Creative studio and multidisciplinary arts collective We are Willow has teamed up with global art producer Wild in Art, to deliver a series of six installations across Greater Manchester dedicated to promoting mental health awareness.

Six Places In A Different Light sees a series of head sculptures appearing across Mayfield Park, Greengate Square, the University of Salford’s Peel Park Campus, outside the Imperial War Museum North and MediaCity UK from Fri 3 Nov – Mon 11 Dec.

The aim is to engage with new audiences and connect with new communities through creativity, to encourage open conversation, and to embrace mental health in a different light.

The six striking large-scale head sculptures showcase unique designs by internationally-acclaimed illustrator Tom J Newell, Manchester-based illustrator and community artist Kelly Ma and painter Ekun Richard.

A Different Light is a project that has been creatively evolving since its inception in 2016. The work originally featured four films, an album of music and spoken word and an edition of 300 bespoke mini-head sculptures.

Each of the 2-metre pieces is inspired by a series of creative workshops organised by local mental health charities. Members of Manchester Mind, START and The Jamie Horrocks Trust joined the three artists in discussion and reflection as a response to We Are Willow’s 12-track album exploring topics of mental health. The participants decorated a number of miniature head sculptures based on the feelings evoked during the process, which inspired the creatives in hand-painting six sculptures reflecting the miniature designs and their own workshop experience.

Chris Butler, Co-Founder & Creative Lead for WE ARE WILLOW, said: “The opportunity to collaborate with Wild in Art and three inspirational charities, to promote the crucial work they deliver across Greater Manchester through creativity is extremely exciting.

“The previous projects we have produced have raised awareness, but we can always do more. We can make it count for more, bring more people with us and, with collaboration as our guiding light, make a bigger difference.”

You can find the locations for all six pieces below, and read more about the project here.

London Road / Fairfield Street, Manchester, M1 2PH
Mayfield Park, Baring Street, Manchester, M1 2PY
Greengate Square, Salford, M3 5AS
Media City UK, Salford, M50 2EQ
Imperial War Museum North, Trafford Park, Manchester, M17 1TZ
Chapman Square, Peel Park Campus, University of Salford, M5 4QW


Fri 3 Nov - Mon 11 Dec
Bradley Lengden
Published on:
Fri 3 Nov 2023