The Skyliner (aka Hayley Flynn), has been a fundamental part of Manchester’s walking tours scene for years. Her genuine passion for local history and socially invested or politically motivated public art fuels a series of engaging and enlightening tours. These aren’t your classic tourist targeted walking tours visiting the well known monuments and landmarks in the city. You’ll be shown an alternative side to places which you may think you’re familiar with. The Skyliner’s knowledge of each street’s history is incredible and complements her particular ability to connect the recent history of an area to its current development and potential futures.
In this special collaboration between The Skyliner and MIF you will explore the relationship between art, audience and place. By removing visual art from a gallery, a fundamental shift in audience takes place, giving artists a chance to make a public facing political statement. These acts of free expression can result in a much wider change to a place’s narrative. Manchester is more than familiar with the conflicting needs of urban art practitioners and large scale developers. Skyliner explores this tension and asks some thought provoking questions about how space is used in a city.
The tour follows a history of graffiti as well as the journey street art has taken in Manchester, from grassroots to being a commercially sought after addition to an area’s personality. She also takes a look at the positive cultural and social knock on effects that have been triggered by street art in various parts of the city. There is the well known narrative of areas being artistically saturated then gentrified but maybe there are alternative stories to be carved out.
As part of the tour you’ll visit a specially commissioned mural by the Manchester based street artist Qubek. His signature aesthetic of soft realism can be seen in multiple locations across the city. Join the Skyliner to see this seasoned artist’s most recent work and learn about the context and motivations behind it.