Last month, Mustard Tree staff and volunteers had a fantastic night at the Letterspace charity auction held at the Whitworth gallery Manchester – to celebrate lettering in everyday spaces and raise money for ourselves and another charity, Printed By Us. Lucy Biggs, senior lecturer at Manchester School of Art brought the entire event together, and we can’t thank her enough for all her hard work and support.
Despite the sun beaming outside, the room was packed out with people coming to see the beautiful prints. 26 artists from around the world were each commissioned a letter of the alphabet, taking inspiration from their own spaces. Each one was completely different, with five artists being from around the Manchester area.
One of the most important aspects of Mustard Tree’s work are our creative programs, which is why partnering on events like these are so important for us. In our newly refurbished Ancoats building, we have a huge art studio space where we run many art classes and textiles group. They are open to anyone in the community on a drop in basis, and people are encouraged to come along, try something new and experiment with self-expression. Graham who runs our creative department is a self-taught artist with lived experience of homelessness himself, who has worked full-time for Mustard Tree for a number of years. He has worked with many people to develop themselves creatively in that time and is determined to show how vital art is in recovery, self-confidence and moving forward in life.
James, Ruth and Amanda, all people who have come to Mustard Tree and volunteer in different areas including warehouse and retail, were at the event and really enjoyed seeing the gallery. James has just started attending art classes and said ‘I’d never really thought about letters as art before – it’s something really different. I’d definitely want to do something like that in art class’.
If you want to check out the project or maybe buy a letter, take a look at the website www.letterspace.co.uk