The Northern Quarter Street Artist posting Positivity throughout the City

'Your Space Or Mine' is a national collaboration inspiring through positive messaging...

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 18 June 2020

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Running alongside their Community is Kindness project, the BUILDHOLLYWOOD family of JACK, JACK ARTS and DIABOLICAL are spotlighting artists for their ‘Your Space Or Mine’ project which gives artists and creatives a platform on the street.

They have collaborated with a new series of artists to inspire the public in different ways, whether that’s through positive messaging or playful humour to help boost morale.

Their latest instalment of Your Space Or Mine sees them collaborate with 11 inspiring artists across the UK, including Micah Purnell for Manchester.

Micah Purnell is an award-winning, concept driven multi-disciplined creative. For the latest Your Space or Mine collaboration in Manchester, Purnell has created a trio of bespoke artworks using powerful and direct phrases set against a rainbow of block colours, reading: ‘Community like never before’ – ‘Kindness at its proper level’ – ‘Let’s make this love normal’ to offer hope in a world of negative messages.

“Covid-19 has exposed beauty in dark times for everyday people”. says Northern Quarter-based Purnell. “Like the rainbow, as dark times rise, people have responded with a vision of how things ought to be”. “A friend lost his dad to the virus, people can’t be with their loved ones, the pressure on the NHS is profound, but to ease the pain a lone fiddler braves an audience with music on his driveway.

On my own street a wedding singer and a brass trio performed ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’, and elsewhere kids paint hug pebbles for people to take”

“The rainbow has come to symbolise solidarity, gratitude and big hearted generosity. The messages are in praise of the collective bar that has been raised, in kaleidoscopic ways, with a call to make this love normal – musicians playing to the street, kids chalking a hopscotch for passers-by, and advertising inspiring hope – long after we get ‘back to normal’.”

“I took a lead from Jack Arts wonderful Community is Kindness billboard campaign and tied it with the stories that followed. Community has become localised due to the lockdown. We’ve reached out to our immediate neighbours and they have willingly obliged with outstretched arms. The designs refer to the rays of light seen amid such dark times.

I didn’t want to produce toxic positivity, where we gloss over trauma and hardship, but to instead recognise, that within the difficulty, people step up. The colours are set to black intentionally, but that enhances their energy.”

Alongside Purnell, the agency family has collaborated with 10 other artists who have been asked to respond with inspiring messages of positivity and perseverance.

First, Ben Eine collaborates on a national scale, creating two artworks that appeal to the British sense of humour alongside a bespoke mural in East London. Yinka Ilori has designed one poster space in Blackfriars London with the messaging “better days are coming, I promise”.

Other artists are taking over their respective city streets with positive and uplifting messaging: Super Freak in Birmingham, Lois O’Hara in Brighton, Holy Moly in Bristol, #medicineonthewalls in Bristol, Suzanne Carpenter in Cardiff, Martin Baillie in Edinburgh, Social Recluse in Glasgow, and Beth Woollvin in Sheffield.

“These artists have diverse approaches, styles and perspectives. What they have in common is their goal of uniting and inspiring the community, not just during the crisis but every single day. We are excited to be collaborating with these extraordinary artists for our latest Your Space Or Mine project which we hope will bring some joy into peoples lives” – Khaly Nguyen, Head of Marketing (Jack, Jack Arts, Diabolical)

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