Manchester – An Inspiration

Two years on, my work can still be directly pinpointed to my Foundation course at Manchester Metropolitan University. It is where and when I began to investigate the subject of Synesthesia*, a topic that surrounds my work entirely. From my first meeting with my tutor (big up Jo) and other staff, I began to create an understanding within myself of how Synesthesia influences my mind and work. One of my warmest memories, when I think about where that course brought me to today, is sat alone in All Saints park, Oxford Road and finally feeling validated enough as to why the emotion I felt was intensely lilac. And this continued into my experiences with music. Whilst currently based in Nottingham, Manchester’s community for music is still a massive influence on my work. From Gorilla to the Ritz to Kraak Gallery, my painting, thought processes and overall incredible memories give thanks to the many insane experiences through the music of Manchester.

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With my practice currently involving strong and strange emotions that we as humans find hard to identify, my research got me wondering how I could pinpoint my emotions about my home. Manchester inspires me through the memories of growing up and being surrounded by my long-term friendships and loved ones, along with the feeling of being reunited with such friends upon my return. The Dutch word gezellig, describes ‘that warm, delighted sense you get when spending time with dear friends’1 and could not depict my most recent visit more clearly. But whilst this may play a huge part in my love for this city, it is not just my emotional attachment that provides such a fondness for the place.

Golden Hour. My favourite time of day, anywhere in the world. But there’s not much that matches the shine of light on the diverse collection of buildings across Manchester. These colours that you find at these certain times of day- you cannot find such an array in any other city. Stepping out of Manchester Art Gallery’s Vogue 100: A Century of Style in 2016 (the most inspiring exhibition I have visited date), it was hard not to turn that inspiration into a deep appreciation for the beauty of Manchester.

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Lastly, without turning this post into every other piece about the people of Manchester, you really can’t ignore it. The grace and support in which they come together in times of loss, heartbreak and turmoil, the citizens of this city provide more community, more welcome and more love than anywhere I have known. And that is possibly what drives Manchester to be such a deep inspiration to me.

Did you like what you just read? Follow Jess and her day-to-day life on Instagram @jesspye_1 and if you like the shots in the post, there Jess's too, and, she has an Art account - Follow it on Instagram @jessicapyeart_

*Synesthesia is described as a ‘perceptual phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory pathway leads to involuntary experiences in a second sensory pathway.’2 In my personal experience, I can sense colours through with experiences such as listening to music.