UK & Manchester Artists to thank NHS & Key Workers with a NEW 'Bee in the City' style Art Installation

'Gratitude' will thank NHS staff and all key workers...

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 10 August 2021

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Wild in Art have announced the tour date, ticket details and official Manchester location for ‘Gratitude’, a spectacular public art installation to thank NHS staff and all key workers for their ongoing courage and dedication during the pandemic.

‘Gratitude’, an installation by global public art producer Wild in Art, will arrive in St Peter’s Square on 3rd September. The installation will stay there until 12th September before visiting other soon-to-be revealed locations in Edinburgh (17th – 26th September) and London (1st – 10th October).

The free to visit exhibition will consist of 51 sculptures, all designed by individual artists from different regions, and curated in partnership with creative ambassador Dame Zandra Rhodes.

Enclosed by mirrors on two sides, Gratitude creates infinite reflections of the stunning artwork, highlighting the endless dedication from NHS carers and key workers across the country. The mirrors also ensure visitors become part of Gratitude, creating an immersive experience and reflecting the contributions of the entire population.

Created by the team behind Manchester’s award-winning Bee in the City art trail in 2018, Gratitude aims to connect people and communities, artists and businesses, NHS staff and all key workers, inviting people to come together to reflect and show their appreciation.

The installation will be open to the public before the sculptures are auctioned off at a later date, where substantial proceeds will be donated to NHS Charities Together, which supports the NHS, including its hospitals, ambulance services, community and mental healthcare providers and vital partnerships.

As well as celebrating the incredible work of our key workers, the installation will reflect the stories and contributions of this unprecedented year through beautiful art and audio which will represent the UK’s nations and regions.

Artwork will be on display from multi talented artists and designers from across the country including iconic Scottish fashion designer Pam Hogg with her sculpture ‘Courage’, a statue of remembrance, for selfless, life-risking, endless dedication, renowned sculptural artist Andrew Logan with his design ‘Stardust’, British fashion and textile designer Kitty Joseph, and one of the UK’s leading ceramic artists, Kate Malone with her design ‘Life Force’ which is inspired by the optimism and joy in nature.

Their artwork and designs will form part of the installation alongside fashion icon and London based designer, Dame Zandra Rhodes and other highly acclaimed British artists including Manchester artists Lei-Mai LeMaow with her sculpture ‘Lockdown’ which tells two different stories of lockdown, Guy McKinley with ‘Double Bubble, Toil and Trouble’, a sculpture which explores his 5 year old child’s experience of the pandemic and how it differed to his own childhood, Hammo with his sculpture ‘Faces of Lockdown’ which depicts a collection of personalities from the last year and Jodie Silverman with ‘Creative Resilience’ which pays tribute to the performing arts industry.

Designers and artists also hailing from Manchester including Fernandes Makes with her sculpture ‘Take Care of Each Other and Grow’ which is inspired by hobbies and the new things we have learnt and enjoyed during lockdown, Karis Viola Lambert and her sculpture ‘Us’ which pays tribute to all of the brave key workers that have kept the UK running throughout the pandemic and Nomad Clan with their sculpture ‘Digital Conscience’, a design which explores digital identity, virtual reality, over stimulation and value systems during this challenging time. Their art will form part of the installation alongside fashion icon and designer Dame Zandra Rhodes and other highly acclaimed artists.

Charlie Langhorne, Managing Director and Co-founder of Wild in Art said: “Gratitude is set to be a beautiful and striking tribute which celebrates the incredible courage and dedication of the UK’s NHS staff and all key workers and supports the vital work of NHS Charities Together. We are delighted to be taking our tour to Manchester’s St Peter’s Square, after months of hard work from artists across the UK, who have dedicated their time and creativity to help us produce an installation which reflects our endless Gratitude for the care and kindness that all key workers have provided.”

The installation will also share real-life stories and poems about key workers, a selection of which have now been recorded by a host of well-known voices from across the UK, including Manchester actors Christopher Eccleston, Julie Hesmondhalgh, John Thomson, Ciaran Griffiths, Shobna Gulati plus other high profile figures including KT Tunstall, Adil Ray, Hugh Bonneville, Sarah Parish, Norman Cook and Jamie-Lee O’Donnell.

Visitors to the installation will be able to listen to the stories and poems via the Gratitude App and website, which have been brought to life by the actors paying tribute to key workers.

From touching tributes to doctors and staff at Birmingham Women’s Hospital and Birmingham Children’s Hospital to a light-hearted story about a dedicated Deputy Head Teacher striving to keep her pupils happy, a railway worker who has gone over and above his duties to keep people safe on their daily commutes to a powerful poem about our NHS heroes, listeners are sure to be taken on a journey of quiet reflection whilst observing the stunning artwork.

When asked about taking part in the installation, Coronation Street and Broadchurch actress, Julie Hesmondhalgh said: “What is not to love? A piece of public art that gives us the opportunity to thank the millions of key workers who have risked and sacrificed so much to keep society ticking along in these most challenging and heart-breaking of times- just wonderful! All the bin collectors and shop workers and delivery drivers; the NHS staff, from the cleaners to the consultants, our incredible teachers and our care givers. An opportunity to remember, to reflect, to be thankful. I’m so happy to be a small part of this.”

‘Paddington’ and ‘Downtown Abbey’ actor, Hugh Bonneville commented: “It’s been a very tough year for everyone, but especially for our key workers, so I am honoured to have been asked to be part of ‘Gratitude’. The project will help shine a much need light on all the hard work and dedication of our wonderful NHS and all of the other key workers across the UK.”

To give people plenty of time and space to observe the installation, there will be dedicated time slots available to visit the site, therefore an allocated number of free tickets for the general public will be available to reserve for each city.

Tickets for Gratitude’s first public opening at St Peter’s Square are available now…

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