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Creativity, through the lens of lockdown

Abi Owers

,

17.12.2020

50 windows of creativity

“50 Windows was a way to help people to engage with culture, in a safe and socially distanced way.” Ben Reed – Producer, 50 Windows of Creativity.

In March 2020, Wild in Art producer Ben Reed took a walk around our city of Manchester and noticed an odd feeling about the place. The steely quiet of lockdown #1 was emphasised by the number of already vacant properties. 

For many of us, the detachment from the cultural places we found comfort left a huge gap. The pleasure of aimlessly wandering around Manchester’s galleries was gone, and the many exhibitions or gigs that we were so lucky to experience were also on hold for the foreseeable.

Realising that a lot of Manchester businesses in leisure and retail would struggle to come back, Ben was inspired to find a way to breathe creativity back into our brilliant streets. The empty shop windows sparked an idea that enabled people to engage with culture in a safe, socially distanced way.

50 windows of creativity

Ben and his team created a concept that would bring the streets and shop windows to life, that would involve multiple artists whilst providing the opportunity for individual creative spotlights. A chance to showcase the breadth and depth of creativity in Manchester, and to provide a platform for both established and up and coming artists. 

50 Windows of Creativity was born, bringing to life a magnificent art trail offering Manchester’s residents the opportunity to enjoy a walk in the fresh air whilst soaking up some city culture.

A magical mashup of brilliant talent, all expressing themselves with their spaces in so many ways. A celebration of creativity, isolation, people, and resilience. 

Inspired by the trail and our love of all things creative, the film team from Trunk were invited by our friends at Wild In Art to capture the project and mark a moment of resilience in Manchester’s history. 

Raising money for artists and charity. 

The art trail also provided an opportunity for people to own a small piece of the project. An auction held at the Kimpton Hotel on 17 December raised money for the artists and for charitable causes. 

Here’s a round up of some of the art featured.

Mary Goodwin – Do you know who I am?
Greater Manchester Legends (Shelagh Delaney)  (©David Oates Photography)


‘Do you know who I am’ is a tryptic of historical Mancunians who are famous by name but not so famous by face.

Mary Goodwin has been making mosaics for six years following an epiphany in front of a Ugandan mosaic. She was initially self-taught but then went on to meet Manchester artist Mark Goodwin. 

The other two portraits feature acclaimed author Anthony Burgess and artist L.S Lowry.

Tankpetrol – Rainy Days (©David Oates Photography)

Born in Poland, Tankpetrol, who now lives in Manchester, originally came from the graffiti scene. Today he is known for his incredible work with stencil art. Using different techniques to embrace the diversity of women’s characters, his murals can be seen in countries around the world including Iceland, Malaysia, Russia, Germany and France. This piece, aptly named ‘Rainy Days’, has been created used acrylic, spray paints, hand-cut stencils and liquid copper paint on canvas.


Benji Reid – Jet Age (©David Oates Photography)

An award-winning photographer, Benji’s work is inherently political. 

Jet Age is the exploration of afro-futurism, exploring the migration of the child as an astronaut.  The model uses the stream of water to propel her through the skies as she imagines herself aloft, flying above the clouds to reach outer space on her wooden chariot.


Mark Kennedy – Manchester City Football Club 2021 shirt (©David Oates Photography)

A mosaic replica of the 20/21 Premier League season shirt worn by the players of Manchester City Football Club. Puma designers have created the shirt as an homage to the work Mark has done around the Etihad Stadium, the City Football Academy, and the Northern Quarter.


Krek (©David Oates Photography)

Krek’s work is inspired by the sounds, designs and styles of the 1920’s – 1970’s. His work has influences from early poster art to the form and shape of classic cars. His work shows beautiful attention to detail, form, flow and quality in design.


50 Windows of Creativity: When the world stood still, Manchester kept creativity alive. 

What does creativity mean to you?

Our creative team had the pleasure of catching up with Ben and artists Mark Kennedy and TJ Dolan. Watch this film to find out what creativity means to them.

Contact us today to discuss your next creative project.