It’s an incredible injection of colour on the end of Wharf Chambers, featuring a rainbow gradient with bold line work. The artwork has been created with eco-friendly paint that’s not only free of toxins and packaged in recyclable plastic, but it also absorbs CO2! The message of the work is to inspire everyone to work together to protect our most precious resource, the Earth.

INSA x The Moniker, Wharf Chambers, Wharf Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7EQ.

Paving the Way

Paving the Way Leeds United, Akse P19, Leeds BID Art Trail

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Cloë Keefe

We can’t talk about street art in Leeds without talking about the murals inspired by the city’s football team. Paving the Way marks Leeds United’s partnership with Roc Nation and celebrates the club’s diversity. Akse P19’s work depicts three players, all significant in their own right. We’ve got Albert Johanneson, who was the club’s first high profile black player, Lucas Radebe, who captained the club in an 11-year-spell, and Kalvin Phillips, a Leeds lad born and bred.

Paving the Way, The Calls, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7EH.

Tropical Birds

Tropical Birds is a piece of street art created by Peaches. She’s known for injecting wildlife and nature in bright colours into urban spaces, making her work the perfect fit for Sheaf St’s blank wall and the industrial feel of the South Bank area. This mural features two giant tropical birds, in teal and orange, on a pink and yellow background. You can almost hear them squawking as you look at it. It fills the entire wall with incredible bursts of colour, so there’s no way you’ll miss it.

Sheaf St, 3 Sheaf Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1HD.