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Notts Street Art: A Checklist for Your Daily Walk

9 May 20 words: Rachel Willcocks

Hands up if you're missing the whole heap of real-world culture that Notts has to offer? I think it's safe to say we all are. But while we stay safe and stay home, there is one artistic offering still available from this city. So the next time you’re on your daily walk, run or cycle, take a minute to look around at the art pieces that aren’t in galleries or on our screens, but sit on Nottingham’s walls, buildings and side streets...

Nottingham has lots of pretty mad, cool and colourful street art that even glancing at briefly will help lift your spirits. So why not go street art hunting on your daily exercise outing? You might find some pretty impressive art lurking around the corner; we've got some talented street artists in the city, and there's plenty to look at...

What's in the City Centre? 
Art pieces are dotted around town: on the Lace Market chippy, the side of Six Barrels by Viccy centre and down the alleyway to Five Leaves. As well as a few bigger iconic pieces...

An orange wall home to the Notts Legends piece opposite The Angel showcases some of the most famous and greatest from the city. The piece, by a range of different artists, includes a modern-day Robin Hood sporting a Tesco bag on his head and the classic white-lines-down-the-sides trackies, Batman and recreated film stills of Nottingham’s very own Hollywood superstar Samantha Morton.

A UFO is approaching Broadway Cinema, just up by the steps – look left to see it flying down to earth. Maybe the aliens are coming to see the latest arthouse releases? This one is an explosion of the weird and wacky. The UFO looks down on pretty much everything under the sun. Think mushrooms, birds, badgers and creepy hands, you've probably never noticed how much stuff can fit in one image before.

The Mimm shop situated just opposite Broadway Cinema has just been painted anew by the lovely Emily Catherine. The shop's new look now features the singer Sade, who was chosen by our Em for her International Women’s Day nomination, because of her wonderful music and pioneering work on trans rights. And stroll a little further down Broad Street to see another piece from Mimm by Phill Blake: this time a powerful black and white portrait of a woman dripped in beads and jewels.

What's in Sneinton Market? 
Plenty of colour for you with new work popping up all the time. There are pieces from Notts street artists Dilk and Kid30 amongst lots more. With the Montana shop nestled in an array of creative shops and businesses, it's not surprising the area is known for its colourful collection. 

What's in Hyson Green? 
A little birdie and a big birdhouse, a skatepark and a powerful black history mural.

Tucked away up a side street, Maple Street Skatepark is covered in street art and graffiti, and its location makes it even more special. The Think Global Act Local piece (another one from Mimm!) by Kaption 1 is a few years old but still a lush spring green that looks best glimmering in the sunshine and blue skies.

Down the side street by New Art Exchange – and created by the gallery and the local community – is the Pathways Mural that showcases Black History figures on a background of traditional African patterns and prints. Each of the people painted tells a story. Like Nottingham legend George Africanus, a former slave and one of the first black entrepreneurs of the 18th century.

What's in Beeston? 
A moving tribute to a local hero, bees, mandalas and much more. Beeston had its own street art festival back in 2018, has a few gems from international artists and will have more commissions popping up on the other side of lockdown. The area has a buzzing street art scene and many pieces that bring vibrancy to the area.

The Beeston icons mural on Station Road was commissioned by Broxtowe Borough Council as part of Beeston Street Art Festival (2018). The late actor Richard Beckinsale, the late singer/songwriter Edwin Starr, and fashion designer Sir Paul Smith were spray-painted by international street artist Zabou.

The Painted Lady mural by Jim Vision stands on High Road and may just take your breath away. It depicts the once-in-a-decade mass migration of painted lady butterflies arriving in the UK from Africa.

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