The Guerrilla Art Project is being spearheaded by North West charity Alternative Futures Group (AFG), which supports more than 1200 people with learning disabilities and mental health needs every year. This is achieved by providing around the clock support within the community, in peoples own homes or in one of eight specialist centres.
The centres are the focus for the project with the latest being in Ellesmere Port, following a pilot project in Warrington.
Dawn Moorhouse works for the governance team at Alternative Futures Group and is training to become an art therapist. She said:
“The project is named after an arts movement in which artists ‘take over’ public spaces and install artwork in order to enhance people’s experiences of the environment.
“By injecting life, hope and feeling into the centres through the artwork, we believe that we can have a positive impact on the recovery of those we support there.
David Andrews was the first artist to install artwork and said:
“With the help of residents, I painted leaves and butterflies down one corridor with some of them painted in chalk paint allowing residents and staff to write and draw on them to interact with the piece.”
The second artist, Lee Tidsall, created the ‘Hope’ mural using the poem of the same name by Emily Dickinson as inspiration. He said:
“I feel really fortunate and proud to have worked on this project and I’m glad that the artwork has had such positive feedback. I hope it can help to make a difference and that people can feel a connection with the images and words,”
Artist Amy Goldup created paper butterflies which are individually attached to a wall in the foyer. She said:
“Each butterfly symbolises a person who has been supported to reach their potential by AFG. Over time, residents will be invited to add to the piece every time they achieve a goal.”