Why Manchester deserves a top spot in the world’s street art scene

As an innovative Manchester PR agency, we always keep one eye open for new sources of inspiration and creativity…even in the very streets of our home city.


Street art has become a major symbol of a city’s creativity, and where better to look for world-class graffiti than Manchester, where you never stop stumbling upon artistic masterpieces around every corner.


While many Mancunians will recognise the iconic artworks on our city streets, you might not know quite so much about the talented minds behind them.


So for the latest instalment of our Creative Manchester blog series, we’re telling the fascinating stories behind the city’s most inspiring graffiti.

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The birds…

Brazillian artist Mateus Bailon has brightened up Manchester’s often grey skies with his colourful giant bird murals, including this stunning piece hidden away just a few streets away from the Ancoats home of our Manchester creative agency.

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…And the bees

Mancunians have long been proud of the worker bee as a symbol of the city’s rich industrial heritage & role in opening democracy up to everyone, not just the elite. In the wake of the Manchester Arena bombing bees took on even more significance for the city, as a symbol of togetherness and strength in the face of tragedy.


It’s no surprise then that bees have become a major theme for the city’s street art, with many local businesses commissioning artists to adorn their walls with this powerful sign of solidarity, and several giant bee statues still on view following 2018’s Wild in Art bee trail.


Spraycans for social change

#CitiesofHope is a Manchester-born movement aiming to use the power of street art to raise awareness for social issues, starting in our home town but now operating across the world.


The initiative attracted a list of talented global artists, first in 2016 and then again in 2018, including Axel Void, C215, Case, Dale Grimshaw, Hyuro & Phlegm.  Together, they have created some of Manchester’s most thought-provoking and beautiful graffiti pieces since 2016, touching on subjects from homelessness, LGBTQ rights and mental health to international conflict & sustainability.

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creative Manchester pr agency

From toilet to triumph

Who would have guessed that one of the Northern Quarter’s most well-known graffiti hotspots actually started life as a public toilet? Located in the centre of Stevenson Square, Out House Manchester is an outdoor project space for public art, which is repainted with a new mural every three months. The space has been home to artworks ranging from Manchester bees to David Bowie, and most recently features a tribute to iconic Game of Thrones hero Arya Stark.

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Flora & fauna

Back in 2011, Converse launched a ‘Wall to Wall’ graffiti project celebrating street art world wide. In our home city, this involved the brand commissioning a giant artwork by Sheffield-based illustrator and graffiti artist Faunagraphic. The piece features a giant Bluetit sat on a flowery branch, against the backdrop of Northern Quarter’s grand brick buildings, raising awareness for environmental issues.



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Paying a visit to my blue tit in #manchester !

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On yer’ bike

Converse isn’t the only major brand to have influenced Manchester’s street art scene. The beautifully decorated mural on the side of the ridelow bike shop alongside the Arndale centre was actually produced in partnership with Red Bull, working with #SubismCollective artists Deus, N4t4, Philth and Ventsa.


Tanked up

Originally from Poland, street artist Tankpetrol has now made Manchester his home, gracing the city with several stand-out pieces of artwork including a tribute to home-grown author Anthony Burgess and the Victorian Gothic inspired pieces on the doors of NQ bar Noho.



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Work in progress. Nq Manchester #desiderata #stencilart #montanacolors #font #mtn94 #victorian #northernquarter #manchester #

A post shared by Tankpetrol (@tankpetrol) on

Under the bridge

While the Northern Quarter may be Manchester’s graffiti hotspot, that’s not to say the South of the city doesn’t have its part to play too. In particular, until 2012 the Eurocultured music & dance festival helped to decorate the once-dingy railway arches of New Wakefield Street with several colourful pop art pieces.


Do it yourself

With such a wealth of brilliant artwork adorning our city streets, I’m not ready to pick up a spraycan just yet, but working in such a creative Manchester PR & Content Production agency, I had to have a go at creating my own little tribute to the city’s skyline on the wall of my apartment.

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