Creative studio and multidisciplinary arts collective We are Willow has launched a series of six striking installations in collaboration with global art producer Wild in Art. Known as ‘Six Places In A Different Light’. the installations will form a trail across Greater Manchester aiming to promote mental health awareness and wellbeing.
The series of head sculptures can be found in Mayfield Park, Greengate Square, the University of Salford’s Peel Park Campus, outside the Imperial War Museum North and MediaCityUK from November 3 until December 11. The aim is to engage with new audiences and connect with new communities through creativity, to encourage open conversation, embracing mental health in a different light.
‘A Different Light’ is a project that has been creatively evolving since its inception in 2016. The work originally featured four films, an album of music and spoken word and an edition of 300 bespoke mini head sculptures.
In this latest project, six large scale head sculptures will each be uniquely decorated by illustrator and community artist Kelly Ma, illustrator Tom J Newell and painter Ekun Richard. Famous for his rich, earthy-toned art, Manchester-based painter Ekun Richard, alongside charity START, blends his style in the making of two warm and calming sculptures, exploring the themes of the unknown and the revolving question of what constitutes good mental health.
Tom J Newell lent his recognisable bold line work in the creation of the Green and Blue sculptures in collaboration with Manchester Mind. Incorporating intricate details, the Green head is tied down to reality amongst flowers and foliage, while its Blue counterpart is seemingly in the clouds, concerned with thoughts and feelings.
Salford illustrator and artist Kelly Ma worked with participants from The Jamie Horrocks Trust to deliver ‘Journey’ and ‘Embrace’. Utilising her passion for capturing moments we may take for granted, ‘Journey’ is a representation of one’s undying hope in the midst of life’s constant ups and downs. ‘Embrace’ is woven with grounded trees and emotive positive lyrics from We Are Willow’s work, inviting trail visitors to embrace self-compassion.
The artists will work with mental health participants to generate inspiration for their work, all of which will respond to We Are Willow’s specially written 12 track album of music and spoken word. The project works with three different charities which include Manchester Mind, START and The Jamie Horrocks Trust, along with additional participants from BlueSci in Trafford & Stockport and District Mind.
Where to find the Six Places In A Different Light sculptures
- London Road / Fairfield Street, Manchester, M1 2PH
- Mayfield Park, Baring Street, Manchester, M1 2PY
- Greengate Square, Salford, M3 5AS
- Media City UK, Salford, M50 2EQ
- Imperial War Museum North, Trafford Park, Manchester, M17 1TZ
- Chapman Square, Peel Park Campus, University of Salford, M5 4QW
The Six Places In A Different Light project is funded and supported by the Greater Manchester Integrated Care Partnership, Salford City Council, The University of Salford, LandsecU+I and Arts Council England.