Textile Design graduate creates Bradford city’s longest art work

14 May 2021

Visitors to Bradford will be greeted with a new colourful art installation in the heart of the city created by Leeds Arts University alumna Xanthe Bonsall.

The work, measuring over 80 meters long, has been created by Xanthe Bonsall who graduated from Leeds Arts University BA (Hons) Textile Design in 2020. The artwork is part of Bradford’s 2025 city of culture bid and has been unveiled on Darley Street in the city centre. It is currently the longest piece of street art in the city.

Image:  Xanthe Bonsall, 2021. 

Speaking about the project, Xanthe said: “I had been wanting to work at a big scale for a long time, so when the opportunity arose from the Bradford 2025 team I was absolutely thrilled to win the commission. I took a lot of inspiration from Bradford’s architecture, with some more obvious representations in there such as High Point and the Telephone Exchange building, and others like the lovely windows of the Alhambra theatre. In addition to this there are a number of symbols in there which represent industry, heritage, growth and progression, which as a resident of Bradford myself, is what the city represents for me and many other people who live here.”

Xanthe went on to say, “The Bradford City of Culture bid is such a positive and transformational project, so this is something I wanted to put across with a vibrant colour palette and fun use of abstract shape within the design. I was lucky to work with Aimee Grundell on the install, who did all the hard work formulating how to get such a huge design printed and installed. She  also picked out some of the shapes from different sections of the design to create 3D elements cut from pieces of wood, which gives the piece a really interesting finish.”

Xanthe Bonsall is a multi-disciplinary designer based in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Xanthe’s work has a focus on geometric shape and playful colour and is inspired by Brutalism and Modernist architecture. Her work is created in vivid pop colours and clashing patterns with a solid retro aesthetic.

The project is supported by Bradford 2025, Bradford and District Markets and Bradford BID.