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By Dawn Collinson
The city’s become known for its fabulous murals, especially those featuring football legends, iconic musicians and well-known landmarks.
Now a national study has seen us come out at number 5 in the top 10 most popular street art locations in the country.
Artists Paul Curtis and John Culshaw have been leading the way for the past five years, transforming public spaces across Merseyside with urban art.
And where there are murals, that means plenty of selfie opportunities, which is what’s helped Liverpool land its spot as a must-visit.
By analysing Instagram hashtags, TikTok views and Google search volume for towns and cities right across the UK, South Western Railway was able to rank locations by their social media popularity.
Not surprisingly, London – which really brought street art to this country from the USA back in the 1970s – came out on top. Its outdoor artworks racked up a massive 27.6million TikTok views and more than half a million Instagram hashtags over the space of 12 months.
Some of the most snapped places included Shoreditch, where the courtyard of the former nightclub Cargo is home to urban art including Banksy’s Guard Dog, Brixton which is known for its David Bowie mural among others, Waterloo, Camden and Clapham.
Bristol, birthplace of the most famous anonymous street artist of all, Banksy, came in second, followed by Manchester and Glasgow, but Liverpool managed to get ahead of the likes of Edinburgh, Brighton and Birmingham to take fifth, pushed up the list by more than 4,500 Google searches.
Special mention in the survey went to the Baltic Triangle where one of the most photographed artworks of all – Paul Curtis’s For All Liverpool’s Liver Birds, painted on a wall in Jamaica Street back in 2017 – still pulls in lots of fans who want their pic taken between its wings.
The Abbey Road mural on the side of Cains Brewery in the Baltic, also by Paul Curtis, where Beatles fans can get a snap of themselves on the famous zebra crossing was another one which won plenty of social media love, along with the Jurgen Klopp mural by Akse on Jamaica Street.
The huge brightly-coloured Liver Bird which was painted on the side of the Wedding House on Great George place by John Culshaw, and his stunning mural dedicated to Nelson Mandela unveiled in L8 this April, have also helped secure Liverpool’s reputation as one of the leading street art hotspots.
Reds fans have given us a boost up the UK chart too, tracking down murals around Anfield dedicated to their LFC heroes.
Artist Paul says the artworks getting Google searched might not always be everyone’s cup of tea, but they’ve succeeded in making some unloved buildings into visitor attractions in their own right.
“I wouldn’t want to paint on a prestige building or on something architecturally significant so I tend to look for the more disheveled buildings where the street art is trying to make them nicer.
“In Liverpool a lot of the buildings are listed and even when they’re not, getting permits can be a nightmare because half the time nobody knows who owns them.
“Ideally you’re looking for one that’s a bit unloved where by doing the work you are improving it, not destroying it. The art is the icing on it.”
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