Bradford's answer to Banksy promises surprises for city

Bradford's answer to Banksy promises surprises for city

Mystery artist 'Moonie' in front of his new Samson-inspired artwork.

The pillars before their recent make-over.

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , City Hall Reporter

A MYSTERY Banksy-style artist has performed a light-hearted makeover on a Bradford archway - and promises more surprises will be popping up in future.

Legendary strongman Samson appeared just days ago in Little Germany, seemingly pushing apart two stone pillars.

The visual pun is a nod to the Old Testament where it is said Samson killed 3,000 of his enemies by pushing apart keystone pillars and bringing down a Philistine temple where he was being held captive.

But the street artist behind the work is shrouded in mystery, going only by the alias of 'Moonie'.

The bricked-up stone door arch, in Church Bank, is all that remains now of a building levelled around 50 years ago to make way for a car park. Its new look was commissioned by the Little Germany Action Group, a non-profit organisation working to revitalise the conservation area.

Little Germany Action director Dave West said while the stone pillars were old and beautiful, the way they had been poorly bricked-up made them look a little sad.

He said: "We asked local artists to submit ideas for the arch and by group decision we felt Moonie's take on the arch was the most appropriate and appealed to the group's sense of humour.

"We feel that by creating a vibrant cultural place with visually appealing art such as Moonie's Samson, we enhance the lives of people working and living in Little Germany."

He said more of Moonie's artwork was set to crop up in area in the near future, but was tight-lipped about the artist's true identity.

"If I told you that, I'd have to kill you," he said.

Speaking through a third party to protect his identity, Moonie said: "I like visual puns and old movies. It wasn’t long before I realised the pillars were begging to be used as the pillars of the Philistine temple.

"I guess the 1950 movie with Victor Mature left a lasting impression on me.

"I already have my next idea, involving cartoon characters - those that made me laugh as a kid. I shall say no more for the moment."

Comments (12)

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10:20am Sat 16 Aug 14

Staffords Hairpiece says...

I have walked past this example of urban art and thought that it was excellent, giving a lift to the an area which, whilst the new shopping centre is being built, was definitely in need of one. I look forward to seeing the other artwork that Moonie as promised to do.
I have walked past this example of urban art and thought that it was excellent, giving a lift to the an area which, whilst the new shopping centre is being built, was definitely in need of one. I look forward to seeing the other artwork that Moonie as promised to do. Staffords Hairpiece
  • Score: 29

10:56am Sat 16 Aug 14

MontyLeMar says...

Looks good to me and much better than a few poorly jointed breeze blocks filling the space. Maybe some builders would disagree?
Looks good to me and much better than a few poorly jointed breeze blocks filling the space. Maybe some builders would disagree? MontyLeMar
  • Score: 20

11:52am Sat 16 Aug 14

Albion. says...

Looks good, perhaps it could be the beginning of a trail?
Looks good, perhaps it could be the beginning of a trail? Albion.
  • Score: 19

12:11pm Sat 16 Aug 14

Always a 708 Skinhead says...

Great to see graffiti gaining acceptance in the environment although in times of hardship or in deprived areas it does become more prevalent.
From the caves of Lascaux through the times of the Roman empire where the name originates, it has, and always will be a way of expressing and informing others about perils and ways to avoid them.
"pushing apart keystone pillars and bringing down a Philistine temple where he was being held captive."
The message is in the picture, you just have to look.
sgraffiò - to scratch. There is a reason they say "to scratch a living".
Question for Moonie- Ironlak or Molotow? I know it's not Export.
Good work fella.
It will take a nation of millions to stop us.
Great to see graffiti gaining acceptance in the environment although in times of hardship or in deprived areas it does become more prevalent. From the caves of Lascaux through the times of the Roman empire where the name originates, it has, and always will be a way of expressing and informing others about perils and ways to avoid them. "pushing apart keystone pillars and bringing down a Philistine temple where he was being held captive." The message is in the picture, you just have to look. sgraffiò - to scratch. There is a reason they say "to scratch a living". Question for Moonie- Ironlak or Molotow? I know it's not Export. Good work fella. It will take a nation of millions to stop us. Always a 708 Skinhead
  • Score: 8

5:29pm Sat 16 Aug 14

Robin of Loxley says...

It must have taken him about an hour or two to do this.

Why was he not arrested ?
It must have taken him about an hour or two to do this. Why was he not arrested ? Robin of Loxley
  • Score: -21

7:06pm Sat 16 Aug 14

Chinagirl says...

I love it! Can't wait to see more from the very talented 'Moonie'.
I love it! Can't wait to see more from the very talented 'Moonie'. Chinagirl
  • Score: 12

7:25pm Sat 16 Aug 14

Prisoner Cell Block A says...

Robin of Loxley wrote:
It must have taken him about an hour or two to do this.

Why was he not arrested ?
Phillistine
[quote][p][bold]Robin of Loxley[/bold] wrote: It must have taken him about an hour or two to do this. Why was he not arrested ?[/p][/quote]Phillistine Prisoner Cell Block A
  • Score: 5

8:52am Sun 17 Aug 14

fedupwiththeBS says...

I am a big fan of anything that puts our beleaguered city on the map for the right reasons. This guy has a talent and more power to his spray can/brush.

this is art as opposed to the normal tags that are sprayed on the city's walls.
I am a big fan of anything that puts our beleaguered city on the map for the right reasons. This guy has a talent and more power to his spray can/brush. this is art as opposed to the normal tags that are sprayed on the city's walls. fedupwiththeBS
  • Score: 9

10:10am Sun 17 Aug 14

emerald tyke says...

love the look of this and well done that man!!..... one question though, why was such a fine building (just look at that arch!!) knocked to make way for a car park??? Bradford has lost so many of its magnficent buildings:(
love the look of this and well done that man!!..... one question though, why was such a fine building (just look at that arch!!) knocked to make way for a car park??? Bradford has lost so many of its magnficent buildings:( emerald tyke
  • Score: 3

4:10pm Sun 17 Aug 14

theoutsider says...

Nothing more than downright vandalism ! the Police need to get straight on to stuff like this. Bratfuds enough of a sheet hole without people daubing stuff on the City's Germananic conservation area!.
Nothing more than downright vandalism ! the Police need to get straight on to stuff like this. Bratfuds enough of a sheet hole without people daubing stuff on the City's Germananic conservation area!. theoutsider
  • Score: -8

9:02am Mon 18 Aug 14

MontyLeMar says...

emerald tyke wrote:
love the look of this and well done that man!!..... one question though, why was such a fine building (just look at that arch!!) knocked to make way for a car park??? Bradford has lost so many of its magnficent buildings:(
I reckon the original building was probably fire damaged and they decided to pull it down to provide much needed parking for the workers in Pennine House and surrounding businesses which were thriving in the 1980's. Then the rot set in and they all moved to Leeds.
[quote][p][bold]emerald tyke[/bold] wrote: love the look of this and well done that man!!..... one question though, why was such a fine building (just look at that arch!!) knocked to make way for a car park??? Bradford has lost so many of its magnficent buildings:([/p][/quote]I reckon the original building was probably fire damaged and they decided to pull it down to provide much needed parking for the workers in Pennine House and surrounding businesses which were thriving in the 1980's. Then the rot set in and they all moved to Leeds. MontyLeMar
  • Score: 1

1:12pm Mon 18 Aug 14

markjoe says...

Think this complements the building and makes it look better than the red brick. Let's hope that it stays like this and doesn't get spray painted over.

It's a great way to give, a building a face lift and improve the look. Hopefully more carefully chosen murals can be painted elsewhere in the city
Think this complements the building and makes it look better than the red brick. Let's hope that it stays like this and doesn't get spray painted over. It's a great way to give, a building a face lift and improve the look. Hopefully more carefully chosen murals can be painted elsewhere in the city markjoe
  • Score: 2

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