Greater Manchester has proved itself to be a particularly artistic through so many mediums over the years, whether it be the legendary music scene, our festivals dedicated to the arts, or our huge array of incredible street art. Now, five renowned Argentine artists from the La Boca barrio in Buenos Aires are working with hundreds of people from Stockport communities to transform the unloved Hopes Carr area in the town with the biggest mural in the north, adding to the collection of wonderful street art we have to offer.
In a project called La Boca to La Stocka, the artists are bringing their own experience of how ordinary people can use the power of art to transform an uninviting and uninspiring part of the neighbourhood into a vibrant place to be proud of.
La Boca to La Stocka is a welcoming and inclusive project involving people of all ages. Local businesses, students, Stockport street artists, pensioners, people with learning disabilities, builders and more are all joining forces with the Argentine artists to create a huge multi-coloured mural which will become a key feature of a creative corridor, linking the area with the town centre.
John and Sophie Macaulay are the husband-and-wife team behind this exciting project, and are also the co-founders of Stockport’s GRIT Studios and Art Battle Manchester, and they are determine
John said: “We’ve got a lot in common with the people of La Boca, even though they’re 7,000 miles away. Their neighbourhood was crumbling and everyone who could get out had gone. It was cheap though, and artists moved in.
“They realised that nobody was going to do anything for them, so they decided to do things for themselves, starting by using the decaying buildings and fragmented walls as a canvas for their art. In doing so they created a neighbourhood that is now a ‘must see’ destination.”
Sophie adds: “Stockport is a brilliant place with brilliant people, with a fabulous musical and industrial heritage. This was the place where you could see Jimi Hendrix for five shillings; where you could find Gracie Field’s grand piano; and where pop superstars drank in the local pub after a session at Strawberry Studios.
“We thought it’s time we did something great again around here and that’s what La Boca to La Stocka is doing. We are using the spirit of La Boca to enable local people to reclaim and transform their neighbourhood.”
The Argentine La Boca artists Eva Luna Maissa, Patrica Salatino,
Patricia said: “The people of Stockport are just lovely and welcoming. They’ve made us feel at home and it’s great that they’ve trusted us with the mural design.”
The mural itself will be completed by next Wednesday 13 September and anyone can come along to see both the work-in-progress and the finished mural on Hopes Carr, Stockport.