It’s not a city I’d ever thought of as having the potential to be street art hub but the ‘Bring the Paint‘ festival earlier in the year has certainly put paid to that.
Leicester is clearly a city in transformation. The furore surrounding the discovery of Richard III’s bones underneath a car park in the centre of the city seems to have invigorated it. A quick wander around the area of the car park though shows that this is in fact an ancient medieval centre and the car park is actually the heart of the old greyfriars monastery, it’s a fascinating place.
Well, geeky obsession satisfied but our real reason for visiting the city was all about the street art. Courtesy of the aforementioned ‘Bring the Paint’ and centered around city’s cultural quarter of St. George’s, itself an area that seems reborn.
Bring the Paint 2017
There are some great pieces to see in the surrounding streets. A mixture of works from street artists and graffiti writers alike. Stand out pieces from the likes of Bristol’s Voyder, Glasgow’s SMUG and Copenhagen’s Bates being particular highlights.
At the heart of the cultural quarter is the Leicester Creative Business Depot on Rutland Street, better known as the LCB. Streets such as Southampton Street, Midland Street, Yeoman Street and Clarence Street all play host to decent pieces and easy to walk around.
So, we didn’t have too long to talk a look around and I also suspect that we’ve missed a few pieces but here are the places to find graffiti and street art in Leicester.
The creative hub, the LCB, boasts an impressive piece from SMUG overlooking Rutland Street where it sits. Around the back of the LCB is also a yard backing onto Colton Street, sadly closed when we visited but well worth a look if only for the piece of genius from Mista Breakfast which can be seen through the gates.
At the bottom of Rutland Street there were some hoardings or at least they were at the time of writing this.
Southampton Street – The Sound House
One of Leicester’s top music venues the sound house received a painting both inside and out care of the festival. Alex Rubes painted the exterior with inside a series of pieces from Si Michell, Aliss Curtis and Peachez.
Southampton Street – Queens Street Car Park
A bit further down the street the Queens Street Car Park which can be accessed from Southampton Street and of course Queen Street itself. Giant works from graffiti legends Voyder and Bates can be seen here.
A small car park is the place to spot works by a whole bunch of graffiti artists with work on the walls both inside and out. Most of the tags I didn’t recognise although ones from Boogie and Voyder were easy to identify.
A giant wall from Philth is the dominating piece on Midland Street overlooking a small patch of waste ground often used as a car park. Further on there are some painted shutters including a collaboration between graffiti legends Hombre and Boogie, who when painting together as known as Homboog.
Stretching from Rutland Street to the main thoroughfare of Humberstone Gate, Yeoman Street has a couple of pieces on it.
Clarence Street & St James Street
A couple of streets on the other side of Humberstone Gate with art dotted along them including a piece from Bristol favourite Inkie on the side of the building occupied by Graff HQ, the graffiti company supporting the event.
The street art of Leicester was visited and all photos taken on 11 & 12 September 2017. Bring the Paint took place on 27 May 2017. For more articles about street art in cities around the UK check out these from London, Sheffield, Birmingham, Aberdeen, Rochdale, Blackburn, Bristol, Blackburn, Brighton and Manchester. You can also read an interview with festival director Izzy Hoskins here.