New exhibition showcases ‘cultural map of Bradford’ through the eyes of young people

A new exhibition featuring work by students at the Bradford School of Art opens at City Park this week, bringing to life a ‘cultural map of Bradford’ and showcasing across a range of artforms exactly what ‘culture’ means to young people across the district.

‘Bradford A -Z’ is the culmination of an 18-month project as part of the district’s UK City of Culture 2025 bid, which invited students to share their knowledge of Bradford to capture how they move through the district to get their culture fix, the places they go and the things they like to do.

More than 40 students studying BA (Hons) Art & Design; BA (Hons) Fashion and FDA Textiles took part in responding the brief – and the resulting creative works fed into the research behind Bradford’s final UK City of Culture 2025 bid, which was submitted earlier this year.

Commented Olivia Bridge, Project Support at Bradford 2025:

As part of our bid campaign, we’re looking to the future and working to build a culture sector that does more for more people – especially young people across the district. We know that everyone has their own interpretation and experience of what culture is, so we wanted to bring together the widest and most detailed cultural map that the Bradford district has ever seen; a Bradford A-Z.

“Some responded to the brief in quite literal ways and created a comprehensive map, others were more abstract and produced very personal responses to how they engage with culture in their day to day lives. The exhibition offers a real insight into how young people see our cultural landscape, and I hope visitors will be both surprised and inspired by their artworks.”

Carole Griffiths, Lecturer in BA and MA Visual Arts at Bradford School of Art, said: 

“Our students are looking forward to sharing their work with the community of Bradford. They are keen to contribute to the 2025 cultural bid and showcase work which is insightful and has real social purpose. Bradford has a really creative history, so his is a fantastic opportunity to give something meaningful back to the city and put Bradford on the map with this bid.”

Joshua Robson, a BA (Hons) Art & Design Student whose work features in the exhibition said:

I’ve documented the reasons behind what brought me to Bradford to study, the places I visit when I am moving around the city and reflected on what the whole district has to offer. I really hope Bradford wins the UK City of Culture title as I believe that it will bring the incredible community of Bradford together even more and will provide fantastic opportunities for young creatives here.”  

Bradford A-Z is free to visit and will be on display at the Bradford 2025 hub at City Park (beneath the Big Screen) until 23rd May. Bradford is one of four places shortlisted to be UK City of Culture 2025 – with the winner due to be announced at the end of May. 

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