Blinded by the Light: Chorlton Craftivists light pollution awareness art trail
About the artworks and contributors
Massive thank you to all the creators who have so imaginatively crafted displays for the light pollution art trail.
Big thank you to Manchester Buzz who funded the production of 21 wooden bats, moths and spotlights for us to decorate; created for us by Maker of Things. There are three additional original displays, making 24 artworks for you to enjoy in people's front gardens and some public spaces.
We hope you enjoy them and feel inspired to learn more about light pollution, and perhaps take up some craftivist activities to share the message with friends and neighbours.
(1a) The Milky Way by Friends of Field of Os Pocket Park M21 9QD
More than one third of the world and 60% of Europeans cannot see the Milky Way due to light pollution. It was painted by the Children of the Friends of Field of Os Pocket Park. www.facebook.com/groups/fieldofospocketpark
(1b) Starry Night by Friends of Field of Os Pocket Park M21 9QD
We want to see a starrier night and used Van Gogh’s painting to inspire us. It was painted by the Children of the Friends of Field of Os Pocket Park. www.facebook.com/groups/fieldofospocketpark
(1c) Three Fruit Bats, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego by Lee Page Hanson, Field of Os Pocket Park M21 9QD
I made this piece to support the campaign for awareness of light pollution, that affects animals and insects in inner city environments. I made bats as they particularly struggle when feeding at night. They are made of clay as I’m a Potter living and working in Manchester. I made the eyes of the bats from reflective material taken from an old high viz tabard, so when light is shone on them they will be visible. The feet are made from wire taken from clay bag fasteners.
(2) Love Takes Wing - 5 Longford Road M21 9WP
Inspired by Mexican folk art, I’ve created ‘Love Takes Wing’. Love is the still, small light of the heart, yet powerful enough to brighten the world. It’s a Lucky Love Heart, painted with shiny Humbrol enamel paint, the sort used for model plane kits!
(3) String art creatures by Evie - 34 Kensington Road M21 9QJ
This is a string art representation of some of the creatures that are affected by light pollution, and the night sky, which is less visible than Evie would like because she loves to see the stars.
(4) Jo and Reenie - 234 Oswald Road M21 9GW
I decorated this butterfly with my 6 year old - who did most of the painting! The rainbow colours represent the symbol of hope we have all come to recognise this past 18 months, and we wanted to reflect light by using mirrored tiles for the body.
(5) Vesper by Ruby - 52 Kensington Road M21 9NU
Bats are often thought of as scary things but using bright colours I wanted to show that they’re our friends! Unfortunately they’re put at risk by light pollution and I hope in the upcoming future our community can work against that. Embellished with upcycled bag.
(6) Dim the lights by Nicola - 4 Copley Road M21 9WT
I was ‘persuaded’ to join the project by a friend, but then enjoyed the whole process of being creative and learning about the plight of our garden insects and mammals.
(7) Butterflies, bats and birds of Ryebank Fields - Ryebank Community Garden, Rye Bank Road M16 0HB
(8) In Praise of shadows: bats and lacewing by Sumo - the Aspen Grove, Ryebank Fields -- these creatures have returned to their roost and not currently viewable --
Coming from a culture which appreciates the creatures who love the dark, I recognise that excessive artificial light pollution deteriorates the eco-balance. My setting is Ryebank Fields, such a unique place. We need to keep its eco-balance as it is: no digging, no development, no destruction. YES to wild, YES to biodiversity, YES to mother earth!!! Sumo stands for Sacred Unique Microcosmic Organism.
(9) Rainbow Moth by Alison S - 233 Ryebank Road M21 9LU
In response to the many rainbows that appeared over lockdown.
(10) Never mind the Death Head Hawk Moth by Sallie - 24 Salisbury Road M21 0SL
I chose the Death Head Hawk Moth for its macabre and striking marking, and the mythology of death that surrounds it, which seemed relevant to the 33% loss of moths in my lifetime. The ransom note writing and Never Mind the Buzzcocks colour scheme came from a sense of the moth warning us of the damage we are wreaking on our environment.
(11) Glaringly Obvious by Teresa - 11 Westfield Road M21 0SW -- this moth is now hibernating --
The shape I was given was the iconic anglepoise lamp. I attempted to convey the effect of light pollution on a scene that is partly rural and partly urban. The collage on the reverse attempts to drive home the dire effects of light pollution on living beings.
(12) Moth by Alison J - 21 Westfield Road M21 0SW
The piece is based on the poem 'Moth' by Robert MacFarlane with illustrations by Jackie Morris from their book The Lost Spells. Jackie Morris says that the book is about ‘wonder and awe at the beautiful complexity of the non-human. And respect, for the wisdom of trees, the shape of a bird, the wild of the fox.”
(13) Rainbow Pride Bat by Sue - 24 Westfield Road M21 0SW
(14) Striving for a Thriving Ecosystem by Danielle - 4 Abbotsford Road M21 0RJ
My mosaic moth is made from broken crockery and plastic bottle plant holders. The scented plants - mint and thyme, might attract moths, and these might be enjoyed by passing bats... unless they are shying away from the bright street light?
(15) Love Bat by Rose Carbone - 6 Abbotsford Road M21 0RJ
A shy & understated button piece ❤️
(16) Birthday Bat by Joe Haydn - Unicorn Grocery front garden on Manchester Road M21 0BN
Unicorn Grocery is 25 years old this month! Their bat is celebrating in their wildflower garden that provides nectar for many insects.
(17) Lights Off, Sleep Well by Manchester Buzz team - Chorlton Community Garden, Manchester Road M21 9PN
Get tips for a good night's sleep from the Manchester Buzz team who funded these wonderful wooden shapes to help raise awareness of light pollution and how it can affect our wellbeing and sleep. buzzmanchester.co.uk and A Guide to how you can get a better night's sleep
(18) Let there be Dark by Dee - 90 Ivygreen Road M21 9EX
Light at night helps me feel safer but at a cost to night creatures. We need to find a compromise that works for all.
(19) Bat by Anna Violet - 60 Brookburn Rd M21 8FE -- this bat is have now returned to its roots --
I’ve been so excited to see tiny bats fly around and around our house on summer evenings. Long may this last!
(20) Stanley Bat by Nick -- Stanley bat has returned to his roost and is not currently viewable --
Inspired by the Painted Bat of Asia and the Eastern Red Bat of North America to show not all these creatures are dark in colour! www.instagram.com/darkskythinking
(21) Psychedelic Hypno-Moth by Alison C - 22 Reeves Road M21 8BT -- this moth is now hibernating --
I am a nurse who makes jewellery and likes to be crafty in my spare time.
(22) Sustainable Fashion Moth by Caitlin - 25 Anchorside Close M21 8AR
Stitched Up - Inspiring action on sustainable fashion