Thousands of snaps of Manchester contributed by more than 500 local people create the city in miniature. But quite a big miniature. Helen Nugent tells more
Image via CityCo Manchester
Enthusiasts have built them across the world. From London to Beijing, Cologne to New York, LomoWalls have inspired people from all walks of life. And now Manchester has one.
Part exhibition, part experience, a LomoWall is a colourful montage of thousands of analogue snapshots or, as experts would have it, Lomographs. In this instance, the whole is more than the sum of its parts.
Much like an impressionist painting, Manchester’s newest mosaic takes on a different meaning depending on the distance from which you view it. Visitors to the 30m x 3m long artwork, mounted on a concrete wall, can stand up close or far away, each perspective is unique.
The Lomograph, erected on Tariff Street in the Piccadilly basin area of the city, reflects Manchester’s industrial heritage. Containing 14,000 individual Lomographs, it is the world’s first permanent LomoWall and the only LomoWall to be built in the open air this year.
The wall has been created by Lomography, a global organisation dedicated to using experimental and creative snapshot analogue photography. Two Lomography fans, Tom Ambrose, a University of Manchester student, and Monica Sagar, an Arden School of Theatre graduate and native Mancunian, have spent three weeks with the Lomography UK team carefully creating the masterpiece using over 1,000 different images of Manchester submitted by more than 500 people.
Linda Scott, marketing manager at Lomography UK, says:
Lomography celebrates its 20th birthday this year and this is a great way to mark it and the ideal location for our first permanent LomoWall. Once a textile district, now inhabited by the culturally curious, this is the ‘hip’ part of Manchester city centre. The area is full of design agencies, trendy music venues, bars, cafes, a craft centre and fashion boutiques and is perfectly suited to the dynamic visual delights of a local LomoWall from Lomography. The street art landscape that is developing in Manchester currently is totally inspiring to us at Lomography and the ethos behind this sits with both our ideas and those of our community. We are absolutely delighted to have this first permanent LomoWall exhibition hosted by CityCo and TCS in the Piccadilly Basin.
The project is part of the 2012 Canal Festival. Those responsible for the LomoWall initiative include the Piccadilly Partnership, CityCo, Manchester’s city centre management company, and Town Centre Securities, owners of Piccadilly Basin and previous owners of the Rochdale canal.
Alexandra King, director of Piccadilly Partnership, says:
This is a new landmark on the Northern Quarter landscape, here in the heart of the Piccadilly Basin. The LomoWall adds to the street art scene in this part of the city centre and will become a visitor attraction in its own right. We are very proud to host it and to have the world’s first permanent LomoWall is a real honour. It’s a welcome addition to the urban landscape.
Richard Lewis, property director for Town Centre Securities who own the wall, adds:
We’re really pleased to be part of this project. The LomoWall creates a fascinating piece of public art which not only enhances the area but helps put Piccadilly Basin on the map. The industrial heritage theme is very fitting and acknowledges the historical importance of this part of the city centre. In recent years TCS has worked hard to transform and regenerate the area, reopening the canal and tow paths, restoring historic mills and building bespoke, design-led new buildings. The LomoWall, along with Atelier [Zero], is creating a destination where people will come to visit and want to work, live and play.
For those wishing to visit the Lomo Wall, up to three hours free parking is available at the Urban Exchange retail development off Great Ancoats Street.
For more information on Lomography visit www.lomography.com or visit the shop at 20 Oldham Street.
For more information on summer activities in Manchester City Centre visit www.cityco.com.
The 2012 Canal Festival will run between Saturday 18th and Sunday 26th August and will offer activities along the length of the Rochdale Canal between Sowerby Bridge in West Yorkshire and Manchester city centre. The annual canal celebration, supported by The Waterways Trust and Canal and River Trust, provides a range of free activities for families, young people and visitors including outdoor activities, arts workshops and parades, volunteering events, heritage and nature walks and talks, boat trips and horse boating demonstrations.
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