Free Event: Create Your Own Collage at The Portico Library
Up Close: Glasgow Skyline
As one of the latest skylines to join the best-selling Skyline glassware, it's time to take a closer look at some of the landmarks that feature on the Glasgow gin goblets and whisky tumblers.
Glasgow Science Tower
Holding the Guinness World Record for the tallest full-rotating freestanding structure in the world and standing tall at 127 metres high, there’s no better place to catch a glimpse of Glasgow’s panoramic views than the Glasgow Tower.
Originally known as the Millennium Tower, the tower is the result of an international competition to design a tower for Glasgow with Richard Horden and Buro Happold as the brains behind the original architectural and engineering design respectively.
With the whole structure being able to rotate 360 degrees, the tower is more than a place to enjoy views of Glasgow’s city centre and surrounding landscape. Marvel at the design of Scotland’s tallest freestanding building, which showcases engineering in its finest.
Gallery of Modern Art
Built in 1778 originally as a townhouse, the neoclassical building opened as the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) in 1996. As a gallery for contemporary art, exhibits have included the works of internationally-renowned artists such as Andy Warhol, David Hockney and Sebastiao Salgado. GoMA has also proudly celebrated local artists in the past including Scottish artists, John Bellany and Ken Currie. The gallery also includes a permanent display of the building’s history and its transformation from townhouse to gallery.
Duke of Wellington StatueOutside the Gallery of Modern Art stands the Equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington, Glasgow most often found with a traffic cone on its head.
The status was sculpted by Carlo Marochetti, an Italian artist whose other works include the statue of Queen Victoria on horseback in George Square, Glasgow as well as statues across England and Europe. The statue celebrates Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, one of the leading political heads and serving as Prime Minister twice in the 19th Century.
The statue has since become notable for being adorned with a traffic cone - a quirky move that is said to represent Glaswegian humour. In 2011, it was included in the Lonely Planet’s list of “top 10 most bizarre monuments on Earth”.
City ChambersViewed as one of Glasgow’s most prominent buildings, Glasgow City Chambers can be found on George Square. The building is a result of another competition, this time in the 19th Century when it was designed by William Young, a Scottish architect. In August 1888, it was inaugurated by Queen Victoria, and it’s at the front of the building that the aforementioned statue of Queen Victoria by Marochetti can be found. The iconic landmark of Glasgow’s skyline has been the home to the city councils ever since.
The Finneston CraneAs a nod to Glasgow's heritage in engineering, the Finneston Crane is a giant crane found in the city centre. Once used for loading cargo onto ships, the crane is no longer operational and is one of eleven remaining giant cantilever cranes in the world.
Playing its role in public artwork, in 1987, local sculptor George Wyllie’s full-size replica locomotive was suspended from the crane. The replica, made of straw, was later burned to reveal a metal framework.
Etsy Takeover | Enjoy 10% Off
This week we've been taking over Etsy Manchester's Instagram where Meha shared her favourite makers from in and around Greater Manchester.
To celebrate the end of the takeover, we've partnered with over 20 makers to offer you 10% off your next Etsy order. From jewellers and homeware to loud prints and photography, there's certainly something for everyone!
Just use the code EtsyMcr10 between now and the end of March 2021 on any of the shops below to get your 10% off.
MehaArt | The Print Studio MCR | Pumpkin & Peas | Hello Falcon | Ollie & Fred
Cocoon Homeware | Art is My Therapy | The Kitschen Disco | Emily Lisbeth Jeweller
Jilly G Design | Honey Blossom UK | Lorris Silver Jewellery | Christopher Walster | AMWRAPUK
Hamilton & Home | Yanthia | Amarthia | Blue Fox Ceramics | Olganna
Blue Butterfly Crafts | Emmy C Photography | Natalie Gaynor Designs | Painting Rainbows
Wild in Art's 50 Windows of Creativity
As part of the Wild in Art 50 Windows of Creativity, Meha recently created three pieces to celebrate Greater Manchester in all its glory.
About the exhibition
Created by Wild in Art and supported by Manchester City Council, 50 Windows of Creativity is an exhibition displaying art - whether that’s ceramics or crafts, mosaics or murals - in windows and spaces around the city. Like Meha, each artist is connected to Greater Manchester. The art trail will help to support the city’s art and creative community, its businesses and cultural venues at a time when they need it the most.
A selection of the pieces will also be auctioned, with proceeds going to their artists and makers as well as The Lord Mayor of Manchester Charity Appeal Trust - We Love MCR Charity.
Pieces are on display until 5th December as part of the exhibition.
About Meha’s pieces
Each of Meha’s pieces are kindly sponsored by TFGM, with various nods to transport included in the drawings. Meha’s pieces can also be purchased here, on our website, either individually or as a set of three.
Northern Quarter and Ancoats
Discover the Northern Quarter and Ancoats’ past and present with this skyline piece. Known as the “the world’s first industrial suburb”, Meha pays homage to Ancoats’ industrial past with its cotton mills. Manchester’s Cottonopolis is now home to some of the city’s best eateries and independents with a backdrop of the colourful murals of Pichi & Avo and Dale Grimshaw. Available to buy from £20.
With recognition to Alan Turing to Emmeline Pankhurst alongside The Whitworth, Manchester Town Hall and the Manchester Museum, the skyline of Canal Street demonstrates the history and heritage the city has to offer. But let’s not forget the tribute to the city’s food either with the inclusion of the Vimto bottle and Hatch, the destination for independent eateries, breweries and retailers. Available to buy from £20.
Spinningfields & Deansgate
Standing tall in the centre, the eye is immediately drawn to Meha’s drawing of Manchester Cathedral. But spot the cultural venues included too, from the likes of The Portico Library, the Opera House and Royal Exchange. With its rich history, the addition of Chetham’s Library, the meeting place of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1845, is also a must. More modern features include the Tower of Light, Printworks and of course, arguably the nation’s favourite soap opera, Coronation Street. Available to buy from £20.
To find out more about 50 Windows of Creativity, click here.
5 Years of MehaArt
MehaArt turns 5 this year and to celebrate this big Birthday we're taking a look back over the past 5 years and how the business came to be where it is today.
2015 saw Meha create the first of her now signature skyline designs, and of course she had to start off with Manchester! Featuring many of Manchester's most recognisable landmarks this design has constantly evolved over the last 5 years to include new buildings as they pop up.
Meha also introduced her Didsbury and Industrial Manchester skylines in the first year of MehaArt.
In 2016, Meha took on her first mural commissions, including a large scale version of her Industrial Manchester design, at the Manchester Creative Studio.
October 2016 saw Meha take the leap to launching the MehaArt website, which remains largely unchanged to this day. You can see what the website looked like on the day it launched above!
2016 also saw Meha take part in the Manchester Christmas Markets for the first time, and as a result her Manchester Skyline mug featured in Manchester Confidential's Christmas Market Gift Guide.
In 2017 Meha teamed up with Newcastle department store Fenwicks to create the Newcastle skyline range. The design is now available on mugs, aprons, tea towels, coasters, and more!
Meha's now super popular gin glasses first appeared in 2017 too, with the first design featuring buildings from Manchester's famous skyline including the Beetham Tower, Manchester Cathedral, and the National Football Museum.
2018 proved to be a busy year for MehaArt starting with features in both Olive food magazine and Living North, and even sneaking onto Coronation Street where Meha's black and white Manchester Skyline print was spotted on the walls of the factory!
July 2018 saw Meha collaborate with paint manufacturer Airlite to produce an interactive skyline piece at TedEx London which highlighted their air purifying paints.
Also in July, Meha took part in the amazing Bee in the City trail, decorating one of the giant fibreglass bees with her colourful Manchester skyline design. The bees were ultimately auctioned off to raise money for the We Love MCR Charity’s Stronger Communities fund with Meha's bee raising an incredible £10,000.
2018 also saw MehaArt go international with a feature in German food magazine, Essen und Trinken, who shared Meha's Berlin tea towel design.
In April 2019 Meha took part in BBC One's 'Home is Where the Art Is', a show where artists create a personalised commission for a mystery buyer.
Meha created a collection of pieces for Manchester couple Ben and Marc designed to capture their love of the city and its heritage.
You can find all of the pieces Meha created for Home is Where the Art Is on the website here.
July 2019 saw Meha's MCR Hidden Stories murals get underway, a collaboration with NOMA and the Old Bank Residency, this was a project designed to capture the stories of Manchester which are often forgotten.
The MCR Hidden Stories mural is Meha's largest to date, covering over 40 boards which will be used around the NOMA neighbourhood.
October saw the launch of the Liverpool Art Book which features Meha's black and white Liverpool Skyline design. You can order the book online from Amazon here.
The first of Meha's skyline workshops launched in December 2019 at the annual Etsy Made Local: Manchester pop-up event at the People's History Museum. Guided by Meha, attendees created their own interpretation of the Manchester skyline using personal stories to guide their design.
January 2020 started out with Meha's Manchester Skyline print Music Edition being selected for the first Manchester Open, an exhibition celebrating the creative talent of Greater Manchester residents.
In February of this year Meha sat on a panel at the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce's Business Women's Network Summit, where she discussed entrepreneurship and building a brand.
And that brings us right up to the present day!
We're excited to see what the rest of 2020 brings (after the chaos of Corona!!) and look forward to the next 5 years of MehaArt too.
International Women's Day 2020: 3 Inspirational Female Artists
Celebrated for well over a century on the 8th March each year, International Women's Day (or IWD) is a day focussed on celebrating the achievements of women around the world. IWD also provides a platform to reflect on the inequality women experience, to call for change, and to raise awareness of bias against women.
To celebrate this year's International Women's Day I'm sharing just three of my favourite female artists with you.
Emily Lamb describes herself as a 'Painter and traveller connecting people to the wilderness …'. Her work focuses on the natural world, with bold, expressive depictions of wildlife intended to draw attention to the plights of endangered species and communities in Africa.
In 2019, Emily was the first artist in residence at Angama Mara, a stunning safari lodge above the Maasai Mara game reserve in Kenya. Whilst there she painted 17 pieces which were raised $12,000 for the Angama Foundation in just 10 days.
Emily describes her style as an attempt to "translate the places, people and creatures of Africa into a medium that can communicate the beauty and emotion that the continent evokes..".
One of her most recent projects is the Daily Sketch for Wildlife series where she created a sketch a day for 400 days, selling the pieces for £100 each with 100% of the proceeds going to wildlife charities. You can see the full range of sketches on her Instagram here.
Victo Ngai is an LA based illustrator originally from Hong Kong whose work is inspired by comic book drawings, Japanese painters, and classic children's book illustrations. Ngai creates her pieces using pen for the line work, various mediums to create textures, such as acrylic or oil pastels, before finally using Photoshop to digitally colour the artwork.
Her illustrations combine intricate, highly detailed line work with skewed perspective and limited colour palettes to create pieces which take the viewer to a place of fantasy.
Ngai's work can be seen in newspapers and magazines, on packaging and advertisements, in books, and as storyboards for animations. Her clients have including The New York Times, Penguin Random House, Dreamworks, and Apple.
Ngai has also taught at the New York School of Visual Arts, The Illustration Academy, and gives guest lectures at universities and art schools around the world. Her most recent achievement saw her awarded the Hamilton King Award, for excellence in illustration, by the Society of Illustrators.
Swoon - Caledonia Curry
Caledonia Curry, better known in the art world as Swoon, is a Brooklyn based street artist who specialises in large scale paper cut-outs of human figures. She began using the name Swoon when her then-boyfriend had a dream about the two of them doing graffiti together where she tagged her work with the pseudonym.
Interestingly, using the genderless nickname resulted in people expecting Swoon to be a man, a not unexpected assumption in the male dominated world of street art. Caledonia now sees 'Swoon' as more of a concept, embodying her belief that the combination of dedication and creativity can create “cracks in the facades of impossibility and inevitability”.
Caledonia’s process involves creating her signature large human forms on recycled papers, which can take weeks to paint and cut, before glueing them to derelict buildings, street signs, and other blank walls using wheat paste.
Her work is inspired by fairy tales, myths, and sacred femininity, as well as a desire to create portraits which capture the essence of a person or community.
What started out as a two month project of portraits has now seen Swoon continue her work for over 10 years, with pieces appearing in the São Paulo Museum of Art, the Tate Modern, and New York’s Museum of Modern Art amongst others. Her most recent practice has seen her exploring more visual storytelling through the use of film animation.
There are so many more fantastic female artists who I could have featured in this post, these are just three of the incredible artists who inspire me to keep creating.
Why is Paris known as the City of Love?
Mention that you're thinking of going on a romantic getaway and the first place that comes to mind is Paris, but why exactly is this popular destination known as the City of Love? Read on to find out...
Of course the most romantic part of Paris has to be the magnificent Tour de Eiffel, with it's grand wrought iron tower and sparkling lights illuminating the night sky. This famous landmark is a popular proposal spot with an impressive one in 679 proposals taking place there.
As well as the Eiffel Tower, the streets of Paris are lined with more examples of architecture such as the stunning Notre Dame Cathedral, the iconic Arc de Triomphe, and the gothic Sainte-Chapelle, all adding to the romance of the city.
The City of Lights
Another of Paris' nicknames is the City of Light and you can see why when the sun sets and the illuminated buildings and bridges come to life. The twinkling lights of more than 296 statues, monuments, churches, and hotels create the perfect atmosphere for a romantic stroll along the river Seine.
Fun Fact: The name actually comes from Paris being one of the first cities in Europe to have street lighting, the result of Louis XIV and the Lieutenant General of Police, Gabriel Nicolas de la Reynie, wanting to gain trust from the public by creating safer streets in the capital.
The Language & Culture
Originating from Latin, French is considered one of the most romantic languages in the world and is often dubbed “the language of love”. One of the reasons for this is that French requires you to drop the consonant at the end of a word, removing the harsher sound and creating a smoother, more free flowing language.
Paris has also long been associated with extravagance, from the afore mentioned architecture, to fine art, music, and fashion. Visiting the city's many world-renowned museums, art galleries, and fashion houses is a must, and makes for a picture perfect romantic date.
Fun Fact: According to a survey by Google Translate, French is the language most often used to translate romantic expressions.
If the way to the heart is truly through the stomach then Paris, and it's 40,000 restaurants, must guarantee true love. For the French, enjoying good food is a way of life, encouraging people to come together and 'enjoy the art of good eating and drinking’.
With elegant fine dining and cosy cafe's on every street corner, Paris is the perfect place to spend a romantic evening indulging in gastronomic delights and fine wines.
Fun Fact: In France, people eat an estimated 500,000,000 snails per year.
Looking for a gift to remember the City of Romance? You can see our Paris Skyline gin glass here and our Paris glass tumbler here.