As part of the Independents Biennial in Liverpool, Matchbox City will colonise The Brink café bar with a growing installation of miniature matchstick people and cardboard buildings. In partnership with Crisis Skylight Merseyside and The Whitechapel Centre, Powerhouse Foyer and James Lee House, Warrington a series of creative workshops were held with people affected by homelessness. Using simple materials, a huge variety of sculptural pieces were created and brought to life using stop-motion animation. The stories created range from the playful and imaginative to the heartfelt and personal. Matchbox City is an imagined urban landscape brought to life through the expressions of over 100 participants, comprised of buildings, boats, bikers, cats, dogs and myriad people.
“We hope that the surprise of miniature matchstick people popping up here and there will make people stop and think. The very real problem of homelessness in our towns and cities is an uncomfortable truth that is often ignored. By engaging people in what seems like a friendly and approachable way, we hope to get everyone talking about some of the more difficult aspects of city life and to the people who it is all too easy to walk past. “ (Emily Hayes)
Connecting Threads were moved to develop a creative project with people affected by homelessness after noticing rough sleeping and the issue of vulnerable housing was becoming increasingly visible on our streets. The community artists have found that art and creativity are a powerful way for often marginalised people to find a voice.
Matchbox City has been developed by Connecting Threads, which is a collaborative partnership between community artists, Becky Waite and Emily Hayes. The project has received funding from Arts Council England.
The exhibition launches at the Brink on Friday 4th July 5-7pm.
Matchbox City is exhibited at the Brink as part of the Independents Biennial from 5th July - 26th October 2014.
Also at The Brink during this time, Space13’s L.I.F.T (Lost Is Found Theory) exhibition will explore artist Leon Jakeman’s recovery journey and feature work from participants in the Brink’s Community Arts Programme. Simon Yorke will exhibit portraits of people who sell the Big Issue.
Free family friendly, drop-in workshops (suitable for ages 5 and up)
Saturday 5th July 1-4pm
Friday 18th July 2-4pm
A street trail of matchstick people will spring up on Bold Street, Slater Street and Parr Street during the month of July.
Matchbox City will pop up in different places around the North West during 2014. Keep your eyes open for matchstick people populating busy streets in Manchester and Rochdale when the project rolls in to The People’s History Museum and the Touchstones Gallery.
For more information and to see photos, animations and stories from participants please visit: