TOGETHER – we are one

by Robert Lomas and Becki Miller

Spoken Word FOR THIS MURAL

Seymour Park @ 7pm

Robert Lomas is an independent designer and artist from Old Trafford.

His bold and positive work explores typography, colour and movement through a range of different mediums including animation, paper craft, screen printing and spray paint.

And his design journey has seen him work with a wide range of people from arts organisations, universities and charities through to musicians.

At the heart of what he does is a desire to create design and art that connects with people on an emotional level and hopefully brings them some joy.

Becki is an Illustrator, sign painter and muralist. 

Informed by the community feedback the mural design features bold colourful letters that form the word ‘Together’. Each letter design is unique and connected to each other to celebrate how great and diverse the community is in Old Trafford.

Other visual themes that run through the piece are rainbows, clouds and a strawberry that relates to the history of Old Trafford previously being strawberry fields.

“It’s been a really fun project to work on and it’s been great to hear all the positive feedback from the local community about the mural.

It also felt good to work on something so positive about people coming together when the past year has been taken over by distance and differences.”

Robert
Credit: Joe Smith
Credit: Joe Smith

Watch the video

Community Inspiration

“This mirrors the sense of inclusion we have in the community”

OT creative VOICE member

“[The mural is] pulling the community together, the strawberries, the art, all in one!”

OT creative VOICE member

Other artworks to see on route

RUST: THE ART GALLERY @ ST JOHN’S CRYPT

The gallery is a world’s first. It is dedicated to the colour, texture and sculpture of rust. It might be small but it is “perfectly formed” says the founder and local artist, Stephen Raw. He has been collecting examples of rust that show how ordinary metal objects can be “transformed into something different and beautiful”. Covid has prevented the opening of the gallery but there has been a virtual launch of his book of photographs: Where ferrous Metal Meets Air and Water published by Carcanet Press here in Manchester. Rust opening times will be posted on my website when all is clear as to allowances etc.

SHADOW TREE MURAL @ SEYMOUR PARK EXIT

Created in 2017 by Lynda Sterling to cover graffiti on the fence , this work is inspired by the shadows of trees found in Hullard and Seymour Parks as well as those on this street. 

PEACE BANNERS @ ST JOHN’s CHURCH

PEACE BANNER

The invitation was simple: paint the word ‘Peace’ in any script and in any language of your choosing. The result was a giant collage which celebrates the diversity and artistic expression of the people of Old Trafford. Contributions from 5 to 65 year-olds have made a vibrant and memorable gesture as to the nature of peace. From its beginning, this was never ‘peace’ as a vague hope, but as a way of remembering Donald Soper’s assertion that “Peace is the fruit of justice and can grow on no other tree.” While visible on the tower, the artwork is designed to stimulate discussion about how peace is grounded in our communities. Painting workshops took place with a wide cross-section of people in St John’s Hall; with children from Seymour Park Community School; with asylum seekers at St Bride’s Church; and with other local BAME + community groups such as SAFA and STEP. Sessions were facilitated by Matthew & Stephen Raw. ‘Getting people painting was slow at first’ says Stephen, ‘but as soon as some of the words were seen, others were keen to add theirs.’ The banner hangs on St John’s bell tower — over 100 years old. A century ago it rang out to a very different demographic and linguistic community. “Today the tower celebrates the different ways in which peace is shared on the street and in worship,” says Revd John Hughes, “a common peace — compost in which our ‘tree of justice’ might grow.” – Stephen Raw

PEACE BANNER
TOGETHER UNAFRAID
TOGETHER UNAFRAID

Manchester’s response to the atrocity of the Arena bombing on 22nd May 2017 was to come together as a city united in compassion, sympathy and grief. Many say that a new respect for each other’s humanity became apparent. It was exemplified by the heartfelt floral tributes and messages from all over the region that filled St Anne’s Square. An attitude that rejected intolerance for ‘others’ was evident from the outset, even as the news filtered through as to the extent of the tragedy. Stephen Raw, Artist-in-Residence at Manchester Cathedral, was just one of the many thousands who were affected by this terrible event. His reaction was to invite people of all faiths and none to join in painting a small part of a 5m-long banner with his words Together Unafraid. It was unveiled in the Cathedral by a variety of faith leaders during the week leading up to the first anniversary of the tragedy on the 22nd May 2018. Participants had come along to painting sessions hosted in a mosque, a synagogue, a gurdwara, the Cathedral and local schools. People of all ages and abilities painted a square from which Stephen assembled the banner. Many of the contributors were happy to have their photograph taken to form the border – the result is a faithful record of the wonderful diversity of people that live and work in the city of Manchester. Respect for our neighbours, whatever their religion, is impossible without meeting and talking with each other. Even though conversations are sometimes difficult to start, a project like ‘Together Unafraid’ is just one example where people have responded to the call of ‘hope not hate’. The Cathedral-based ‘Challenging Hate Forum’ continues to encourage all in our community who make the effort to prioritise common humanity over bigotry and prejudice. – Stephen Raw

BEE MURAL @ ST. JOHN’s road

by Qubek