Art does not just belong in a gallery. In Manchester, you can find it on every street corner – whether that be a mural in the Northern Quarter or a sculpture in the corner of a leafy park.
Artists from both Manchester and all over the world have left their mark on the city centre, reflecting the city’s creativity and diversity. There are tributes to local heroes, commemorations of important events and pieces that are simply designed to make people smile.
We’ve picked out a few of our favourite pieces of public art from in and around the city centre. What else should be included on the list? Let us know via our Facebook page.
1. Touchstone, Barbirolli Sq
This piece by Japanese artist Kan Yasada is known as the Ishinki Touchstone and was commissioned by Manchester Airport and the Arts Council Lottery Fund in 1996. Ishinki means 'form returning to its heart.' Photo: Google Maps
2. Northern Quarter murals
There are so many great murals in Manchester, it was hard to pick just one. What’s more, they are constantly changing so you never know what you might see. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes – including tributes to pop culture icons, advertisements and social justice-themed pieces. This one, created in 2017, was by local artist Qubek and created to commemorate the victims of the Manchester arena bombing.(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
3. Skyhooks, Trafford Park
These 18m-high hook and chain sculptures were installed in 1995 to celebrate the regeneration of the Salford Quays, as well as its industrial history. Designed by artist Brian Fell, they were removed for two years while development work was carried out, but were returned in 2021. Photo: Google Maps
4. Space Invaders
These tiled space invader mosaics are by an anonymous French artist who simply goes by “Invader.” They first started appearing in 2005 and you can them find dotted all over the city centre, particularly in the Northern Quarter. This one is located on Faraday St, next to Pie & Ale. Photo: Google Maps