MEASURING 80 metres long, and new colourful installation at a development site is surely the city’s longest piece of street art.

The artwork has been unveiled on Darley Street, around the former Marks & Spencer building, and is a collaboration between Bradford 2025, Bradford BID and Bradford Markets.

The new work is one of a number of new street art commissions that are making waves across the Bradford district, featuring the work of local artists from Bradford among others from across the UK and beyond.

They are being installed as the District builds towards submitting the bid to be UK City of Culture 2025.

Opposite the Kirkgate Centre on Darley Street, the artwork was designed by Bradford based artist Xanthe Bonsall.

It covers the hoarding around the former department store, which is soon to be demolished to make way for the new Darley Street Market.

Demolition work started last week, with Piccadilly, the street to the rear of the building, closed to traffic while contractors Kier prepare to pull the old M&S down. Demolition is expected to last much of this year, with construction work to start next year and a 2023 opening date for the £23 million market.

Once the market is opened Oastler Market and Kirkgate Market, in the Kirkgate Centre, will shut. Housing will be built on the Oastler site.

The artwork is currently the longest piece of street art in the city, which works out as 179 sq. metres of full print.

Video shows planned Marks & Spencer demolition and Darley Street Market development

The design is inspired by Bradford’s distinctive architecture, including the iconic Alhambra Theatre and prominent brutalist high rise High Point, which is also being re-developed into flats.

Xanthe said she is inspired by brutalism and modernist architecture and incorporates her love of electronic music and rave culture into her bold, colourful designs. She has previously collaborated with independent Leeds-based cycling wear brand Paria, stationary brand Ootrey and clothing label Labo Mono.

The new mural is the latest of a number of new pieces of street art being installed in Bradford.

Recent work includes four original artworks of Bradford icons, including ‘Polish Anna’, a Polish immigrant who was a recognisable and loved figure around the markets in the 1960s and 1980s; Roots Record Shop owner and reggae musician and DJ ‘Barry Roots’; Ces Podd, the first Black footballer to play for Bradford City, who made a record 565 appearances for the club; and Captain Sir Tom Moore, the Keighley-born WWII veteran known for his NHS fundraising efforts in the first lockdown.

May McQuade, Programme Coordinator at Bradford 2025, said: “The initial reactions to these pieces of work have been overwhelmingly positive; the aim of these new commissions is to bring life, personality and joy in our built environment.

“They can kick start conversations too, and it has been a joy to hear people sharing their own stories around the art and its subjects. I hope that people will enjoy this new piece just as much.”

Bradford’s bid for City of Culture will be delivered to the government in Autumn, with the announcement of the winning city in May 2022.