Myself and Richard Dawson worked with local kids to make this amazing sculpture to celebrate the Jubilee in Hyde Park, Manchester. We made it in one day and everything is made from recycled materials (except for cable ties, brown tape and plastic tags).
The milk cartons mostly came from The Flying Teapot Cafe at Woodend Mill and the bottles from New Charter Housing Association. A few of the group worked all day on the sculpture with others dropping in and out throughout the day.
Here’s the finished Queen after we had a mini-coronation…
It’s all go at Woodend Mill today with a large number of the artists getting ready for Manchester Day Parade, which is on Sunday 11th June in Manchester City Centre. I didn’t go last time but as a lot of my fellow Woodenders are working on something for the parade this year, I’ll probably go and have a look…
Salvage! the ‘junk sculpture project’ will be there parading their amazing kinetic fish and bird sculptures built from scrap and salvaged materials by young people in Failsworth. Last seen at the Illuminate event, both sculptures need bikes to power them but they were static last time – I’m interested to see how they will be moved along during the parade. See my fellow blogger CatalystJunkSculpture for some background and great photos of the project.
For more info about the Manchester Day Parade click here. It starts at 2pm this Sunday and follows a route along Deansgate and then back along Cross Street and Peter Street via Albert Square.
Last year myself and two other artists (Ann Gilligan and Richard Dawson) were successful in gaining a commission to create artwork (pending funding) for the Hyde Park Community Orchard in Hyde, Greater Manchester. Just before Christmas we found out the Community Spaces funding bid had been successful and we have now started the project.
The artwork will include an outdoor classroom, a wildlife trail and an entrance feature all informed by work produced in sessions with local schools and community groups. The final pieces will feature a number of different techniques and materials including wood, cast-stone and mosaics.
There are lots of other things happening in the Orchard so keep an eye on the Operation Farm blog for more details. I’ll also be posting about the ‘art’ side of things regularly!
Way back in October, I commented on a project I had recently finished on the Colshaw Farm estate in Wilmslow, Cheshire. More on this now…
The Colshaw Art Project was a pilot 8 week project initiated by Cheshire East Council and Lime, the arts and health organisation based in Manchester. Working with three artists, the young people from the estate would create some kind of public art for a long concrete wall in the park or ‘ramps’ as it’s known locally.
Myself, Kim Wiltshire and Richard Dawson started with a basic idea of creating some kind of lettering, possibly 3D, possibly using recycled materials but with the knowledge that we weren’t allowed to do ‘graffiti’. We ended up working with a group of challenging but enthusiastic young people aging from seven to 16 years, predominantly girls but some older boys too. They needed a lot of encouragement and support, which led to us really having to structure the workshops and think about behaviour management, health and safety and the logistics of working with 12-15 young people in a restricted space.
We started the workshops with a run through of The Rules (which they had written) and included obvious things such as ‘No Shouting’ and less obvious things such as one group member not being allowed to bite people…
Every week we ensured we had a diversionary activity whereby group members could stop what they were doing and move onto a different activity if they felt a bit restless. This was facilitated by students doing a community arts course.
We ended up with a fantastic bit of art that was created by young people from the estate from start to finish. They chose the word ‘Colshaw!’, they designed the letters from the shape to the decoration, they constructed the 3D forms, used drills, painted each letter and helped prepare the wall. They achieved a huge amount and should be proud of the finished artwork.
Woodend Artists have been successful in gaining funding from Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA) to deliver Waste Creative, a project aimed at increasing awareness and knowledge about recycling and promoting the value of waste as a resource in our local community. Working with young people and residents from New Charter Housing in Tameside, Woodend Artists will run a programme of creative workshops and art events which will include designing an information pack, making an animated film and creating junk art and sculpture.
Richard Dawson and myself are the lead artists on the project and we were delighted to be successful in gaining funding to run Waste Creative. I think it’s a great way of getting the local community and young people involved in recycling in a way that’s interesting and creative. The project also includes a communal composting scheme and an initiative which will see local residents elected as Recycling Champions.
Waste Creative will culminate in a big launch and art exhibition at New Charter in Ashton-under-Lyne.
In the meantime, here’s some sculpture created from secondhand and waste materials which were produced in workshops run by Richard Dawson. The workshops were part of the GiveGetGo! Volunteering and Wellbeing Campaign I project managed and designed for Manchester City Council last year. I’ll post more on GiveGetGo! as this month a bus stop poster campaign designed by me is about to be run in Manchester city centre.