150 Artists opens at The Lowry
A new exhibition at the Lowry Centre has opened this week in which work from children and adults, supported by the Together Trust, as part of the charity’s 150th anniversary celebrations.
The art on display has been created by children and young people who in many cases have learning difficulties and disabilities, complex needs, communications difficulties and autism. The young artists are drawn from across the Together Trust’s 47 different services, including Bridge College in Manchester and Inscape House and Ashcroft special schools in Stockport.
The exhibition was launched at an event attended by local dignitaries and the young artists and their families, who were serenaded by musical instruments created in workshops as part of the project by people supported by, Newbridge the Together Trust’s day service in Stockport.
Mark Lee, Chief Executive at the Together Trust said: “In October 2019 we commissioned, with funding from the Arts Council, 14 specially selected local artists to work amongst our services to guide some the people we support in exploring our 150 years of history.
“The work of our founders continues to inspire our modern-day values, it continues to inform all that we do. Like them our commitment to the people we support never falters, because they’re at the heart of absolutely everything we do.
“That’s why in our first big anniversary event we’ve chosen to put the people in our services at the centre of our celebrations, by asking them to express what they think about the Together Trust, its history and how it’s affected their lives.
“Working in pairs the professional artists we selected ran bespoke workshops in our schools, colleges and out in our services in local communities across the North West, creating work using mediums such as music, movement and dance, painting, clay, photography and other forms of craft.
“In many cases, the people we support have the kind of complex needs that mean they’ve often struggled to cope in other settings, but they’ve found a place in which with the specialist support they are able to thrive and achieve their ambitions. And we’re very, very proud of the work they’ve done in this exhibition.”
The event was attended by Councillor Charlie McIntyre, the Ceremonial Mayor of Salford. Councillor McIntyre said: “I’m very impressed by the work on display and it’s wonderful to see how the young artists have used different styles, colours and mediums to express themselves. Speaking as a psychiatric nurse and psychotherapist I’ve always had the belief that art can have a genuinely positive influence on a person’s mental health, wellbeing and development.
“The whole 150 Artists project has clearly allowed them to express themselves and the work these young people have created has genuine value and a real place in our community. It’s wonderful to know everyone can see it here at a place as prestigious as The Lowry.
“I just wish I could do as well!”
The event was also attended by the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress of Stockport, Councillor John Wright and Mrs Christine Wright. Councillor Wright said: “We loved the exhibition and found it really inspiring and there was so much imagination, talent and skill from the young artists on display.
“From speaking to the professional artists who worked on the project it’s clear they really enjoyed working with the young people and they’ve been able to help them develop their own ideas and learn lots of new skills and new ways to express themselves.
“It was also wonderful to learn more about the history of the Together Trust. They’ve being doing a fantastic job for 150 years now and it’s particularly impressive to see how the Trust has changed with the times, to accommodate the complex needs of the people they help.”
The Together Trust 150 Artists Exhibition can be seen in the Circle Bar cases, level 2, at The Lowry, until 24 May 2020.
You can find out more about the history of the Together Trust on our history pages, and learn more about what we’re doing to celebrate our 150th anniversary on our 150 page. You can also watch a news report about the exhibition by clicking here.
* All photographs by Nick Harrison*