Our ICM Art and Wellbeing group have collaborated with arts organisations Arthur & Martha on three projects over the past six months. We began working together back in September 2020 when Phil Davenport joined the group on Zoom to deliver a poetry workshop. That week’s theme was ‘swans’ and was inspired by the Swan Buildings in the Northern Quarter where ICM and Back on Track are based. While we worked on our images and chatted, Phil jotted down some of our conversations and came up with a poem which he read out to us at the end of the session. I then took the words from the poem and arranged them into the shape of a swan which you can see below. Phil wrote his own blog about the session which you can find here – https://arthur-martha.com/blog/
Phil joined us for a second session in November, and this time the theme was ‘work collaboratively to design an ICM car’. I gave each member a car part to design, engine, wheels, windows, interior etc and at the end we brought them together to build the vehicle and discuss the artwork individually. Phil listened to our conversations while we worked on our images, and as he had done in the previous session, created a poem which he read out at the end. I then took the words and attempted to transform them into the shape of a car, which proved too difficult to do in the end so I created a heart shape instead which you can view below.
For our next collaboration Phil asked us to make artwork inspired by windows and birds for the ‘Whisper to me alone’ project. For this particular session we chose the theme ‘what can you see from your window/what would you like to see from your window. I submitted the artwork along with bird images from a previous session and Phil incorporated them into a video which he directed and filmed in Manchester City centre during the first national lockdown. We think the video is amazing and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We look forward to many more Arthur & Martha collaborations in the future. You can view the video here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFMNECCuinA