In the shadow of Stevenson Square, where the Suffragettes once gathered defiant over 100 years ago, ‘Serenity’ is the first of the street art convention’s Tributes to Hope.
This tribute is in gratitude to all women that stand against injustice. The artwork recognises their strength, resolve and dignity, a testimony to what they have endured and still endure, to make the world a better place, for all of us.
‘Serenity’ is the production of the female and male partnership SNIK. With over a decade’s experience painting walls they have established themselves as one of the most progressive stencil artists of the moment. Their bold aesthetic is characterised by frozen scenes of dynamic action often at impressive scale.
‘Serenity’ can be seen on Lever Street, behind the Cow Hallow Hotel, just off Stevenson Square, The Northern Quarter, Manchester, M1 1BE.
Cities of Hope would like to thank Montana Spray Paint, Facelift (www.facelift.co.uk), The International Powered Access Federation (www.ipaf.org), The Cow Hallow Hotel and all volunteers and partners for their generous support.
Film and photography by: @fifthwalltv
Photo bottom of page: @jdavis84
Found on Addington Street, Spain’s Axel Void depicts a young girl having a smile forced on her from someone else’s hands. The word written across the middle says ‘Sisyphus’ who was a king from Greek mythology who was punished by Zeus to roll a boulder up a hill and then watch it roll back down, repeating the action for eternity.
Alex explains the work quoting Albert Camus who is 1942 wrote “The Myth of Sisyphus” where he related the punishment of the king to the human condition in an absurd sense for meaning. According to Alex the mural approaches the condition from an “existential approach”, proposing a metaphor on the pursuit of happiness and who we are as people.
French artist C215 has painted a number of portraits around the area including two large scale pieces on Tariff street and Spear Street, a number of smaller stencils and, rather obscurely, a number of cats. His topic this time was homelessness. Anyone walking through the centre of Manchester will know that this has been the city’s dirty little secret with politicians only now beginning to acknowledge the scale of the problem. C215 is well known for painting people on the fringes of society. He will often feature the homeless, the elderly, street kids and refugees..
Born in 1973, Christian Guémy is a Paris-based French street artist and top stencil artist known as C215 - derived from a prison cell in which he was once locked away.
Find out more about our charity partner Lifeshare
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German artist Case has a photorealistic style and his impactful piece can be found on Cable Street on the side of Swan Buildings. The piece depicts a man resting in seeming exhaustion on a bar, incorporating his signature hand-based imagery.
Partnering with ‘Back on Track’, a Manchester charity that enables disadvantaged adults to make lasting, positive changes in their lives. He scrapped his original plan and he decided to paint one of the people they support. The man in the painting is called ‘A’ a man who the project helps.
Case, aka Andreas von Chrzanowski, a founding member of the reknowned East- Germany Ma'Claim Crew, has been a photorealism pioneer for over two decades, primarily using the medium of spray paint to embrace the power of movement through the universality of hands.
Find out more about our charity partner Back on Track
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Dale Grimshaw’s theme was Globalisation – mainly it’s effect on indigenous people. "I work under the title of ‘2 Worlds’ and used to use more opposing cultural images from across the globe. Now the pieces are a little simplified with usually a main figure with a rich baroque wallpaper background of gold and red. I like the regal feel of this colour combination, implying the people in the paintings are kings & queens in their own right" Dale says.
The gold also references the goldmine in West Papua which is the biggest in the world. A lot of the images he uses are from Papua New Guinea but in the west of the Island they like to be referred to as West Papua. However the West are illegally occupied by Indonesia & are brutally tortured, raped & imprisoned on a monthly basis for even the mildest form of peaceful protest.
Born in Lancashire, in the North of England, Dale’s work is boldly figurative and is inspired by his strongly held humanitarian beliefs. However this political message is always achieved by an emphasis on powerful direct emotions and a deep empathy for his subjects.
Find out more about our partner Venture Arts
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722 – 481 BC is the title of the newest collaborative work from Faith 47 and Lyall Sprong of Thingking. This large mural, situated in the heart of Manchester’s northern district pays homage to human intimacy as well asserting support for LGBT rights. The mural is brought to life at night with a geometric light installation exploring shadows as not merely the absence of light. A symbolic interpretation of the ‘gay friendly area’ sign lights up on an adjacent wall.
This artwork forms part of the Cities of Hope Mural Project in which the work of each artist is matched to a local grassroots organisation. Faith's artwork serves as a potential catalyst for a dialogue between the Partisan collective in Manchester and the Triangle Project based in South Africa. The mural also forms part of Faith's ongoing series, 7.83hz. “Relationships rise and fall, societies blossom and crumble,” says faith47. “The profound connectedness between us creates and destroys life. We are sensitive and caring, yet at the same time vulnerable and cruel. The foundation of the 7.83hz project is recognising this duality as well as the profound weight of our interconnectedness”.
An internationally-acclaimed visual artist from South Africa, through her work Faith47 attempts to disarm the strategies of global realpolitik, in order to advance the expression of personal truth. In this way, her work is both an internal and spiritual release that speaks to the complexities of the human condition, its deviant histories and existential search.
Argentina’s Hyuro focus was about the impact of war on children in conflict zones. She explains the piece saying that in addition to the direct consequences of war and armed violence, children are also indirectly affected by displacement, loss of family and trauma cause by the acts of violence they witness.
The wall says Hyuro “is intended to give voice to all the lost innocence, all children who are fighting for their own survival, unable in front of the eyes of all, to live a childhood they deserve.” The giant mural can be found in a small car park off Brightwell Walk and depicts a blindfolded child holding an AK47 behind his back with an imposing shadow looming behind.
Hyuro's work is intimate and very personal. Her universe, disturbing and seductive. Her language is honest and forthcoming. Her head are her hands and her paintings a gift for the streets of the city.
Find out more about our charity partner 42nd Street
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Jay’s theme was iconic Manchester. Jay is Manchester born, bred and based. A former graphic designer and video-game producer, Jay is considered to be a leading figure in the Manchester street art community and is instrumental in delivering the Outhouse project – a public art project based in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.
When Jay paints, something he still does and enjoys, his style he describes as abstract mixed with graffuturism. Jay’s distinct work mixes multiple layers of thrown paint with clean bold architectural lines.
Connect with Jay Sharples
Norwegian artist Martin Whatson’s piece can be found on Faraday Street and focuses on the issue of the environment. A combination of stencil and freehand spray in Whatson’s own identifiable style, it depicts a man painting the leaves onto a tree, except the leaves are actually graffiti tags.
Martin Whatson is a stencil artist who discovered the urban art scene while studying Art and Graphic design at Westerdals School of Communication, Oslo. After following graffiti and its development, he started his own stencil production 10 years ago in the winter of 2004.
Find out more about our partner Hulme Garden Centre
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Mateus Bailon's artworks are inspired by nature, animals, and the connection between human being and nature. His artistic imaginary is inhabited by fantastic creatures, especially birds, such as in “The Guardian of Ancoats”, the mural at the entrance of this former industrial neighbourhood that borders with the Northern Quarter.
Connect with Mateus Bailon
On the side of Hilton House on Tariff Street the NEVERCREW's ‘Inhuman Barriers’ piece is in support of WAST (Woman Asylum Seekers Together). The Swiss pair of Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni have been working together since 1996. They specialise in the issue of confrontation, combining mechanisms and natural elements to create models of living systems.
The mural, on the subject of immigration, looks to depict a giant crystal or diamond which could also be an iceberg. Either way there are a lot of little featureless people trying to clamber up from the bottom, many of them though end up after finding the climb too much and the mural shows people falling from the bottom.
Working together since 1996, NEVERCREW is a swiss based artists duo composed by Christian Rebecchi & Pablo Togni. In recent years they undertook research that doesn’t aim at forcedly channeling reflections in a precise stylistic and formal way, but rather aims to find a new language that allows to follow them, deepen them and share them; and especially that it’s a practical and visible demonstration of that.
Find out more about our charity partner WAST
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The female street art duo Cbloxx and AYLO painted a large-scale mural that highlights male suicide. The work was inspired by the documentary “Grayson Perry – All Man”, which explores how contemporary masculinity shapes the lives and expectations of men nowadays.
Nomad Clan is the collective of Cbloxx and AYLO, an internationally-acclaimed, street art muralist duo based in Manchester UK. When the pair collaborate the fusion delivers an unmistakeable style. Each mural has a strong significance to the environment it sits in, combining playful scenes often from local heritage with detailed portraits of characters from some of the the tales they hear in the local public spaces.
Sheffield’s Phlegm is well known for his detailed illustrations and we’ve seen a lot of work of his over the years on the streets of London. Starting out as an illustrator he has created his own World of characters which have since evolved into some of his giant intricate street art. His work can be seen on the side of Swans Buildings on Cable Street. A fantastic city in a bottle the detail is impressive. It’s not certain exactly what was in Phelgm’s mind when painting this as he doesn’t really do a lot of explaining but the metaphor of a self sustaining city stuck inside a bottle whilst outside the World is just blank walls is an interesting one.
A world-known cartoonist and illustrator, Phlegm is also well known for his self-published comics and highly creative street art. Phlegm’s work is distinctively detailed composed of odd figures and a narrative structure. His work inspires greatness and is even often inspired by graffiti where Phlegm transforms run down urban spaces and factories.
Find out more about our charity partner Ancoats Dispensary Trust
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The piece from Spanish duo Pichi & Avo depicts Hercules fighting the centaur Nessus against the backdrop of graffiti type scrawlings. It can be found on the back of a building towards the top end of Port Street in a car park close the junction with Great Ancoats Street. The work is striking due to it’s mix of classical and modern art.
Spanish based artist duo PichiAvo are recognised for their ability to ignite relationships between art, sculpture, architecture, space and social contexts. Their style adopts a focus which is both beautiful and performative, firm in its discussion and totally the perfect deconstruction of classic art and contemporary urban art.
Find out more about our charity partner Guns to Goods
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Qubek is a Manchester based graffiti artist and muralist.
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Tankpetrol is a Polish street artist now based in Manchester. He realised a huge, detailed portrait of Anthony Burgess, the author of 'A Clockwork Orange'.
Tankpetrol uses both freehand and stencils as his medium, which he entangles with carefully placed background details, making neat, well-executed art pieces. His search of personal style and development led him to a complex look, in which he tries to fade stencils and spray paint using other techniques like acrylic paint and various mixed media.