It’s either this week or not for a while. My Mancurian mate has family obligations and after the week that has been a few pints sound pretty good. Everyone at work has been stepping up to the plate and contributing. Even though there has been more placed on each of our shoulders we carried the burden without hesitation toward a common goal that is to finish on time. It’s funny how it’s actually easier to carry a tougher workload when a toxic piece is removed from the equation.
As some of you may have noticed I am a fan of street art. Expression that is painted on walls accessible from the street. Graffiti, stencils, stickers as well as any combination of the above. Currently there is a street art festival happening in Manchester in the Northern Quarter of the city. These murals by invited artists from around the globe are meant to draw attention to various issues facing our society. These issues range from equality to the abolition of violence while at the same time expressing feelings about those subjects. These feelings are conveyed through visual form in a medium that is more in tune with today’s fickle disposable culture.
People that frequent this area are aware of these issues. Forward thinking, creative and open-minded, they accept the notions inherent in embracing individualism as a collective. Through this acceptance a greater tapestry can be formed stemming from connection rather than repulsion of differences. We as individuals within this collective culture share these qualities. We connect through the things that we have in common and debate the differences that we find as we get to know each other.
My mate wasn’t aware of this festival happening. Since we always gravitate to this Northern Quarter anyways we explored some of the alleyways in between pints and found ourselves inspired by what we found. Along our journeys others were doing the same thing stopping and taking a photo of something special. Something that drew us to this area to contemplate the meaning behind vision. They were all really good and amongst the artists that were featured there were the pieces that have graced the walls for some time already. Pieces that have been there for a while that added to the ambiance to this part of Manchester.
It’s not up to me to interpret these images to you. My own thoughts and feelings about them stem from what they evoke within me. Some reflect my experiences while others reveal my hopes for the future. Some I don’t understand while others project their meaning through the symbolism they contain. The “medium is the message” innit? What was once a blight on the urban landscape has become the means by which blandness is turned into fascination. A rich complex tapestry of visual forms that bubbles from the collective id. Here there is a concentration of these images. Since there is so many their impact is diluted but when reflected upon in isolation they scream boldly and loudly.