DENTON business owner Liam Hopkins is displaying his work on a new arts trail in Manchester.
Following on from the award-winning ‘Bee in the City’ in 2018, Wild in Art, in partnership with Manchester City Council, is buzzing back with a new arts attraction.
The project. ‘50 Windows of Creativity’, is a showcase of the work of artists and makers displayed in a series of windows, venues, businesses and spaces across the city centre until December 13.
The displays feature multiple art forms from fine art and photography to ceramics, crafts, mosaics and murals and will be curated by well-known and emerging artists and collectives – all with a connection to Greater Manchester.
And Liam, whose contemporary creative studio Lazerian is based at Heaton Mills, was approached by Wild in Art to take part.
Liam, 35, explained: “I have had a huge amount of work either cancelled or postponed through Covid-19 so had a window of space.
“It was an opportunity to ensure my creative juices kept flowing.”
Liam came up with a ‘conceptual installation’ of looking through a pair of binoculars, but one which will evolve over the six weeks of the trail.
It takes the form of a giant pair of binocular which are in the shop window and, as you look through the lens, you see a film of Liam working on the creation in his studio.
Also featured is the Lazerian home for birds using iconic Manchester architecture to create bird houses.
Landmarks featured as metal bird houses include the Beetham Tower, Manchester Central, National Football Museum and Deansgate Square.
All pieces on display will be available to buy directly from the artist or maker, giving a much-needed boost to the city’s creative community.
The project culminates with an auction which will see a selection of pieces auctioned with proceeds going to their artists and makers, and to The Lord Mayor of Manchester Charity Appeal Trust – We Love MCR Charity (registered charity number 1066972) which aims to help improve the lives and life chances of Manchester people.The auction on December 17 will be streamed live from the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel.
Liam, who has featured on television promoting the arts trail, added the aim is to keep promoting creative in the city and artists and makers are still working, despite the pandemic
He described it as a “tough year” for Lazerian.
Liam explained: “It is not just me but across the board for artists and creatives which are one of the first things to be cut.
“It is a case of businesses like mine riding the storm and trying to survive.”
Liam featured in The Correspondent earlier this year when he was one of 25 Greater Manchester firms which signed up for support through Made Smarter, an initiative to encourage and promote digital technology.
Made Smarter funded 50 per cent of the cost of a robot so he could integrate robotics into his production methods.
He creates one-off sculptures which are displayed in galleries all around the world from Moscow to Milan and Manchester while his work is also in private collections. He also produced the Marketing Manchester garden at the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Liam, who formed his company almost 15 years ago in an unit at Woodend Mill, Mossley, and has two full-time employees and others on a freelance basis, said: “Integrating robotics into production methods will enable us to push the boundaries.
“It is exciting and a case of combining traditional hand-crafted techniques with new technology and bridging the gap.”
The robot is called ABB and in a previous life was used to trim panels in a car manufacturing plant.