Manchester Evening News
Wonders Out of The Wasteland
Friday October 21, 1994
Tracey Sanders-Wood 30, is a Moss Side-based community artist working at Martenscroft school in Poynton Close, off Bonsall Street, a school surrounded on sides by acre after desolate acre of demolition . In this wasteland, Tracey has nurtured an arts project among the two-to-five-year-olds who have taken their own photographs, spun their own wool and even hand dyed their own cloth in the process of making three multi-coloured, intricately detailed mosaics, Hulme Past, Present, which will eventually hang outside the school.
To collect materials for the mosaics, the children made clocks of their six-hour school activities - music, water play, woodwork, tape-recording, computers - even washing hands 'because they do quite a lot of it during a day.' Then there was the childrens 'homework' - watering plants, watching planes, watching spiders ("he had a phobia about them") and the dump trucks which are ever present in their neighbourhood. This was all recorded on a wall hanging. Says Tracey, 'We also had black and white photography around the district by children as young as 23 months. I know in a lot of cases you can't fail when you press the button, but some took perfect shots of the area, some before the demolition started."
All the children's ideas were then incorporated - by the school's 90 youngsters themselves - into three Past, Present and Future mosaics, a sort of present-day Bayeux Tapestry.
At nearby Royce Primary school, Rolls Cresent, Hulme, another team effort by 150 children guided by artist-in -residence Ekua Bayunu-Conteh has produced a series of seven imaginative Anansi Mosaics, based on a Spider Man story from the West African tradition.
The Anansi Mosaics was launched at Royce Primary school, Hulme, on Tuesday October 18. The Hulme Past, Present and Future project will be launched at Martenscroft school, off Bonsall Street, Hulme, on November 8.
Both projects come together in a joint exhibition, Mo-Zay-Ik (with photographs of the mosaics) which runs from November 25 to Thursday December 1 at the Workers' Film Association, lucy Street, Hulme, Manchester.
PHOTOGRAPH: Tracey sanders-Wood with the work and children.