Trafford Parsons

photo of Trafford Parsons

Mural Artist, Large scale painter, Film maker, Printer.

 Art based in my joy of life that I hope is infectious.

Painting outside spaces, Hotels, Restaurants, Shops and Hand making Fine Art Prints.

Also work using Art in a community setting with groups and agencies 

Art has left the Gallery and is now everywhere.

Trafford Parsons Art

From music roadie to ballet dancer and street artist, from the pavement to fine art galleries and major projects, performing, learning, teaching and sharing as he went, Trafford Parsons embodies forty years of art.

Working with young people following his first degree in Social Administration he was instrumental in the development of the urban art and music culture in Manchester in the 80’s and early 90's before emerging in 2003 with a Fine Arts degree from Goldsmiths College, University of London to focus on producing visual art in many forms.

Practical experience as: 

Artist, Project Manager, Art consultant, Art director, Art Developer, Artist in residence, Art provocateur, Performer, Painter, Printer, sculpture, film maker, Designer, Promoter, Event Management, Brand Consultant, Facilitator. From the initial idea to the final Object,

from Concept, to Fabrication to Installation.

A Beautilist

Trafford now describes himself as a Beautilist.  A  group of artists who stand as the antithesis of the urban, East London art movement. The artists themselves are a diverse group of eccentrics and misfits  who use an array of mediums. 

As such their art ranges from the traditional to the obscure, but one thing they all have in common is a drive to elevate art by returning to beauty.



After starting out as a music roadie, by the 1980’s  Trafford Parsons worked mostly as a performance artist and dancer with a residency at the Corner House Manchester 1986 (now absorbed into Home). Following his 1983 degree in Social Administration and, funded by Aston and Manchester Councils, Trafford worked extensively with young people to develop street theatre, dance and painting.  He was a member of Inner Sense Percussion and regularly busked for a living between work at large music venues and band tours both in Britain and around the world.

His music included percussion workshops in schools and youth clubs.  while as a ballet dancer he earned more from his ballet performances in the street than in his paid employment as an understudy and occasional performer with Ballet Rambert - much to the annoyance of the ballet company.  He also danced with Manchester Youth Dance, DV8, Rivca Rubin and at Royal Exchange Manchester.

By 1990 and after adding a Post Graduate Diploma in Youth and Community Work from Manchester Met University he was teaching Contemporary Dance at Manchester University while also catwalk modelling and working as an extra on large Hollywood films made in Britain.   He kept this up for nine years while also gaining a Teaching Certificate in Recreational Art.  This developed into hosting and producing Fashion shows as well as regular DJ work at the famous Hacienda Club.

He worked on TV with the Tony Wilson Shows, Peoples Parliament for channel 4, Dance Residency ’89-91 every Saturday night ‘Hit man and her’ TV Show. Normski’s House Party BBC 2 plus many music videos including Voodoo Ray - which became an anthem at the Hacienda.  His broadcast work continued with a series of 10 podcasts titled It will never catch on.

His early roadie work with big stadium performers David Bowie, Parliament and  Funkadelic, Madonna, White Stripes, U2, Earth Wind and Fire, MTV  and the Womad Festival led to his interest in the visual presentation of the show as well as the music.  

His work as DJ at the Man Alive Club Manchester  developed into bigger DJ events including Manumission and finally his own club, Easy Tiger in dance crazy Ibiza. 

Street art.

In the 1980’s while employed as a youth worker and arts provocateur by Manchester and Aston Councils Trafford started to paint outside walls.

In 1992 he was prosecuted for causing criminal damage after putting up posters to advertise his music club on a derelict building. However, his acquittal created the environment where street art is seen as having value and led to the explosion of painting and pasted images that grew into  the Manchester / British street art scene.

By 2017 he was running Manchester Art Month, and Through the Mill Festival promoting street art and culture in Manchester.

Stage sets, backdrops, installations, art work.

Starting as a roadie with big name punk/ alternative music bands in the 70’s Trafford gained real hands-on experience of the work and developed the skills of working with multiple tradesmen and creative talent of all sorts.  The scale of his work and projects increased to cover the whole range of dressing the stage or venue, making stage sets, producing the whole ‘look & feel’ for massive events and night clubs in the 1990’s. 

Designing the event merchandise led to the spin off of an independent Tee shirt company ‘Professor Heads Threads’ that in turn were worn by performers, Paul Weller, Bjork, Take That, Bowie, etc.

With an overwhelming passion for culture and music from performer to designer, to managing teams of people, to multi-media productions that promote art and make better art.  Throughout his career Trafford has aimed to deliver art by selling tickets for art that people want to experience rather than seeking grant support.

Find more of his work on Instagram


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