Updated: Wednesday, 23rd May 2018 @ 5:50pm

‘Invisible’ lives of homeless people revealed at MediaCityUK through art installation

‘Invisible’ lives of homeless people revealed at MediaCityUK through art installation

By Ben Burrows

A collaborative art installation showcasing the often unheard stories of homeless people in Manchester is on show at MediaCityUK today.

The exhibition called I LIVE TEMPORARY will be brought to life in the ‘Egg’ digital space at the University of Salford using an array of ultra high-resolution screens and audio.

The digital artwork has been created by more than 200 homeless people with the help of North West-based arts organisation Arthur+Martha.

It combines sound recordings, customised postcards and an epic Twitter poem to portray the different facets of the lives of homeless people in Manchester.

Participants have spoken of the difference the project has made to them, with comments including: “I feel that I’ve been heard now. This morning I was invisible. Now I know someone knows I’m here.”

Another contributor added: “People who are classed as ‘normal’ don’t get to see our world. This opens their eyes.”

The organisation, run by poet Philip Davenport and artist Lois Blackburn, aims to help marginalised people find their creative voice by using a mix of art and poetry.

They have worked with hospital patients, excluded schoolchildren, children with special needs and even holocaust survivors.

Mr Davenport said: "The cards and Twitter poem are an extraordinary document of lives that are unnoticed.

“There is lost innocence, lost families, lost love. There's yearning, for shelter and kindness.

“And there's resilience. Finally, many people told us that the thing they want most of all is acknowledgement - they want to be seen.”

Director of the Booth Centre for homeless people in Manchester, Amanda Croome MBE, said: “The project was great – I found it amazingly powerful to see people express themselves with such feeling – and to get to know people we work with in a different way.”

Arthur+Martha say that ‘no other arts and health organisation in the UK is as deeply committed to pushing the boundaries of text/art to include outsider voices’.

University Events Officer, Harriet Morgan-Shami, said: “I LIVE TEMPORARY offers us a unique opportunity to present the digital output of an innovative creative collaboration in our MediaCityUK facility.

“This type of work, which uses digital media to engage with and represent a marginalised community, is an exciting approach which we hope will generate dialogue and inspire thinking around how our students, staff and creative partners can reach new audiences through their digital practice.”

The show will be on display until Friday June 1 and for more information on the installation visit www.salford.ac.uk/arts.

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