Hidden Tales Digital Art Trail
“You’ll never find any better medicine than happiness.”
“You either have a stupifyingly middle class, career sort of life or a rough and ready, underclass life.”
Smartphone owners will find unmissable artworks in public spaces offering journeys into remarkable, real-life stories of addiction, mental illness, hope and resilience in Hidden Tales, a digital arts trail set in Rochdale, from Tuesday 3rd to Sat 28th October 2017.
A partnership between CAN (Community Arts North West) and Petrus a charity in Rochdale working with people who are homeless or at risk, the 18-month project determinedly tells stories of perceived human weakness and undeniable, often unlikely strength with unique wit, dark humour and honesty.
A poem, a portrait and a QR code on a large-format print becomes a door into other people’s worlds, recognising their resilience against addiction, mental illness, personal tragedy, homelessness and isolation.
Breath taking tales of lives spent finding paths through adversity and surviving against expectations include a professional horticulturalist expert, whose career owes everything to ADHD and illegal marijuana cultivation, and a nun whose encounters with tragedy only cemented her faith and desire to support the vulnerable.
In the creation of the artworks, Petrus service users, volunteers and staff shared their stories and worked closely with CAN’s creative team including Creative Producer, Sara Domville, award-winning filmmaker Mat Johns, poet Martin Stannage and graphic designer Mark Brown.
Sara Domville, CAN Creative Producer, says: “Our partnership with Petrus is a long-standing one, so we’ve got to know many of the volunteers and people seeking their support very well, seeing many glimpses of humanity’s finest attributes – faith, strength, kindness, honesty – that stop you in your tracks. It was so important that ‘Hidden Tales’, in offering a platform for these stories to be told, did so on those terms, finding the best in people through challenging times. Placing the work outside a gallery space, making the videos available digitally, on-site in Rochdale and via mobile phone means that the sense of reality becomes intentionally acute”
Phil Foster, Deputy Coordinator at Petrus Community, says: “We are delighted to be taking part in the Hidden Tales project. These stories are touching and honest portrayals of people overcoming challenges and show the importance of understanding and concern within our society. We have worked closely with CAN to help give our service users and volunteers a platform to tell the world their stories and I hope that the people of Rochdale enjoy following the trail.”