Reflective Passage

Manchester, United Kingdom

Moss Side has a reputation for being a dangerous place, one with dark back alleys with overflowing bins that attract fly-tipping. That was the reality Mark started with when he moved to the area with his wife. His attempts to change the place started with putting some greenery near the bins, engaging a few neighbours with building planters and upcycling objects like baths to create garden areas. This has not only stopped the fly tipping but also created an area for the surrounding community to enjoy. Mark has created artwork of etched mirror perspex along the alley, featuring quotes and lyrics by famous people who came from Moss Side, including Anthony Burgess (the Clockwork Orange author), Barry Adamson (Mercury Prize musician), and the suffragette, Emmeline Pankhurst, to name a few. Despite the council not clearing the bins that week, the launch was grand and proved that you can have an art gallery in an alley. As for 2023, Mark plans to continue planting and adding to the artwork. There are also plans for mini concerts by the students of nearby Royal Northern College of Music, and their neighbour, Lavender Rodriguez, a composer and event producer. Proof that you can build a community anywhere as long as people care.

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Vegetable grower, natural beekeeper and edible spaces designer. Lover of all soil and urban farming techniques. Former head of growing at Incredible Aquagarden.