The 22 tiles form part of 90 works donated by Manchester artists in support of the #WeStandTogether campaign
Following last week’s terror attack at Manchester Arena, the city’s generosity has exceeded all expectations: the British Red Cross We Love Manchester appeal has now surpassed £6m - bolstered by a joint donation of £1m from City and United - while many events over the bank holiday weekend donated all proceeds to helping those affected.
Elsewhere, an appeal to buy emergency staff a drink quickly raised over £12,000, while heart-warming stories continue to circulate of residents who rushed to help; offering everything from free taxi rides to shelter and, later, blood donations.
But, as flower tributes multiply in St Ann’s Square, tattoo parlours turn out bee tattoos and fundraisers rack up ever more contributions, there are countless more examples of generosity taking place below the radar - one of which occurred when local artist Scarlet Nieschmidt announced on Facebook that she wanted to set up an online art auction, in support of the #WeStandTogether MEN fund.
What started as a trickle of enquiries soon turned to a flood, with many of the city’s leading artists offering works - now numbering over 90.
“The response has been overwhelming,” Nieschmidt told us yesterday. “We even have some green tiles from The Rovers Return.
"There are 22, one for each person lost in the attack, and each has been individually painted with a worker bee by Nick Franklin.”
The 'screen-used tiles' were donated to Franklin by Granada, and he has painted, numbered and signed each tile individually. Each of the items - measuring 22 x 22 inches - will come with a letter of authentication from ITV.
Bids for the first of the 22 tiles have already reached over £1,000.
Some of the art up for auction:
The general art auction went live last night and runs until Sunday 4 June. Participating artists include Akse (painter of the NQ David Bowie piece, which was replaced by Sloth - who also appears in the auction), Mancsy and Paul Wolfgang Webster, to name but a few.
From Meha Hindocha’s colourful ink cityscapes to Nomad Clan’s suffragette-inspired print, mediums and subjects are wide-ranging; though the bee naturally makes a regular appearance, seen in everything from Kate Cocker’s impasto acrylic to Rebecca Jones’ metallic papercut.
All proceeds go to the #WeStandTogether fund, which has now exceeded £2m. Approved by The Charity Commission, who is encouraging people to donate to genuine appeals in the wake of the attack, this was launched in partnership with the British Red Cross appeal. Money raised will go towards supporting affected families, who are meantime being encouraged to contact Victim Support.
The auction isn’t the only example of Manchester’s notoriously tight-knit artistic community joining forces in the wake of the attack. Led by James Torry of Doodlemo Motion, 61 creatives across the city - from illustrators to designers, photographers to agencies - are collaborating on a charity book, based on Tony Walsh’s moving poem This is the Place.
Each will design a page based on a line of the now iconic poem, which was performed to a crowd of thousands at last Tuesday’s vigil (below) and, as Torry said, ‘gave a city that was struggling to know what or how to feel some language to articulate it.’
Confirmed contributors already include the likes of Factory Records designer Peter Saville, while Walsh himself - alongside Mayor Andy Burnham - will write the forewards. The £30 book is now on pre-sale, with all profits being divided between MEN’s #WeStandTogether, Forever Manchester and the Mayoral homelessness fund.
The creative community in Manchester is making a book inspired by the words of This Is The Place by @LongfellaPoet pic.twitter.com/4mZdOCwvHV
— ThisIsThePlace Book (@thisplacemcr) May 26, 2017
Torry said: “We have such a strong creative community in the city and I saw this as a way for us to come together, collaborate and make something for Manchester that was hopeful for the future” - a sentiment echoed by Nieschmidt, who was frequently ‘up 'til three am responding to auction enquiries.’
So, if you want to nab an original piece of art for a great cause, it’s time to rally round and get browsing.