The skies of Manchester will be illuminated by huge beams of light this winter as part of a new free art project.
The incredible spectacle will take place at the site of the soon-to-open Factory International arts venue, but will be visible from across the city.
The powerful beams of light will reach up into the clouds and will gently pulse.
It’s been created by artist Luke Jerram (the man behind the 10m Floating Earth at MediaCityUK and the giant Museum of the Moon at Bluedot Festival) and is called First Breath.
Each pulse of the lights is meant to represent the first breath of babies born that day in Greater Manchester.
Audiences will be able to get up close to the artwork and walk in and around the lights.
Luke Jerram said: ”I want to reveal, celebrate and connect the hidden community of people giving birth each day in Greater Manchester. Disconnected and yet going through the life-changing experience at the same time, there are on average over 70 babies born each day in the city.
“This new artwork is designed to celebrate the moment a child is born – the extraordinary moment when they take their first breath and a new life arrives in the world.”
Factory International, which is set to open next June, has already begun delivering creative education programmes to hundreds of young people aged nine-14 across Manchester and the wider region with a focus around social and emotional learning, teamwork, leadership and resilience.
Hundreds of babies born in January 2023 will also receive lifetime membership to Factory International – providing priority booking, discounted tickets and exclusive invitations to everything from major exhibitions and epic concerts, to family performances and workshops.
John McGrath, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Factory International and Manchester International Festival said: “At the turn of 2023 we’ll celebrating new beginnings with a beautiful public artwork projected from the site of our future home into the night sky.
“As we welcome hundreds of new-borns into the world through Luke’s light sculpture, we will also be breathing life into our new building and, we hope, setting in motion a fruitful life-long relationship with a new generation.”
First Breath will take place between 4pm and 10pm, every day between 1 and 29 January 2023.
An adults-only ‘after hours’ event is happening at the Science and Industry Museum next week
If you need an excuse to leave the little Mancs at home, then one of Manchester’s most visited museums might have just what you’re looking for.
Fancy releasing your inner child?
If you’re keen to play your way through 50 years of video games, embark on an adventure through the digestive system, or relax with a drink while discovering the small matter of the infinite vastness of the universe, then you’ll probably want to make your way down to the Science and Industry Museum next week.
With the nights drawing earlier than ever now autumn is here, this is your chance to explore the museum in a whole new light after the sun’s gone down.
It’s giving grown-ups a unique opportunity to make the most of all the museum’s best-loved exhibitions without the kids running around.
Kicking off from 6pm next Thursday 5 October, tickets to the one-off Museum After Hours event are now on sale, and include evening passes to the museum’s showstopping special exhibitions ‘Power Up’ and ‘Operation Ouch! Food, Poo and You’, as well as access to the popular Revolution Manchester, Textiles Gallery, and Experiment areas.
There’ll also be the chance to see Paul Miller’s MicroCosmic installation, as well as talk to the artist himself, and get involved with lots of drop-in activities too.
Several exciting textile demonstrations will also be taking place throughout the evening.
And of course, because this is an adults-only event, the museum’s events bar will be popping up on the night, and will be serving up a wide range of wines, beers, and non-alcoholic drinks to wet your whistle while you’re looking around.
And now, the city has been praised for the inspiration it has to offer.
We all know the UK is a melting pot of culture, and is a country brimming with creativity, arts, and innovation, but have you ever stopped to think about which UK cities would be considered as the most inspiring for creatives?
Well, the team over at printing experts Aura Print were pretty intrigued by it, and so decided to do a bit of research in a bid to come up with a top 10 list.
They considered a wide range of factors in the process that has seen Manchester come out on top – with some of the factors including the number and density of art galleries and museums, theatres, comedy clubs, right through to the street art scene, the availability of creative job opportunities, and the number of art and design universities.
Based on all of these factors, each city was given an ‘inspirational score’ out of 10 to help create the final rankings.
Top 10 Most Inspiring Cities in the UK
Manchester – 8.33/10
Brighton and Hove – 7.69/10
Bristol – 7/10
London – 6.94/10
Edinburgh – 6.60/10
Leeds – 6.55/10
Liverpool – 6.45/10
Glasgow – 5.71/10
Newcastle – 5.57/10
Belfast – 5.52/10
Manchester earned an impressive 8.33/10 for its inspirational score, thanks to having the highest number of comedy clubs outside London, a bustling street art scene, over 13 billion admiring the city on TikTok, and even being called a “must-visit for theatre aficionados” due to being home to the UK’s biggest theatre in the round in the Royal Exchange Theatre.
Brighton and Hove takes the second spot on the list just behind Manchester, with Bristol, London, and Edinburgh all following close behind to round out the top five.