The Manchester Histories Festival 2016 programme is out and you may well have spotted brochures appearing across the Greater Manchester and if you've leafed through the pages we hope one or two of them may of stood out! Over the past months, we've been delighted to work with reportage illustrator, Liz Ackerley, to help bring our brochure and our other marketing material to life. Liz has been traveling around Greater Manchester capturing just some of the venues, sites, and people that tell our histories, and most importantly are making our future histories.
Here, Liz has written about the process of creating the sketches for Manchester Histories Festival 2016:
As a keen urban sketcher urbansketchers.org and
reportage illustrator (a visual storyteller), I was thrilled to be contacted by
Claire Turner in the summer of 2015 with the idea of getting involved with the
Manchester Histories Festival and recording some of the events and activities
through drawing. Urban sketchers go out
and draw what they see, on location, in real time, as it happens, and share
their drawings on line, so I am really excited about the opportunity to carry
out my drawing approach, for the Festival.
Claire had seen my work on Twitter (Link: https://twitter.com/lizsscribbles)
and Instagram (Link: https://instagram.com/lizackerley1) and had liked what she
saw and the rest as they say (and quite appropriately!) is history!! Having met on several occasions, I have also
now attended a couple of the Festival’s planning meetings. I did simple quick sketches at those initial
meetings. The first was at the Friends
Meeting House and the second in Chethams library. These were necessarily fairly
rapid drawings, done in my notebook with a fountain pen and waterproof
ink. Watercolour was added later.
I have now completed 6 drawings for the Manchester Histories
Festival 2016 brochure and online material.
All of these drawings were done on location during March and April 2016. Watercolour was added later.
The first is of Manchester
Fire Service Museum in Rochdale, a fascinating place with a stunning
original fire station building and tower.
Sitting behind is the museum that houses so many different historic
items from original fire engines to water pumps and clothing.
The second one completed is of the wonderful Central Library in Manchester with the
majestic Midland Hotel in the
background. What stunning buildings
these are and contrast and compliment each other in both structure and
The third is of the world famous Stockport Viaduct, with 27 arches and 33.85 m high. At the time it was built it was the largest
viaduct in the world. I have drawn it
with the Crown pub nestled under one of the arches. This gives the viaduct a sense of scale and
The fourth is of Gallery
Oldham with its distinctive curved structure and juxtaposition adjacent to
older historic buildings.
The fifth is of one of one of the many interesting displays
in the People’s History Museum in
Manchester. You can see how engaged
people are with the paintings, room setts and information about the women’s
vote and feminism.
Last but certainly not least, I attended a wonderful concert
at the Band on The Wall in
Manchester to see Akua Naru and her
band. Some wonderful hip hop jazz music
to listen to whilst I drew the scene! As
with several of the locations I have drawn, this venue is actively involved in
the festival activities.
Reportage on the
opening event and Celebration Day
In addition to the drawings completed, I will also be
attending the opening event on 2nd June and the Celebration Day on
11th June where I will be drawing and recording activities on paper
and in sketchbooks as well as blogging about my experiences. If you
see me scribbling away, pop over and say hello!
Finally, I will also be running a series of 4 urban
sketching workshops, both before and during the festival sharing my experiences
of urban sketching . I will also be sharing
some key tips to get you started and we will be doing some hands on urban
sketching during the sessions so you can get a taster of what its all
about. Check out the MHF2016 programme and
perhaps sign up for a session. Like me
you may well get hooked!
Please watch this space for further updates from me about
sketching and reporting on the Manchester Histories Festival 2016. Lets get this party started!