Art with a cause

HOST, is an artwork commissioned to raise awareness of the Manchester Homelessness Charter, and consists of a series of nine bronze sculptures that are currently forming a trail across Spinningfields. But the sculptures are soon to be taken down and found new permanent homes.

Manchester-based artist Hilary Jack’s work is often linked to place and the politics of overlooked aspects of urban life – in this case the discreet and intricately rendered bronze sculptures of hybrid wild plants create a thought-provoking contrast to the urban environment, andraises questions about the nature of public and private space. HOST was selected for Allied London 2016 Spinningfields Art Commission 2016.

After HOST is deinstalled the artworks will go to recipients who in return are being asked to pledge a donation to Manchester Homelessness Charter, with 100% of the money raised going towards funding a traineeship for an individual who has experienced homelessness to work on the delivery of the Manchester Homelessness Charter; having a lasting impact not only for that individual, giving them a route into employment, but also enabling the continued delivery of the Charter.

The team behind the commission including: Katie Popperwell, Cultural Director of Allied London; Hilary Jack, artist; and Councillor Beth Knowles, co-chair of the Manchester Homelessness Partnership's Arts and Heritage action group have been working with Manchester’s Castlefield Gallery who have managed the delivery of the project.

Acclaimed chef Mary-Ellen McTague formerly of Aumbry and 4244, who has appeared in two series of Great British Menu and who is now involved in Manchester’s Real Junk Food Project, and will present ‘Dinner Party at the End of the World’ for Manchester International Festival 2017 (that will explore themes of survival, extinction, scarcity and opulence), is lending her support to the project to help raise awareness of the work of the Manchester Homelessness Charter. Mary-Ellen wants to encourage businesses and individuals who’re interested in owning a piece of contemporary art that portrays a powerful meaning to pledge their support and make a donation.

Mary-Ellen McTague says; “It is undeniable that we have seen a significant increase in the number of street homeless people in the city in recent years. I think we often feel at a loss as to what we can do as individuals to support homeless people- the Manchester Homelessness Charter brings together charities, business and individuals to make a positive and lasting difference, and the funds raised from these sculptures will have a huge impact in helping the Charter deliver their project”

The sculptures of varying sizes have values starting from £2,500. Anyone interested in finding out more about the sculptures and pledging a donation should contact Jennifer Dean at Castlefield Gallery on

Or call via 0161 832 8034 or visit site here.

story published on  Thu, 16 Mar 2017