Law firm assists on Unusual art project | 18 November 10
LAW firm Ward Hadaway is helping to bring something Unusual to Salford Quays in Greater Manchester.
The firm’s creative industries team, which is based at the Sharp Project in Manchester, advised award-winning arts practice Unusual on a public art commission to mark the tenth anniversary of the arrival of The Lowry art gallery at Salford Quays.
Inspired by stories of former dock-workers, who described Salford Quays (formerly Manchester Docks) as a gateway to the world, Manchester-based Unusual worked with schoolchildren born in 2000, the year The Lowry opened, to create a striking work situated on The Quays.
Their work – called Where The Wild Things Were (left, picture by Ben Blackall) – is formed by a series of eight metre-high etched stainless steel and composite blades which sway in the wind and evoke the Elephant Grass found in Africa and Asia, an example of the exotic from far-off lands which Salford Quays helped to bring to Manchester.
The piece forms part of a permanent heritage trail featuring four other pieces of public art on Salford Quays, soon to be home to the BBC’s Media City complex, which opens next year.
The project – called Unlocking Salford Quays – has been financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Ward Hadaway’s creative industries team, led by partner Laura Harper, advised Unusual on the contractual issues associated with the project.
Laura Harper, head of Ward Hadaway’s creative industries team, said: “Claire and Lee Donnelly at Unusual have a fantastic track record for creating really striking and thought-provoking pieces of public art so we were delighted to be working with them on this project.
“The fact that this is a permanent piece of art in a high profile location in the North West makes it even more rewarding, especially bearing in mind the fact that school children in the area have had a major input into the final piece.”
As well as the commission at Salford Quays, Unusual have been involved in public artworks at a number of other locations in the North West, including New Islington in Manchester, where their Lifeblood sculpture at New Islington health centre won the award for Best Use of Visual Art in Healthcare.
Unusual also worked with artist Michael Trainor to create a giant moving graphic equaliser on the outside of music venue Band on the Wall in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.
Using 16,000 LED lights, the equaliser reacts to the noise of the city during the day and moves to the sound of the music inside the venue during the night.
Elsewhere in the North, the practice has also created a 25-metre long artwork around a new Surestart centre in Golcar, West Yorkshire, and a sensory courtyard, external seating sculpture and wayfinding floor artwork at a health centre in Stanley, County Durham.
Lee Donnelly from Unusual said: “Ward Hadaway’s experience and advice has been invaluable to us throughout the Unlocking Salford Quays project.”
The Unusual project is the latest in a series of creative ventures which Ward Hadaway has advised on.
The Top 100 UK law firm’s creative industries team has previously advised on projects including an international collaborative film project between Salford University and Salford-based film company Candella Films, a US commission for renowned artist Mackenzie Thorpe Limited and a book celebrating the life of the late Joy Division and New Order manager Rob Gretton.
The team also regularly provide advice on issues for technology companies, games developers, international artists, advertising and design agencies, film companies, musicians and producers.
Carol Isherwood, assistant solicitor in the team, was the legal panellist in the only two Music Manager Forum’s Induction Days for new band managers to be held outside of London.
These took place at the Liverpool headquarters of creative industries support agency Merseyside ACME and in Manchester as part of the In The City 2010 music conference.
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