Another City Space

Walking back from Angel Meadows I passed square that was empty but for the few people walking across to Victoria, and I was hit by the sound of the skaters practising their skills, chatting and hanging out. I stopped and listened, the sound of their boards coming and go and flying and flipping. Not long later I was asked to move - it turned out although I thought I was sitting far enough away from them, that my seat was their spring board... Apparently if their is wax on the edge of the stone it is used for skateboarding skills. I never knew, but looking around I could see what they meant. Invisible to the untrained eye all the edges of the stone around the square were shinning in the eveni

Amongst the Trees in Whitworth Park & Gallery

Whitworth Art Gallery in half term is not a quiet space... But we still managed to find quiet corners and space for reflection and listening and looking. Even in the drizzle and wet the seats at the 'back' entrance quadrangle provide enough shelter from the elements to enjoy the space and stay dry while we drew. As the afternoon went on the drizzle stopped and eventually the sun came out for a glorious afternoon with shards of sunshine breaking through the gaps between the branches. Perhaps one of Manchester's most special quiet places. Please see our Gallery for more photos and information.


Spring Cleaning is coming early this... (pause) academic year. Won't last long as while dealing with yet another pile of miscellaneously organised books + documents, I spotted one of the English Letters penned by French philosopher Voltaire (1778). It was one of the items included in the Twenty First Century Cabinet of Curiosity which I presented at Curatorial Cultures (Science Museum, London)... back in 2009... (pause)... Anyway, here's an excerpt: 'But being retired in 1666, upon account of the Plague, to a solitude near Cambridge; as [Newton] was walking one day in his garden, + saw some fruits fall from a tree, he fell into a profound meditation on that gravity...' If my memory serves me

Creative Writing Quiet Spaces

Writer Nigel Wood is working with us on MMQS, leading creative writing sessions during our Tuesday Art Studio In TLC-St Lukes Art Project. Anyone is welcome to come along 6-7pm every Tuesday (please see our whats on page for dates) The writing group will be based on some of the themes that arise from the project - how noise affects our mental health Here are some of the first poems from some of our participants On Highfield Meadow Adele Fowles Feeling the wind on my face and tasting the rain Squelching through the slippery mud and calling my dog to come to me Resting among the dense trees counting my breaths mindfully and being being being here now Loving blossom leaves, berries, grasses a

Surprising Find at Apple Day @ Platt Fields Park

A brisk walk around the milenium and victoria orchards (guided by beautifully hand-drawn maps by artist in residence Alexandra Lewis available as a printed postcards set of 3 - pls contact Friends of Platt Fields Park for more info brought us to the largest Medlar trees in Europe! What a fabulous little fruit - apparently Medlars are a kind of quince type fruit, you pick them now and by Christmas they are soft enough to scoop out with a spoon - like a spiced apple sauce - this process is called 'bletting' which means that they have rotted down and are decomposing. Apparently a special treat for Chrismas day! Popular with King Henry the 8th... Anyway, whilst lookin

Angel Meadows Sound Walk and Sound Drawing

A fantastic and enthusiastic group from Back-on-Track lead by Rachel Shore and myself spent a cool blustery afternoon in Angel Meadows. We can learn a lot about the history of Manchester in the history of Angel Meadows. Isn't it fascinating how certain locations tell a story that speaks for so much more than its tiny geographical location. Before you read our blog or see our images please take a moment to look at some of the history of Angel Meadows to give a bit of context. The friends of Angel Meadows who worked hard to have the site regenerated into a public park in the 2000s have documented some of the historical context here: If you wan

Postcard from Mini Land

On my way to THE CHETHAM LIBRARY which according to JOHN HEYWOOD’S COMPLETE POCKET GUIDE TO MANCHESTER + SALFORD (1869) “is a quaint, old-world edifice, lying a little apart from the tumult of the town, + steeped in a strange monastic quiet. It has about it a curious spell of the antique world, + is curiously at variance with the newness + the uproar of modern Manchester.”

Manley Park's Quite Corner

Manley Park is my local park in Whalley Range, it is also one of the smallest parks in Manchester. With its all weather pitch and playground, it is often mobbed by young people of all ages. Cricket matches take place during the Summer evenings. Dog walkers do their rounds first thing in the morning. The diagonal path is used as a shortcut between Clarendon Road and the top of York Avenue towards Seymour Grove shops. It is a busy place. But every now and then, in the middle of the day, it is empty of people. I make a point to walk to its furthest corner, away from the roads that border the park. Seeing the playground empty and the paths clear, I feel like I have reached a quiet corner. And th

Sound Recording at The HEAP

Fantastic way to spend World Mental Mental Health Day - recording the unique ambience and soundmarks of The Growing Together Project at Highfields Ecological Allotment Project. We spent some time reflecting on the practice of listening and what it can do for our mental health - especially when we listen to nature sounds in green and quiet places. According to the members of the Growing Project, spending good amount of time out doors, in green spaces is uplifting, peace-giving, relaxing, grounding, brings back good memories, helps us forget our current concerns and can take us to another place, to a more calm and spiritual place. A big thank you to the Growing Together Project for being our f

Growing Together on Gardeners World

Check out the Growing Together Project at HEAP (Highfields Ecological Allotment Project) tonight on Gardeners World: This project is one of our partners for Mapping MCR's Quiet Spaces and we will be with them again on the 10th October for World Mental Health day recording sounds and the unique sound setting that is this allotment. See our previous work with HEAP on our previous blog post (27th September) and on our Gallery

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