This year’s Heritage Open Days sees the launch of an exciting new art trail in Wythenshawe Park.
Over 25 memory boxes will be hidden on trees around the park for people to find. The boxes, which look like bird boxes, can be peeped into, giving a window into memories of this special park.
Each box has been individually created by people taking part in a project with Wythenshawe-based arts and well-being project, Studio One. The inspiration has been a new exhibition at Wythenshawe Hall, 'A Park for the People'. This saw the collection of park memories, which have now been interpreted in a unique, personal way.
As the second largest park in Manchester, it would be impossible to hunt out the memory boxes without help. A map has been specially designed and put in a free leaflet, which is available at the Warden's Office. Sturdy footwear is needed as the trail has varied routes from woodland walks to open fields and rough tracks. People will be surprised at how much there is in the park to uncover and discover.
Studio One will be in the Stable Courtyard at the park on Heritage Open Days, Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 from 12 noon - 4pm offering free art activities for all ages. There is also the chance to take a trip down memory lane over the weekend by dropping in on a free tour at 12 noon, 12.45pm, 1.30pm, 2.15pm, 3pm or 3.45pm on both days. This is wheelchair accessible and recalls people's memories of the farm, playground and paddling pool, and other places that have special meaning.
Another activity for HOD is 'A Walk from the Park' on Thursday 11 and Friday 12 September, 1.30 - 3.30pm, a guided walk to Northenden and back taking in the historic sites. Ring Ali Davenport on 0161 998 2117 to book a place.
Councillor Mike Amesbury, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure said: "The Park for the People exhibition has been extremely popular and this new trail is another fascinating display, which has built on the exhibition's foundations. The trail is yet another way for people to learn about local history in a fun and interactive way and I hope people will take the opportunity to explore the trail and celebrate the park's heritage."
The new trail will be available in the park all year round. Over time however the memory boxes may disappear or decay. This reflects the nature of memory itself and the way the park changes over the years. Inspired by this idea and the work of British artist Andy Goldsworthy, Studio One have also been creating temporary art in the park over the summer. Participants have been using natural and found objects, such as leaves and fallen branches, to create sculptures. A photographic record is now all that remains of the work as the pieces themselves quickly return to the natural environment.
For more information on Heritage Open Days in Manchester and across the North West see http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/.
Claire Keegan, Press Office, tel: 0161 234 4014