Mural

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Russ Meehan, aka Qubek, is an artist whose work can be encountered during any walk around the Manchester area.

His murals feature throughout the region, including a huge image of 22 bees in the Northern Quarter, which represents the 22 killed in the Manchester Arena attack.

Meehan was asked to do the mural by Marc Gallanders, a graphic designer who set up the Bee Strong MCR in a bid to spread positivity in the wake of the Manchester bomb, and help children and adults have conversations about what happened. His project supplies worker bees which will be placed across Greater Manchester in a show of condolence and solidarity.
The 22 bees mural – a tribute to those killed at Manchester Arena was created in Monton.
Gallanders says: “We decided on Monton as I live there and a lot of the local schools had children directly affected by the attack, and we wanted to spread the love and the message of togetherness beyond the city centre.

“As months have gone by since the attack, we wanted the piece to help move the city and the community forward with a symbolic design.”

The new painting gives the illusion that bricks have been taken out of the wall, revealing a garden with bright flowers, blue skies, and of course – bees.

Meehan explains some of the symbolism in the work: “The flowers have all got meanings – I went through a library of flowers and read through what each of them meant.

“Snapdragons, they symbolise grace and strength, and in the same family there are some statice – which aren’t fully in bloom in the picture, they’re just behind the daffodils – they are a symbol of remembrance and symbolise sympathy and success.

“The rose at the bottom symbolises love, when you think of all the love which poured out of Manchester I thought that was a nice symbol to put in there.

“Also the rose is red because of Lancashire. Daisies symbolise innocence and purity.

“On the left hand side there’s a flower called the king protea, that stands for change and transformation and it signifies daring and resourcefulness.

“The daffodil, it’s indicative of rebirth, new beginnings, and eternal life. Now I’m not really very religious, but I think that’s a nice meaning, it’s like the flowers and the piece is in remembrance to those who have passed away. It’s almost like they’re living on through the art work.

“The bees represent the people of Manchester: hardworking individuals around the city. I didn’t want to drag it up again… I wanted to make a piece of art that celebrated not just the people who were there on the night but everyone in Manchester.

“It’s an overall celebration of people, and the love that people have for each other in this city.”

 

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Come On, Aileen

The first storm of the season, named Aileen, is due to hit tonight. For perspective, Aileen is no Irma, but still. I’ve taken down the hanging baskets and an outside lantern which is as much as I can do with no hatches to batten down.

The afternoon I spent working on a second poetry collection I’m trying to put together, while listening to a group from my favourite music period.

I have a friend who loves the eighties, and would instantly recognise the nod given by the title of this post. My own go-to listening preference stretches from the mid-sixties to early seventies. The Beatles; The Doors; The Kinks; The Rolling Stones; Tim Buckley; Cream; Cohen;  Dylan, I love all of these and more.

Being born in 1971 means that in my youth I’ve never been in vogue, musically. And don’t even mention my dress sense!

Listening to music helps when I’m writing. The group I was listening to today was Jefferson Airplane. Why do I like these?

Go and ask Alice. When she’s ten feet tall.

The Soldier And The Painter

A few months ago I read The Noise Of Time by Julian Barnes, written from the perspective of the composer Shostakovich in Stalinist Russia. I remember thinking at the time how difficult it must have been for creatives living under such regimes. Often it is the writers and the poets who are the first among the disappeared.

Anyway.

I woke in the early hours of this morning with the remnants of a dream clinging to the shirt tails of my emerging sense of self. The dream was of an artist-a painter, who was living in a country that was under some kind of communist or military rule. He had been called to be conscripted into the army, but his passion was for his art. He was stood before a desk being questioned by a seated officer, a strict disciplinarian, who was giving him the party line about what his duty to his country was, and what an honour it is to serve the ‘leader’ and to give your life for the cause. 

The young man replied that he had no intention to die for the cause, but rather to live for his art.

This provoked a concerted effort from the officer to bring the young man around to the official way of thinking.

The artist replied “I’m not going to be a soldier anymore than you are going to be my psychologist.”

That was it. I woke up with that last line rattling around my brain, a film with no closure, a story with no end.

It has been some months since I read The Nosie Of Time, and haven’t really thought of it since, so I’m not too sure if that was where the seeds of my dream were sown. And to be honest the storyline was not really the same as that in my dream.

But I feel a little cheated. I was filled with admiration for my conjured character, whoever he was. Maybe he served as an archetype for all of those creative types that I spoke about at the start of this post. I feel like I really need to know what happened to that young artist, and what price he paid for his courageous stance.

I probably will never know. Perhaps I should write it myself.

Andy and Anna peace movement?

This is a post by Swedish artist Anna that was inspired by a conversation on one of my posts-some light hearted comments on a dark-subject post. Our newly fledged Anglo-Scandinavian peace movement. In Polyester or fleece 🙂

Annas Art - FärgaregårdsAnna

A comments thread that maybe went wild?

You can read the post and the comments to get a picture of what happened. Here’s the link.

https://cityjackdaw.wordpress.com/2017/05/31/a-final-manchester-post-still-the-flowers-grow/

This is the comments that made me create an image in my head




And here’s the drawing 😉


Thanks Andy for the inspiration to the drawing!

Anna

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Sleepwalking in a hammock

Thought I would share this with you guys. Anna is a Swedish artist, and from a throwaway comment that I made on one of her posts she created this cool picture. So be careful what you say here on WordPress-you never know what it will lead to! There are many ‘weird heads’ out there!! 🙂

Annas Art - FärgaregårdsAnna

A conversation with Andy from City Jack daw come to be about sleepwalking.

He said something about difficulties to sleepwalk in a hammock.

Those words immediately made a picture in my weird head.

It can’t be easy to rise up and sleep walk in a hammock. Have you tried?

Have a great day all of you!

Anna

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