A new public art trail from the team behind the hugely popular Bee in the City is coming to Manchester this month.
Soon enough, Mancs will start spotting gigantic heads across the region, in a new project created to promote mental health awareness and wellbeing.
Wild in Art are behind the latest art trail – they were also the creator of the huge colourful bees that took over the city back in 2018 – working alongside creative studio and multidisciplinary arts collective We are Willow.
Six Places In A Different Light will see six huge head sculptures installed at local landmarks, including Mayfield Park, Greengate Square, the University of Salford’s Peel Park Campus, outside the Imperial War Museum North, and MediaCityUK.
Each head will be uniquely decorated by illustrator and community artist Kelly Ma, illustrator Tom J Newell and painter Ekun Richard, who will work with mental health participants to generate inspiration.
Each sculpture will respond to We Are Willow’s specially written 12 track album of music and spoken word.
Taking place between 30 October and 11 December, the aim of Six Places In A Different Light is to encourage conversation around mental health.
The new public art trail is being funded by the Greater Manchester Integrated Care Partnership, Salford City Council, The University of Salford, LandsecU+I and Arts Council England.
‘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.
The project also works with three different charities:
Manchester Mind, is an independent charity, affiliated to national Mind, who have been delivering local mental health services for over 30 years. Last year over 7500 adults and young people received support, information and/or training from Manchester Mind. Their aim is to make it easier for people to ask for help.
START, a charity that has been delivering mental health and wellbeing services in Salford for over 30 years; the organisation uses creativity, connection and recovery interventions to help improve people’s lives.
The Jamie Horrocks Trust, which was established to help prevent suicide through early community engagement whilst working with and supporting those who have lived experience of losing someone to suicide.
Chris Butler, co-founder and creative lead for WE ARE WILLOW, said: “The opportunity to collaborate with Wild in Art and three inspirational charities, to promote the crucial work they deliver across Greater Manchester through creativity is extremely exciting.
“The previous projects we have produced have raised awareness, but we can always do more. We can make it count for more, bring more people with us and, with collaboration as our guiding light, make a bigger difference.”
The giant head sculptures arrived at Mayfield Park this week where they will remain in a dedicated painting space until they are installed in their locations across Greater Manchester.
Laura Percy, development director for Mayfield, LandsecU+I, comments: “Mayfield is delighted to support ‘Six Places In A Different Light’. This sculpture trail encouraging people to talk about their mental health is a wonderful idea, and where better for this to happen than the city’s newest park, a place for peaceful reflection.
“The blend of culture and nature is integral to Mayfield, and we look forward to welcoming many more visitors to the park over the next few months.
“This initiative, together with the recreation of the iconic Ian Curtis mural at the Star & Garter to support World Suicide Prevention Day in September, underlines our deep and lasting commitment to using our spaces to inspire, educate and support our city.”
The incredible new lantern trail around a northern theme park with Yorkshire pudding wraps, boozy hot chocolates, and more
Yorkshire pudding wraps and boozy hot chocolates are just some of the festive treats on offer at an incredible new lantern trail.
In case you haven’t heard, Land of Lights has now opened at Gulliver’s World in Warrington, and it’s transformed the much-loved North West theme park into an immersive winter wonderland for the Christmas season – with 12 “vivid dreamworlds” full of dozens of gigantic lanterns inspired by animals, mega monuments, and wonders of the natural world to marvel at.
As the sun goes down and the nights draw in, visitors are now able to explore an amazing array of light installations as they walk all around the park.
More than 7,000 individual lanterns and hundreds of thousands of LED lights create the spectacle.
Having been already enchanting families since it opened at few weeks back now, Land of Lights is a first-of-its-kind attraction for the area, and it’s arrived in Warrington after it was held for the first time ever at Gulliver’s Land down in Milton Keynes last year, and proved to be a smash-hit success that was visited by thousands.
The award-winning work of the Zigong Lantern Group – with more than 100 people involved in the production process, and it taking six months to design, manufacture, and artistically finish – Land of Lights seems to already be garnering rave reviews.
But those aren’t just down to all the show-stopping lanterns and light installations.
That’s because visitors also have the chance to tuck into a feast of festive-themed street food and drinks all throughout the festival too.
As you make your way around the illuminated park, you can grab everything from freshly-made and generously-filled Yorkshire pudding wraps, and an impressive selection of handmade churros, to authentic German sausages and bratwursts, and a winter-warming lineup of tipples and soft drinks like mulled wine, beer, and boozy hot chocolates.
Not only that, but there’s also Lagado’s Restaurant & Grill located on site too, which offers up a wide range of sit-down meal options inside its warm restaurant on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays of the festival.
As we mentioned, the event looks to have been proving pretty popular in the short time since it’s opened, with positive reviews coming in thick and fast.
One glowing review reads: “We visited Land of Lights at Gulliver’s world, I have to say it’s breathtaking, much more than what I imagined, well worth the money, definitely recommended.
“Like stepping into a fairy tale, it’s an amazing experience. You have hot food and drink, different gadget shops during the trail, it’s an instant stress relief after a bad day. Parking is free.”
Whether you can believe it or not, it’s actually been two whole decades since the 2003 Christmas cult classic that is Elf was released to the world, and with December literally just a few days away now, there’s no better way to celebrate this special anniversary than seeing the film return to the big screen for a limited time only.
From this week, you can head on down to Vue cinemas in both Manchester Printworks and inside Quayside MediaCity, as well as others throughout the region, to watch the beloved festive flick.
Going on to become a much-loved festive favourite that’s watched by families all over the world every time December rolls around, Elf is a Christmas comedy film that tells the story of a human raised by Santa’s elves.
As Buddy grows older, he eventually learns about his origins, and heads to New York City on a mission to meet his biological father.
Directed by on Favreau and written by David Berenbaum Elf has been hailed by many as a modern classic, and it’s often listed as one of the best Christmas films of all time.
It stars legendary comic actor Will Ferrell as the title character Buddy the Elf, alongside a talented ensemble cast of famous faces such as Zooey Deschanel, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Bob Newhart, Jon Favreau, Peter Dinklage, and more in supporting roles.
Ferrell’s performance as Buddy was also praised by critics and audiences alike at the time of the film’s release, and many have even called it one of the best performances of his career.
Speaking ahead of Elf’s return to cinemas this Christmas, Mike Anton, who is the General Manager of Vue Manchester Printworks, said: “Christmas is all about spending quality time with friends and family, and creating treasured moments to last a lifetime.
“So we’re glad to be marking the merry occasion with a lineup of some of the most iconic and beloved Christmas classics.”
Tickets to see Elf at Vue Manchester Printworks and Vue Manchester Quayside are now available to get your hands on from just £4.99 when booked online here.
If you also find yourself at a loose end in Manchester city centre over the next couple of weeks, there’s another a little hidden cinema tucked away inside popular hotel King Street Townhouse that’s screening a jam-packed lineup of classic Christmas films throughout December too – including Love Actually, Home Alone, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
You can also sip on festive cocktails, and snack on popcorn and pick n mix while you watch all the festive flicks too.