Manchester is known as the wettest city in the country, I have decided to home in on this stereotype and play on Manchester strong connection with water, despite it being landlocked. Manchester is situated next to the Pennines, this attracts large rain clouds that form from the humid air blown over from the Atlantic. The city is also connected to the Atlantic Ocean by a 36 mile long Ship Canal. Which during the industrial revolution was a key feature of the city, allowing it to trade with the rest of the world.
Manchester has a very close connection with water, it flows through the culture of the city. I feel that I could really build on this connection, and create something that symbolises Manchester and its connection to water.
To expand on my knowledge of the connection between Manchester and the Canals I visited The People’s History Museum where I learnt that Manchester was the centre of the Industrial Revolution. Slaves in America grew cheap cotton which was then imported to Britain across the Atlantic. It became apparent that the Atlantic Ocean was a strong component during the revolution supporting the city allowing to grow rapidly.
Because Manchester is very prone to rain I decided to explore how the damp climate affects the city. In the cooler areas, algae and mould grow up the side of the walls creating unique patterns that relate back to the shapes found in seafoam. In response to the algae, I produced some watercolour pieces that draw from the shapes and patterns I saw on the walls. I like how the colours blend and mix togeather creating organic shapes. However, I feel the paintings are too one dimensional and in order to capture the movement and strengths of the sea, I will have to incorporate textures.
Whilst exploring Manchester I came across some tree protectors that cover some of the trees in the city. I was drawn to them as I enjoy how subtle they are, this allows them to easily fit in with the city’s architecture. I want to make sure my piece doesn’t take away from the city.
I was drawn to these pieces as I like how they protect the trees, supporting the nutrients and water cycle. Not only do these trees rely on rainfall, they also rely on protectors to stop graffiti and general wear and tear of such a busy city.
The trees have been planted by the Manchester City of Trees, an organisation that aims to make Manchester a greener and cleaner city. Helping it grow and become the best city it can be. I like how the organisation aims to improve and support Manchester. This idea took me back to when Manchester first developed into the great city that it is today during the industrial revolution.
The shipping canal was a big step for the city connecting it to the rest of the world during the industrial revolution, helping it grow and develop. I feel becoming a green city is the next step for Manchester development.
The water cycle will contribute to the growth of the green city, allowing the Atlantic ocean to again help Manchester grow and improve. Only enhancing the connection Manchester has with the ocean, It always comes back to help the city.
Blog Posts From the Research Weeks
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