Manchester street artists honor arena victims with canvases of love

Author : objicient2010
Publish Date : 2021-03-30


Manchester street artists honor arena victims with canvases of love

Armed with aerosol spray cans, artists are using graffiti project The Outhouse -- originally built as a public toilet block in the 1970s -- in central Manchester's Stevenson Square as the backdrop for their creative outpouring of love and support.

Read: Homeless hero helps attack victims

'What happened on Monday has just affected so many people -- people I know as well,' said Tasha Whittle, 31, who started the creative project seven years ago. 'It felt like we should do something because art can be really responsive and send a positive message.'



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Originally from Norfolk, Whittle -- who considers herself 'an honorary Manc' -- said that the desire to paint was 'instantaneous.'

She told CNN: 'Today I'm going to be writing out the poem that was read out at the vigil by poet Tony Walsh. When he read it, I had goosebumps ... He managed to encapsulate Manchester for me in a poem. It feels so raw still.'

Watch: Poet delivers powerful poem at Manchester vigil

Many of the murals features bees, an image which has been associated with Mancunians -- and their hardworking nature -- since the Industrial Revolution.

Busy painting in the midday sun, one artist using the local emblem is Jay Sharples, 45.

'We don't want to turn it into a memorial; we just want to do something for the people of Manchester and show some love for the city really,' he said.

'The Manchester bee symbol is connected to the history of the city really. It seems like a nice symbol with all the tattooists doing the campaign at the moment as well so I think it's quite fitting.'

Tattoo shops around the city are offering to ink members of the public with bee designs to raise funds for families affected by the brutal arena attack.

Those here have been hard at work for hours now, stopping briefly just once when the whole street appeared to freeze.

As the clock struck 11, everyone in the vicinity paused -- on corners, in shop fronts, grouped in clusters next to the murals in the center of the square. Even cyclists passing through dismounted and all silently bowed their heads to join the rest of the city in a moment of silence.

Another popular street artist, Qubek, has been sharing his work-in-progress on Instagram over the last few days.

'I was only round the corner from it when it happened, didn't realize until later, saw two undercover police cars flying into the city up Deansgate and wondered what was going on, sad night. RIP,' he told his Instagram followers.

And it's not just local creatives who want to use their talents to offer support. When CNN was there, a London-based artist who had just arrived in the city called to ask if he could come down and paint.

Whittle said historically the Northern Quarter was where people would come to protest and share new ideas with the community -- a feeling that she hopes the Outhouse project, which also manages other walls in the neighborhood, is continuing today.

The inspiring murals will remain on display for a month before The Outhouse returns to their usual schedule of repainting and presenting new work every three months.

Originally from Norfolk, Whittle -- who considers herself 'an honorary Manc' -- said that the desire to paint was 'instantaneous.' Read: Homeless hero helps attack victims Those here have been hard at work for hours now, stopping briefly just once when the whole street appeared to freeze. Watch: Poet delivers powerful poem at Manchester vigil And it's not just local creatives who want to use their talents to offer support. When CNN was there, a London-based artist who had just arrived in the city called to ask if he could come down and paint. Tattoo shops around the city are offering to ink members of the public with bee designs to raise funds for families affected by the brutal arena attack. Whittle said historically the Northern Quarter was where people would come to protest and share new ideas with the community -- a feeling that she hopes the Outhouse project, which also manages other walls in the neighborhood, is continuing today. Whittle said historically the Northern Quarter was where people would come to protest and share new ideas with the community -- a feeling that she hopes the Outhouse project, which also manages other walls in the neighborhood, is continuing today. 'We don't want to turn it into a memorial; we just want to do something for the people of Manchester and show some love for the city really,' he said. 'We don't want to turn it into a memorial; we just want to do something for the people of Manchester and show some love for the city really,' he said. And it's not just local creatives who want to use their talents to offer support. When CNN was there, a London-based artist who had just arrived in the city called to ask if he could come down and paint. Armed with aerosol spray cans, artists are using graffiti project The Outhouse -- originally built as a public toilet block in the 1970s -- in central Manchester's Stevenson Square as the backdrop for their creative outpouring of love and support.

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