Women create street art for Bradford City of Culture bid

THREE women from an artist collective have created colorful street art in preparation for Bradford’s bid for City of Culture in 2025.

Bradford being shortlisted for Culture City 2025, as part of this a local group of artists called the Armchair Artists Collective were commissioned to paint three bollards near Windhill Post Office near Shipley.

Three women from the collective took on this task on International Women’s Day last week.

Angel Kershaw, one of the performers, said: “The Windhill community includes people facing a variety of social and financial challenges.

“We noticed how community members supported each other, in so many ways, and we wanted to do something back.

“We were delighted to receive the commission to paint these bollards and create bright and colorful artwork in the area.

“As Bradford announces its candidacy for City of Culture 2025, we felt it was important to include areas like this outside of Bradford city centre.

“We were especially happy to undertake what was physically, as well as creatively, hard work on International Women’s Day.

“The recognition of female artists has certainly improved in recent years, but there is still a long way to go.

“It’s time that we women in the arts were not just seen as decorative, but should also be recognized for our talent, skill and hard work.”

The response from the public was very encouraging and positive, before, during and after the work was completed.

Sand Rennie, the artist who founded the Armchair Artists Collective, said: “All the feedback we’ve received is so heartwarming.

“A grandmother, picking up her granddaughter from nursery, told us she had made a special trip to show them to her.

“A local businessman offered us refreshments and took pictures for his family at home.

“A passing schoolboy stopped and looked at the board and said how much he hoped these were going to be permanent.

“Other passers-by stopped to watch and said how enthralled they were to see the process as the pictures were painted.”

The work was photographed and filmed by professional filmmaker Bruna Martini and the film will soon be available on Youtube.

The commission was supported by the 2014-2020 program of the European Regional Development Fund.

The Armchair Artists’ Collective was created in 2020 after Sand created a Facebook group to allow people to share their artwork with creatives during the first lockdown.

Dora W. Clawson