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May 21 2012

The toon turns out for Tyne's big fashion bash

Sales and footfall success of last year's debut event has promoted a nine-day extravaganza in Newcastle and Gateshead this time round

Something is stirring in Newcastle city centre. Northumberland Street has been transformed into a city-sized runway for the style savvy and the fashion police are patrolling - cameras poised for those dressed to kill.

Yes, we're coming up to Newcastle Fashion Week organised by NE1 and the hunt is on for the city's sleekest citizens via a 'Newcastle's Most Stylish' street-style competition. Hot on the heels of last year's success, the Geordie take on London and Paris is back with a whey aye – and it's set to be bigger and better than before. The fashion 'week' actually stretches over nine days from this Saturday 26 May and promises 'focused fashion fun with one major milestone event on each day'.

With practically the whole city involved, there's something for everyone – from 'Fashion Freaks and Film Geeks' night at the Tyneside Cinema to an eBay workshop at the city library and a lecture by veteran editor Elizabeth Walker at Newcastle University - fashionista or not, you won't be left out.

This year, the event will focus on more live action fashion with at least one catwalk show each day. Highlights include 'Frock and Roll' at Northumbria University, combining four top high street brands with four fantastic live music acts, a Tudor fashion show in the city library with costume designer Julia Soares McCormick, a charity shop chic show in St. Nicholas' Cathedral and 'Fashion's Day Out' in Eldon Square – an afternoon packed with catwalk shows and demonstrations.

Organiser Sandra Tang says:

We've tried to create the buzz of a major Fashion Week by staging a fast-paced timetable of catwalk shows at stores across Eldon Square. The idea is for people to hot foot it around the centre to catch the catwalk action throughout the day.

Newcastle's emerging talent will also be showcasing work, with Northumbria University's fashion design graduates presenting end-of-year collections at the Baltic, scene of last year's Turner Prize, and Newcastle College students showing off their designs at Grey's Monument.

For vintage-lovers and bargain hunters there's a 'Summer Swish' and a 'Make and Mend Market' fashion special in the Grainger Market – full of homemade retro treasures. There will also be a suit amnesty throughout the week where unwanted suits, belts, ties, shoes and general workwear can be donated to help homeless job seekers.

The week draws to a close with Gosforth-born former Burberry model Donna Air presenting the award for 'Newcastle's most stylish' to the coolest people spotted by the week's roving photographers. Fashion TV hosts the closing party at Tup Tup Palace.

Sandra describes Newcastle-Gateshead style as "eclectic" and says:

The fashion vibe belies the place's size – it may not be the largest city but it's got a wide range of street styles, well-serviced by an array of different retailers. There are designer names such as Vivienne Westwood and the brands stocked in Cruise and Fenwick through to vintage lovers and indie chic who are well catered-for by thriving independent boutiques and vintage stores across the city.

The high street is also well-represented and can provide fashion fodder for a wide range of street styles. It all helps to fuel a vibrant and very diverse fashion scene in the city.

Last year's debut fashion week was a major success, with an average footfall increase of 24% and average sales increase of 39% for companies involved. This year, NE1 have set the bar even higher with exclusive t-shirts designed by South Shields-based fashion house Barbour and necklaces from Lovebullets jewellery which caters to celebrities such as another local lass, Cheryl Cole.

In the midst of the economic downturn, the retail sector needs all the help it can get and Newcastle Fashion Week also helps to raise awareness of all the creativity on our doorstep. With many events free of charge or very reasonable, there's no excuse not to get involved and support our region's business community. Al info is here and on Facebook here and Twitter here.


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March 26 2012

Towns clamour to become a Portas pilot

Hundreds of towns are bidding for the funding that will help regenerate their high streets

Large numbers of towns, including many in the north, are vying to become Portas pilots to help rejuvenate struggling high streets.

The 12 chosen towns will share more than £1m of funding and receive advice from the retail guru Mary Portas. It is expected that hundreds of applications will be received before Friday's deadline.

The government said the high streets and town centres are facing "serious challenges from out-of-town shopping centres and the internet."

Between 2000 and 2009, the number of town stores fell by almost 15,000 and there have been further losses since then.

The government argues that high streets are recognised as important hubs of social interaction and cohesion, as well as providers of local jobs. They're a visible indicator of how well, or how badly, a local economy is doing.

The Portas Review, published in December, set out what she thought had led to the decline of the high street and made 28 recommendations about what could be done "to breathe life back into them." She said many high streets had reached crisis point.

Among the recommendations are "town teams" to champion local high streets, business rate concessions for entrepreneurs and penalties for negligent landlords. Portas also urged that betting shops have their own planning classification so their numbers could be monitored more closely.

Among the bidders for the Portas Pilot funding are Lincoln and Market Rasen in Lincolnshire and Rawtenstall north of Manchester and Altrincham south of the city.

On the Wirral, Hoylake is among the bidders along with the seaside town of Crosby in Merseyside, where Antony Gormley's Another Place statues gaze across the sands.

Further north and east, Morpeth in Northumberland is one of the towns that is putting in a bid for the funding.

During a recent visit to Rawtenstall, minister for housing and local government Grant Shapps praised it for its 'unique' high street.

Events have been held, supported by the Association of Town Centre Management, to help towns prepare bids.

Martin Blackwell, chief executive of the ATCM, told The Grocer the government also wanted to ensure those who missed out on pilot funding were not left behind.

"I can't remember anything like it," he said of the level of response. "But of those 300, only 12 are going to get funding and we don't want the other 288 left alienated."

Bids in Cumbria have come from Penrith and Whitehaven. Alan Blacklock, the Whitehaven Chamber of Trade secretary said in an interview with the Whitehaven News: "I would like to think we could get into the top 12, but there are so many other towns in the same boat as us it will no doubt be very competitive." He added that their aim is for Whitehaven to become a better place to visit and shop.

Preston, too, which is celebrating its Guild this year with a programme of cultural events, has joined the bidders.

Mick Lovatt, environment director at the city council in Preston said it had already drawn up plans for further improvement to the city centre which a successful bid could kick-start.

"If we can get this funding," he told the Lancashire Evening Post, "it will allow us to do a lot of the things we want to do with the city centre." He said they are already looking at ways they can work with landlords to dress some of the empty shop units and improve the look of the main shopping areas.

In Lancashire, Chorley, Kirkham and Morecambe have also applied for the pilot status.


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December 09 2011

The best cities around the world for specialist shops and shopping

From kitsch fashion in Tokyo to furniture in Copenhagen, our experts reveal their top cities for specialist shopping

Rugs, Marrakech

Shopping in Marrakech is practically an Olympic sport – so you should get in training before you venture out. Serious shoppers need information and determination. I love the bejewelled and embroidered babouches (slippers) and bags, the tasselled accessories, Berber jewellery, chiselled tiles, decorated pottery, ground cinnamon … However, when I'm in Marrakech I crave rugs. My favourites are the Berber rag rugs called boucherouite. I've found vintage versions in the Bab El Khemis flea market (the north-east corner of the medina, open daily 9.30am–6pm). During a recent visit I bought a pretty multicoloured checkerboard rug that folded nicely into my luggage. There are some stunning examples of boucherouite in fading solid colours at Art Ouarzazate (15 Rue Rahba Kdima, which is actually Rue Rahb el Biadyne). The shop's specialities include knotted and printed leather rugs and goatskin patchwork rugs. Tuareg rugs from the Sahara, made with tightly woven palm leaves and camel leather that make them impervious to the desert sand, can be found at Mustapha Blaoui (144 Rue Bab Doukkala – there's no sign, so knock on the brass-studded double doors). Shaggy white or cream rugs with black tribal patterns are called beni ouarain, and are ubiquitous. Bargain when you find one you like – it's expected. In the Guéliz section of the new city you'll find Ben Rahal (28 Rue de la Liberté), a shop dedicated to rugs. The small space is filled with carpets, each selected for its exceptional quality. You'll pay a bit more, but it's worth every penny.
Susan Simon is the author of Shopping in Marrakech (Little Bookroom, £9.74, guardianbookshop.co.uk) is out now

Furniture, Copenhagen

Mid-century design is a massive trend, driven by things like Mad Men, and Danish design was at its best then. Such furniture is also timeless and built to last. Copenhagen is very small, but the best furniture shops are scattered around. Østerbro is home to Normann Copenhagen (Østerbrogade 70, normann- copenhagen.com, see page 8), a cool shop for quirky items, plus some modern homeware stores. Bredgade is a street full of high-end vintage shops. Klassik Moderne Møbelkunst (en.klassik.dk) at No 3 is one of the best. The best piece I found in Copenhagen was a beautiful Aero walnut oval sideboard – but sadly it costs £4,700 ...

It's hard to find a bargain anywhere in Scandinavia, but Ilva (Gammel Lundtoftevej 5, ilva.dk) is still a very big deal, and Bo Concept (Gammel Kongevej 29A, boconcept.co.uk) has affordable, nicely designed pieces. Hay (Østergade 61, hay.dk) represents the current design resurgence in Denmark – its beautiful shop is full of designed and found objects.
Finally, Copenhagen has fantastic (if sometimes expensive) restaurants and hotels – Hotel Fox (Jarmers Plads 3, hotelfox.dk, doubles from £80 room-only); and the original design hotel (Hammerichsgade 1, radissonblu.com/royalhotel-copenhagen, doubles from £150 room-only); Nimb (Bernstorffsgade 5, doubles from £280 B&B) – and it's a very friendly place.
Dan Cooper, buyer, home collections and gifts, John Lewis

Books, Cecil Court, London

It's a struggle not to pluck the phrase "remarkable survival" from the catechism of cliche when describing Cecil Court, a Victorian thoroughfare in London that is still as full of bookshops as it was in the 1950s. They're all good, but my favourite is Tindley & Chapman at No 4. Tilling the rich brown earth of 20th century literature, their stock is well chosen and fast changing.
Ed Maggs, rare book dealer, Maggs Bros Ltd (maggs.com)

Bags, Udaipur

Nobody hassles you in Udaipur in south-western Rajasthan. I fell in love with its market and spent a glorious day exploring the alleyways bedecked with stalls on the hill leading to the castle. The multicoloured rugs are superb, as is the marquetry (inlaid patterned) furniture but, being a "fashion girl", I was most excited about finding some really special leather bags. I like simple styles, which India does not always do, so I was very surprised to find wonderful tan satchels. Unlined and made of fairly robust leather, they really hold their shape, but also wear wonderfully well. The cross-body mini is the ideal hands-free travel companion, just big enough to hold all your vital documents, wallet and phone. The "Andreya" is my favourite for everyday, and the mini weekend bag makes you look like a traveller, not a tourist.
Sarah Walter, managing director and founder, style-passport.com

Fashion, Tokyo

Tokyo is like a super-modern alien planet magically entwined in tradition – every facet of the city references the country's ancient and complex culture. Tokyo's excessiveness – from huge video screens pumping J-pop, hordes of mini-skirted schoolgirls and crazy elevator music (even emanating from rubbish trucks), to insane rush-hour crowds and out-of-control fashion – can be overwhelming, but it is a shopaholic's dream. For the girl who loves to get dressed up, Tokyo is the place to hunt and gather. Whether you're into vintage wonders, avant garde statement-makers or ridiculous cuteness, you will find the dress of your dreams in one of Tokyo's eclectic shopping precincts. In Shibuya, Candy (candy-nippon.com) is dedicated to the most fashion-forward Japanese and international brands, and 109 (shibuya109.jp), a six-level extravaganza, is a shopping mecca for all gyaru girls (tanned, blonde Japanese girls). In Harajuku/Aoyama, Faline (bambifaline.com) is all about Harajuku Kawaii style, which roughly translates as shockingly cute and crazy. Cosmic Wonder (cosmicwonder.com) is a fashion/art project, the shop doubling as an exhibition and performance space. In Daikanyama/Nakameguro, Hollywood Ranch Market (hrm.co.jp) focuses on amazing American-style vintage denim and casuals, while Mercibeaucoup (mercibeaucoup.jp) has a kitschy-cool 1950s-inspired interior to match its unrelentingly pop wares.
Indigo Clarke, fashion writer

Art, Amsterdam

Buying art is a way to get a shopping buzz while making a smart investment, and Amsterdam is one of the finest cities to start your collection. It is home to the magnificent Rijksmuseum (Jan Luijkenstraat 1, rijksmuseum.nl), which sits in the Spiegelkwartier district of art galleries, antique merchants and retro boutiques. The most prominent art fair is Art Amsterdam (20-23 September 2012, artamsterdam.nl), a huge offering of contemporary and modern art. For a more leisurely experience, take a stroll to the Spui Square on a Sunday, where you'll find a collection of established and emerging artists selling their work.

For something a little more highbrow, check out PAN Amsterdam (18-25 November, RAI-Parkhal, Europaplein 22, pan.nl), the leading contemporary fair for art and design. Last but by no means least is the Affordable Art Fair (25-28 October, Cultuurpark Westergasfabriek, Klönne Plein 1, affordableartfair.nl), which generates a whole array of small satellite exhibitions and open studios, with work for all tastes and budgets.
Angela Murray, art and object buyer, Achica (achica.com)

Homewares, New York

Zabar's (zabars.com) is a legendary Upper West Side food retailer known for its imported cheeses, fish, bakery, and coffee and tea counters. But also check out the nearly block-long mezzanine for a world-class selection of homewares, especially the assortment of non-stick and copper cookware. It's one of America's best home emporiums. Macy's (macys.com) is the largest department store in the world and is synonymous with NYC and fashion. The headquarters at Herald Square stocks an impressive range of culinary and tabletop goods in all styles and prices. There are frequent sales and celebrity chefs make routine appearances.

Broadway Panhandler (broadwaypanhandler.com) is a SoHo outpost for top quality, well-designed kitchenware at discounted prices. The family business's staff are well qualified to dish out advice to kitchen pros and novices – many are trained chefs. Gracious Home (gracioushome.com) is also a must-visit for anyone looking to revamp their home. Branches in Chelsea, the Upper East and West Side sell gadgets, furniture, hardware, linen and lighting for the entire house. Fishs Eddy (fishseddy.com) is a Flatiron neighbourhood destination for discounted tableware, including some vintage pieces. Fun, colourful and unique goods, such as an NYC skyline motif glass ($5) and other novelty pieces, make super gifts.
Gerry Frank is the author of Where to Find It, Buy It, Eat It in New York (newyorkcityguidebook.net, $19.95)


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Mexican folk art in Oaxaca

It's worth bringing a spare bag on a trip to Oaxaca in Mexico to bring back some of the beautiful traditional folk art still made in every local village, from colourful rugs to rare black pottery

The fashion designers and interiors stylists who have hijacked the Mexicana aesthetic probably have little idea of its origins. Zig-zag stripes, cacti and silver; eagles, skulls, and skeletons ... these motifs, which currently appear on hipster T-shirts, and on Aztec-patterned Pendleton blankets in Urban Outfitters, define the traditional arts and crafts of Mexico. Bright and beautiful, skilfully made, often intricately beaded, woven or carved, the country's folk art is a vibrant link to its pre-Hispanic indigenous culture. Symbols and animals represent gods and food sources (even the armadillos), colours derive from natural plants and minerals, and every item, from pots and weaving to ritual masks, once had a practical use dating back hundreds, and often thousands, of years.

The relative rarity of Latin American crafts and influences on this side of the Atlantic, compared with the Asian and African handicrafts now so prevalent in British homes that they have been rendered rather naff and studenty, means they hold the same exotic appeal that so tantalised the Spanish conquistadors, at least to a magpie-minded hoarder like me.

I hadn't specifically planned a shopping trip when I went to Mexico, but faced with all the beaded bull skulls, chunky turquoise jewellery, striped blankets for £5 each, skeleton earrings and painted pots, I succumbed to that giddy shopper's excitement.

Finding, in unexpected places, traditional things that you truly love and are accidentally fashionable is one of the thrills of travelling. I have found amazing leather saddle bags for a few pounds in Negombo, Sri Lanka, and nu-rave-ish bobble necklaces in Russia for £2. I lusted after some multi-coloured warrior boots from Mongolia (so cool!). But few places are as rich in handicrafts as Mexico. Every region and town specialises in certain products: Taxco for silver, Dolores Hidalgo for tiles, Michoacán for textiles and metalwork. But Oaxaca in the south-west has the most extraordinary spectrum of folk art. It is the most ethnically diverse of the country's 31 states, with 16 indigenous groups (the largest being Zapotec and Mixtec), and in a small area, there are dozens of villages making unique rugs, pottery and wooden carvings.

While anyone can turn up at the workshops, markets and stores across the state and in Oaxaca city, to unearth the best examples for reasonable prices it helps if you have a good guide.

Linda Hanna, an American expat, fills that role, offering custom tours of the craft-making villages from her folk-art themed B&B, Casa Linda, a colourful bungalow a few miles north-east of the city, in San Andrés Huayapam.

She took my friend and me there in her beaten up old banger, delivering us to her pretty walled garden with its mountain views, decorative tiles and a pyramid-shaped chapel full of strange dolls of the Virgin of Guadelupe – a celebrated amalgam of an indigenous figure with the Catholic virgin.

Inside Casa Linda, the decor erupted on to my eyeballs – long-haired horned masks, woven belts and huge painted gourd bowls hung on the walls alongside a giant Chagall-esque mural, paintings of Mexican girls, rows and rows of patterned plates. Shelves heaved with carved wooden animals, birds and dragons; cushions, rugs and blankets were layered up on every seat. The woman was clearly obsessed.

Over chicken and mole tamales (corn parcels once eaten by the Mayans), Linda outlined our options for the next few days. Hundreds of families make art in Oaxaca, specialising in about 13 different crafts, but we'd only have time to see a handful. We would have to prioritise.

Focusing first on rugs, we set off next morning to Teotitlán del Valle, the main rug-weaving village. "A lot of tour buses come here now, and it's affected the economy. Now the whole village is making rugs," said Linda. "Those on the first streets sell more, and the tour buses always go to the same ones, where they get a commission."

Linda has a more ethical approach. She doesn't take commission, and shares her clients around the best, most reliable producers, many of whom have become her friends over the 14 years she's done this.

"This family is really good at making their own natural red and green dyes," she said, pulling over at El Tono de la Cochinilla (eltonodecochinilla.com), a Zapotec workshop run by a family for four generations. "If you want rugs with more blue, I know another place."

Ernesto Maldonado González gave us a tour, demonstrating the weaving of colourful threads into a bird pattern on a loom, then showing us into a little hut to see how the raw wool is first separated into grey and white before being dyed in order to make light and dark shades. This is how we make red, said Ernesto, showing us a flat piece of prickly pear cactus covered in white fluff. He picked off the fluff and pinched it: blood red seeped out. "See? Cochineal, an insect makes this. Here, now squeeze some lime on it." It turned brighter. "Now this … " baking soda, to make purple.

The Spanish were almost as crazy for cochineal in the 1600s as they were for the silver and gold they found in Mexico. Red dye was so hard to come by that the colour was worn only by royalty and the church. A kilogram of dried cochineal still costs around $100 and only makes enough dye for two rugs. Once we'd seen the processes and work that had gone into every piece in the showroom, the $2,000-3,000 price-tags for the finest seemed justified, but I settled for a couple of lovely little ones for about £50 each.

"People here have such incredible skills," said Linda as we drove home, "but being too creative is a gamble. They would rather keep doing traditional work that sells. The time and expense involved means that even if they would find it creatively rewarding to make more unusual pieces, they wouldn't indulge themselves in that way."

The next day, however, we visited one artistic family, the Fabians, who do experiment. Rare black pottery has been made in San Bartolo Coyotepec for hundreds of years, and this family have made it for as long as anyone remembers. Now Omar, their young son, is winning awards for his lattice-like cut-out work.

As with every visit, having Linda greatly improved the experience, gaining us inside access to their studio in the back garden, and translating complex explanations of the process.

A TV pop show blared away in front of the father, son and daughter, sitting in a row and working on their own pots. It took eight days to make each.

The clay came free from a natural source 4km away, but only men were allowed to collect it, explained the father, Miguel, because women brought bad luck and made it have stones in it.

From there Linda drove us to Jacob and Maria Angeles's workshop near San Martín Tilcajete, where legions of artisans carved, whittled and painted wooden alebrijes, real and mythical animal figures that represent spirits in Zapotec culture, and hot chocolate whisks and decorative bowls that went into my bag for Christmas presents. For myself I bought a colourful woven table runner at Santo Tomás Jalieza, a backstrap weaving village where women weave textiles sitting down, with long strings tied up above them that are pulled taut at the other end by the backstrap they wear.

Between visiting the craft villages, Linda took us to fantastic cantinas and into Oaxaca city. There, in the Reforma district, we stopped at Artesanias Tali on Emilio Carranza street, run by Angela Garcia Hernandez, a sweet lady who has sourced beautiful traditional clothing and jewellery from distant pueblos for 46 years. Some embroidered clothing cost hundreds of dollars, but I found more presents in a basket of milagros, silver charms traditionally bought outside Mexican churches which are believed to bring luck and help fix certain ailments – buy a foot-shaped one for gout, little boobs for breast cancer, a baby for fertility.

It was by pure luck that our stay coincided with the village's festival. Most villages are named after a saint, and on that saint's day, every village of that name throws a party. San Andrés's revolved around the scariest fireworks I have ever seen. The whole community sat around the public square on plastic chairs, and we were urged to share trays of free beer and tequila shots that were brought round continually. At last, once the excitement had built, local boys took turns to set light to huge firework-spurting catherine wheels in the shape of different animals, worn on their heads, then ran right into the audience, sparks flying, loud bangs exploding. It was terrifying and lasted for hours, and was followed by a huge towering inferno of even bigger, louder fireworks. By the end, part of the church and a car had caught alight.

On our last day we'd planned to visit Monte Albán, the pre-Colombian site on a hilltop above Oaxaca city, but we spent so long shopping again that by the time we got there it was closed. Never mind, said Linda, there is a saying, "He who leaves Oaxaca without seeing Monte Albán, will certainly be back." "… With a bigger suitcase," I would add. By this stage mine was bursting with Christmas presents, gorgeous handmade jewellery and furnishings, yet I'd only spent a couple of hundred quid. And this was guilt- free shopping too: perhaps I'd helped a little to keep alive the skills passed down from gnarled hands to teenage fingers over generations.


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November 11 2011

You too can be a Lowry stick-person

Go shopping or sight-seeing in Manchester, and Salford University can make you part of art history

Greater Manchester's profiteering from its dysfunctional but talented son L S Lowry continues apace. This weekend, you could end up being turned into a stick person while shopping or sight-seeing in Piccadilly Gardens.

Salford University, which is an extremely hi-tech centre pioneering lots of clever digital things, is staging the exercise to mark the opening of its new building at MediaCityUK on Salford Quays.

Two Manchester artists, Alastair Eilbeck and James Bailey, have been commissioned to marry Lowry's painting of the gardens in 1954 to cameras equipped with stuff called 'motion capture technology'. The effect is to turn someone such as myself, bumbling along in a comfortable way with my shopping bags, into an authentic stick person.

This will then be screened at on a large projection at MediaCityUK for everyone to laugh at, sorry admire, in a 're-imagining of Lowry's artwork with moving characters walking through the painted version of Piccadilly Gardens.' This sounds terrific and Alexandra King, Piccadilly Partnership Director at CityCo, Manchester's city centre management company, thinks everyone will agree. She says:

It's great to be involved with this innovative project which brings a much-loved painting of a familiar public space to life. We hope visitors will take part and have the image of themselves in the modern day gardens beamed over to the Salford screen. Working with the University of Salford and Metrolink, we'll be able to demonstrate just how close Piccadilly is to MediaCityUK.

Nervous BBC relocaters, take note. There are shops etc up here. Actually, there's an entire mall on the quays plus the Lowry and a bridge to Imperial War Museum North.

Nobody has to take part in the exercise if they are shy or with someone that they shouldn't be with, but it sounds intriguingly clever. The artists explain that:

Motion sensor cameras set up in front of canvases in Piccadilly Gardens and at MediaCityUK will film members of the public moving and, in real time, will reproduce their movements in a digital Lowry figure. In Piccadilly Gardens, the Gardens themselves will be the backdrop to the moving figures while over at MediaCityUK, characters from Piccadilly Gardens and MediaCityUK will be combined and integrated into a digital projection of Lowry's Piccadilly Gardens painting on a screen at the University's new facility.

Each of the animated figures will be based on actual people from some of Lowry's most famous paintings, including The Lying Man, The Cripples and A Day Out at the Prom, all produced by Lowry around the similar period to Piccadilly Gardens. Wirral illustrator Maria Pearson has painted each of the characters from four different views so they can be shown from differing angles on screen when reacting to the movements of visitors.

Alastair says:

The effect of the moving figures in the painting will be similar to split tin puppets, which I think will capture the spirit of Lowry and I hope it's an interpretation of his work of which he would have approved.


 
I'm sure he would.

The day's celebrations, which feature other joys, run from 10.30am-5.30pm tomorrow, Saturday 12 November, with free tram travel from Piccadilly Gardens and Eccles to the event, plus a free Salford QuaysLink bus service from Salford Crescent railway station and Salford Shopping City.

You can also watch the uni's promotional film above.
 


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