As the City Centre undergoes constant change from roadworks and the construction of new buildings, the Oxford Road area has also had a well-needed makeover with the demolition of some Manchester Metropolitan University buildings and the introduction of some new glass towers. I dropped in on Saturday to photograph the developments.
The interesting thing about building sites are that they are never static- beforehand they were completed, ageing buildings that look more or less the same every day. Once demolished and replaced, the new buildings usually look a lot better, but again they have the same appearance daily. Building sites look different every time you visit them, and on each visit they're never going to look like that again.
Here's the site of the former BBC building on Oxford Road, new given the contradictory name of Circle Square.
Most of the nearby sections of Oxford Road are now cordoned off to traffic. It's bizarre seeing what was one of the busiest bus routes in Europe so desolate.
This is Happy Cloud, a public artwork further up Oxford Road, curated by Stuart Semple. It's a piece raising awareness of mental health issues, using a machine that releases smiley faces made from the bubbles of vegetable oil, which float across the skyline. If you saw a load of smiley faces floating over your head on Saturday, you weren't emoji-tripping- it was this. His work has been displayed at Manchester Art Gallery and will be at The Manchester Museum, Witworth Art Gallery and a nearby hospital. It's part of SICK!Festival, which 'celebrates life, death and survival, exploring subjects which are hugely important to all of us, however difficult they may be.'
This piece is called Before I Die. It's again a piece of public artwork, and the brain child of Candy Chang. It's an opportunity for the public to write on what they want to do before they leave this earth, and it's been exhibited so far in over 70 countries. I left my confession.
Before I die is also part of SICK!Festival.
More findings to come in a separate post.