Businesses support new city-wide art trail opening next week
A new art trail, 50 Windows of Creativity, celebrating Manchester’s rich creative culture will see a huge array of spectacular mosaics, installations, fine art, photography, craft, murals and more pop up in windows, venues, businesses and spaces across the city centre.
Created by the team behind the award-winning Bee in the City event, 50 Windows of Creativity starts from October 26, until December 5, and will transform Manchester into an innovative art gallery taking people on a colourful, inspiring and safe journey around the city centre.
The trail, supported by Manchester City Council and event partners Auto Trader and Dandara Living, will raise money for the artists involved and The Lord Mayor of Manchester Charity Appeal Trust – We Love MCR Charity.
Visitors to the trail will be able to explore via the 50 Windows of Creativity app, available to download from October 26, and an interactive trail map, available now at beeinthecitymcr.co.uk/50windows
The 50 Windows of Creativity displays are in windows and spaces around Manchester city centre and can be enjoyed within social distancing regulations. All visitors are encouraged to maintain a safe distance, wear a face covering when appropriate and be respectful to other trail visitors.
The trail celebrates the rich and varied culture of Manchester itself and visitors passing ChriSalon, Princess Street might spot Ric Facchin’s miniature Manchester Builds, which immortalise some the city’s best buildings at their moment in time, while Kimpton Clocktower Hotel will display a mosaic work by Mary Goodwin featuring a tryptic of historical Mancunians – famous by name, not so famous by face.
Classic Football Shirts will present mosaicist Mark Kennedy’s replica of the 20/21 Premier League Manchester City Football Club shirt, the design of which was inspired by his work, and Sarah Connell’s Manchester cityscapes of the Etihad Stadium and Old Trafford can be seen at Wesley Barrell, both on Deansgate.
Many of the works showcase creativity sparked by lockdown – Sneaky Raccoon’s work in Hobs Repro is inspired by the plants and flowers that she photographed while on walks around her neighbourhood, reflecting the sentiment of re-wilding and regrowth.
Others bring a sense of fun and discovery. Playhouse, from Barney Ibbotson Illustration, Ben Clark Design and Playground, shown at Hilton House in partnership with Design Manchester, brings to life some of the entries to a global reaching competition to design something to enable people to play at home during lockdown, and artist and maker Lazerian (Liam Hopkins) will present Curiosity Killed the Cat, a conceptual art piece that will morph and change throughout the duration of the project.
Meanwhile, Tim Denton’s giant drawing pantograph at Dandara Living explores family connections, friendships and other relationships which create the communities we live, laugh, love and work in, and Guy McKinley celebrates humans in all their guises of the present in beautiful colourful stained glass windows at No. 1 Canal Street.
At RNCM, Sumit Sarkar presents a series of sculptures created with a mix of cutting-edge digital technology and analogue techniques, taking inspiration from a variety of sources, including religious iconography, science fiction and graffiti.
Large scale visual artworks will pop up around the city, including a mural of Ste Wing by acclaimed photorealistic street artist Akse, on Little Lever Street, and award winning photographer Benji Reid’s work, which will be displayed on the facade of the National Football Museum.
Atelier Bebop will take over Selfridges Exchange Square with large-scale graphic work Cosmos inspired by the sunset of Summer, and the Autumn season, while Caroline Dowsett’s mural at Hatch wraps around the whole inside of its container to create an immersive experience and Hammo has created a sequence of playful little adventurers, clambering over rocks, climbing trees, crossing streams at Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports, Castlefield.
Manchester’s ever-present music influence can be seen in the Moovin’ Festival Visual Art Collective’s installation at KSMCR which captures some of the festival’s madness and magic, while one of the many pieces at RNCM includes a photography show from the Manchester Hip Hop Archive.
Elsewhere, in the Northern Quarter, artist Lei-Mai LeMaow’s mural at Yard and Coop takes inspiration from old rave flyers and touches on the current precarious situation regarding the music sector.
Other works challenge the viewer to think – at the Atrium, Library Walk, the Seashell Trust, a national charity supporting children and young adults with complex learning disabilities and communication, has worked with artist Lauren Mullarkey to develop a mixed media sculpture that invites the viewer to consider what safety means and feels like to a blind person, while Tara Collette’s banner installation ‘No one is illegal’, at HOME, is a direct provocation against the treatment of non-white and non-Western people and groups in Western democracies.
All pieces on display will be available to buy directly from the artist or maker and the project culminates with an auction on December 10, streamed live from the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel which will see a selection of pieces auctioned with proceeds going to their artists and makers, and to The Lord Mayor of Manchester Charity Appeal Trust – We Love MCR Charity which supports disadvantaged communities and individuals to be the best they can be.
Ben Reed, head of creative development at Wild in Art, said: “We are delighted to have the privilege of working with the many incredibly talented artists, designers and makers and we are excited to reveal their work and displays. This project will transform the city’s windows and spaces into an innovative art gallery taking people on a creative journey around Manchester.”
50 Windows of Creativity is being delivered by global public art producers Wild in Art, whose previous work includes the award-winning Bee in the City art trail which took over the city in 2018, in partnership with Manchester City Council.
Building on Manchester’s reputation for innovation and the key strategic role that art and culture plays in the social and economic life of the city, the event will help residents to reconnect with places and spaces in the city centre again as part of the council’s recovery programme.
Cllr Luthfur Rahman, executive member culture leisure and skills, Manchester City Council said: “Now, more than ever, it is so important that we show support for the arts community and I hope that people will take the time to safely explore 50 Windows of Creativity and appreciate the incredible talent that Manchester has to offer.”
The project is supported by Event Partner Auto Trader and Dandara Living with other businesses including Hobs Repro, Ocean Outdoor, Jamieson Contracting, TfGM and Kimpton Clocktower Hotel also stepping forward to support the project.