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mapmymcr:  bridgewater hall

mapmymcr: bridgewater hall


For twenty years Tash Willcocks has worked in Manchester designing record covers for Elbow (Asleep in The Back, specifically), motion graphics for Mika’s world tour, and skateboards in collaboration with Linder Sterling; she has photographed freelancely for Jack Daniels and Arcadia, is part of Generic Greeting Collective, and for sixteen years she was a lecturer in Graphic Design at Salford University; right now she works as a programme leader at Hyper Island. This is by no means all, but it was as much as we could gather before Tash boarded a plane. Well, not quite all; she also told us this:

I’m a Cornish born,
unicorn with a pen for a horn.
In MCR I made my nest,
as this city is the best…
At day I teach,
On the Hyper Island beach.
At night I naps
and ink up maps.
I draw, I dance, doodle & drink, And like to sketch what people think…

*we have no teachers at HI but cannot rhyme Programme Leader

Those night-time inking activities are the focus for these pages. Tash hasn’t just lived and worked in Manchester for twenty years, she has bloody loved it, and looking at her MapMyMCR illustrations has reminded us of all the times we fell in love with Manchester, too. It’s a typographic project that is growing nightly, because there are no limits to Manchester, and no limits to memory, and no limits to love.



Bridgewater Hall • MapMyMCR by Tash Willcocks

Bridgewater Hall • MapMyMCR by Tash Willcocks

This beauty can seat 2,341 people over four tiers, which makes me think it may be a Tardis. More interesting is that it’s built on a crazy spring structure that is earthquake proof and shuns the Metrolink’s attempts to rattle its foundations. I love to think it’s similar to the sprung dancefloor at The Ritz and at the end of the night the fine folk jump to their feet, place down their eyeglasses, kick off their glass heels, remove their tiaras and run round flapping their arms and bouncing to the tune of Dambusters played by the Hallé at full volume (I know you don’t have to wear tiaras really — it appears I think Cinderella spends her time there when not cleaning replaces).


Originally published in The City Talking: Manchester, issue 1