////Concept Proposal

Title: Make Your Mark Festival Manchester 2014 (MYM)


Statement: A festival that embraces mark making across the city through installation, workshops, and secret events.

Aims of the concept:

  • Connect communities across Manchester
  • Encourage creative arts within all age ranges
  • Offer memorable experiences
  • Revitalize and make use of abandoned/derelict sites
  • Create a distinctive atmosphere
  • Encourage environmentally friendly materials
  • Inspire people to look at their city in new ways

When investigating locations there seems to be a divide between the familiar and unfamiliar. Part of the aim of this project is to tie popular locations with less frequented locations. Through this I have chosen to scatter events across the parks of Manchester within communities. These events will involve installations and workshops that aim to encourage the public to make their own work and tell their own stories. After this process the work will be physically and digitally collected together in a central location, encouraging people to visit ‘their’ sculpture and to see it united with sculptures from across the city. As a concept this will tie parts of the city together as one, as well as giving people the opportunity to gather and celebrate together.

Proposed parks across Manchester: Whitworth Park/Plattfields Park/Heaton Park/Alexandra Park (main focuses for example purpose, smaller local parks will also be included)

Park Sculptures:

The proposed concept for connecting the parks is to place a large sculpture/installation in each park for one week which the public will be invited to draw and paint on. This will encourage storytelling, mark-making and creativity across all ages. Below are examples of large contemporary park sculptures that provoke memorable reactions. The scultpures are intended to be fairly lightweight, made from recycled materials but painted white or very light colours to offer a blank canvas for the public to work on.

Inspiration for park installations/sculptures

Through researching ideas for sculpture that would be relevant to Manchester, I have found inspiration in the industrial history of the city. Although as a whole the festival is intended to be playful and invoke imagination I’ve decided that keeping the sculptures simple and rooting them to the history of Manchester is key. Using cogs, bolts, chains, bricks invokes the concept of connection and links between communities. Below are textured images of industrial materials that are inspiration for large scale pieces.

Textured images used as a base for the park sculptures The kinds of images below are intended to be made in to large scale sculptures in each park. The scale of the individual sculptures will match the size of the park and the variation will mean when the sculptures are collected together in one place there will be unity between them. Using white or a pale palette may make them seem precious but the idea is to encourage people to get outside of their comfort zone and make brave marks on them, to act freely with the paint they are provided with. Alongside these sculptures will be writing and drawing challenges which will collect together the ideals and imagination of the public. Some of this work can later be displayed in smaller exhibitions. As the concept is open to the interpretation of the public, the work would be sorted and curated into exhibition after the festival.

Shapes/maquettes for park installations Another integral part of the project is to transfer the mark-making and stories collected at the park sites to other less frequented or even secret parts of the city. I’ve investigated different types of projection but have found the key aspect is placement in unexpected locations, alongside presenting clear content. The idea is that any phrase or drawing made on a sculpture in one of the parks could become a projection piece across a building or street somewhere else in the city. These projection sites would need to be already set up and inter-changeable between text and image.

Examples of projection installations  Key points of concept:

  • Large blank sculptures placed in parks across Manchester
  • Public interaction by the public writing and painting on them
  • Alongside workshops to encourage creative exploration of the city
  • Phrases and words from these sites projected in other parts of the city
  • Transfer of the sculptures into a central location of the festival 
  • Celebration of mark making 



I’m also keen to encourage exploration throughout the event, using vague and suggestive instructions. Eccentric signs like the images below could be used to aid this. Alongside treasure hunts and orientation booklets that make suggestions about looking at the city differently.

Examples of signs

Related events:

  • Paper aeroplane building competition
  • Paint throwing
  • Seed bombing/planting in neglected areas
  • Treasure Hunt that leads to the top of a tall building with a view of the city
  • Draw a portrait of a stranger
  • Adventure booklet
  • Make you own stickers and sticker your city
  • Paint a brick
  • Find the dinousaur, bones in a huge sand pit
  • Various drawing/painting/writing workshops

Constructing the right atmosphere is key to the festival experience. I intend to invoke a sense of nostalgia through a village fete style. Using traditional decoration and simple, re-used materials. Looking after the environment will be a key theme alongside the main aspect of promoting creativity. I also intend for events to carry on through into the evening, specifically for adults to get involved.

MYM Festival

The sculpture concept combined with a series of smaller workshops and events will create new connections across the city. The park installations take inspiration from the industrial history of the city and offer a blank canvas for the imagination of the public. Utilising technology in derelict and lesser used areas will create personal almost secret experiences for people. Pop up events will generate work which could be curated into exhibitions about the people of Manchester. Hopefully temporary memorable experiences can inspire creativity and community across Manchester.


Playful, simple branding created for the project


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s