Therme Art Partners with Manchester International Festival to Bring Art from Local Schools into Therme Manchester

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Hero image: Today I Feel Like… Manchester St Hilda’s C of E primary Credit: Richard Tymon

Therme Art has commissioned the artistic project Today I Feel Like… Manchester by Berlin-based Danish artist Jeppe Hein as part of its collaboration with Manchester International Festival (MIF).

The project is designed to engage with schools in communities and leave a positive legacy that will be part of the fabric of Therme Manchester, a £250 million facility with hundreds of water-based activities, wellbeing treatments, art installations, nature, and innovative technologies.
For Therme Art’s commission, Hein has developed an artistic workshop taking place in local schools across Manchester, inviting children to realise a breathing exercise followed by a face painting that depicts their feelings in that moment. The resulting artworks will be displayed on Festival Square from 9 – 11 July during the 2021 edition of MIF and will then be installed as tiles on permanent display at the new Therme Manchester wellbeing resort that was granted planning permission last year. The participatory project was conceived to create a permanent link between Therme Manchester and the young people in the community that it will serve. 

The children were asked to draw a ‘emoji’ of themselves to share their feelings

This first cooperation between Manchester International Festival and Therme Art highlights the partnerships commitment to education and participation, using creativity as a tool to engage with local communities. By inviting school children to talk about how they feel and to share those feelings, it is hoped that the project will bring benefits for young people’s mental wellbeing. At what has and continues to be an exceedingly difficult and disruptive time for young people, the project is designed to bring communities in Manchester together and be part of a collective healing process.

Hein is known for utilising unique methods of engagement with the different audiences he encounters, in means of closing the gap that often exists between art, artist and viewer. Hein finds ways of formulating concepts that translate into artworks made fully accessible to the viewer. The aim is for Today I Feel Like… Manchester, to become an ongoing project that enables children to become active participants and elements within the artwork, as the artist continues to spread the message behind the importance of Mindfulness and Wellness to our younger generations. 

“With this project, I hope to inspire students to use the experience of being part of Today I feel like … Manchester in their everyday life: Be aware of their breath, to use it to calm down and take notice of how they really feel.”

Jeppe Hein has commented on the collaboration.

“We are delighted to partner with Therme Art to bring this thought-provoking project to Festival Square. At MIF we have a proud history of working with and within communities in Greater Manchester, as volunteers, as participants in shows, through skills development and a host of creative activities. 

As well as the positive impact to wellbeing, this innovative project creates a creative legacy for the schools involved and those visiting Festival Square ahead of Therme Group opening Therme Manchester in 2025.”

John McGrath, Chief Executive & Artistic Director added.

Pupils followed a video of Hein to explain the process

“Our journey in Manchester begins as we connect with the younger generations through a project that focuses on mental health and wellbeing with creativity and culture. We are grateful to collaborate with Jeppe Hein and the Manchester International Festival.”

Mikolaj Sekutowicz, CEO of Therme Art and curator of the project remarked

Today I Feel Like…Manchester is a continuation of Jeppe Hein’s Today I Feel Like, an ongoing art project that engages audiences by inviting them to step into the present moment and reflect on their emotional landscapes. The project is a celebration of how we can feel more connected to each other and the world around us by first finding that connection in ourselves.

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