Common Ground: A Mural by Mike Winnard that Explores the History of Kirkgate

Common Ground: A Mural by Mike Winnard that Explores the History of Kirkgate

You might have spotted something a little different near our Leeds store? Not long ago a new mural appeared on Kirkgate, just to the side of our second residence. Created by artist Mike Winnard, the project is called Common Ground and explores the history and cultures of Leeds in and around Kirkgate.

From Leeds’ earliest history of oak forests, to Norse runes, through to fake wizards and even bulldozers - the mural features imagery all drawn from the history of the area. The accompanying text is the phrase ‘Common Ground’ translated into some of the most commonly-spoken languages in Leeds and retaining it’s double-meaning of shared physical space and of middle-ground between different groups. 

The mural is part of a citywide initiative called 'A City Less Grey', which is a project commissioned by East Street Arts, funded by Leeds Bid and supported by Rushbond. With contributions from both local and national artists, the aim is to create art installations and events within five sites across Leeds city centre, profiling the talent within the region and putting Leeds firmly on the map as a city committed to developing a public art voice.

(All images: Bokehgo Studios)

 "Kirkgate is the oldest street in the city, so there's so many eras of history tied up in the area. It was a really rich site in terms of context that can go into the piece."

The Official Mike Winnard Trailer from STUDIO BOKEHGO on Vimeo.

"Some of the most rewarding parts of the project has been some of the avenues of historical research it's led me down."

In a short film Mike Winnard describes how he approached the mural. Watch the film to see the complete piece and hear more about the project. 

You can also find out more in this Q&A with Mike, featured on the East St Arts  website. 

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