Coming soon - the Mancunian Way birthday card!
I got really angry with a feature in the Daily Mail recently about the Labour Party and the North. It used a picture of mills and chimneys belching smoke, probably taken 70 years ago. Anyway, that, and other similar southern-centric rubbish that depicts northerners as backwards cloggies living in squalor has inspired me to do my latest poster, the Manchester manifesto.
Statement Artworks markets
I'm now officially bonkers. This Saturday I'm at Urmston market and on Sunday it's Knutsford. Hopefully the mercury will rise just a tad to stop my fingers and toes dropping off. I'll have all my usual stuff for sale, plus the newbies shown here. See you at the weekend (huskies optional).
Cheers - Eric
Black Chew Head. When I heard that such a place existed on the moors high above Oldham, I had to use it in the poster. But not only does it sound odd, it also happens to be the highest place in Greater Manchester, hence the high society caption in the poster. The area around Oldham and Saddleworth is dotted with spectacular views and walks, and on a nice day it can rival anywhere in the country. And as for the town's swanky new cinema tagged on to the old town hall, well that's something special indeed. www.statementartworks.com
Wythenshawe and Bowdon, two South Manchester places that are quite close geographically but miles apart demographically, which is why doing this northern poster malarkey is so much fun! And it shows I've not just been sitting on my arse doing nothing since Christmas.
It was a wonderful dream on a post-war town planner's drawing board. Houses fit for heroes on a large, modern estate, or 'garden city', with none of that old mish-mash of narrow streets and diverse design. No, this was going to be uniform, clean and functional. And my parents bought into that dream, so that was the first Jackson family home, in Baguley, a district of Wythenshawe, the new town on the edge of Manchester which became the largest estate in Europe. Most of my aunts and uncles and cousins lived there too. But the dream turned sour, and Wythenshawe became a byword for problem families, crime and town planning gone mad. What's this, though? Wythenshawe, by degrees, is turning itself around, thanks in no small part to the tram line and the train line, both going to the nearby airport and the city centre. Young singles and families are discovering that the housing stock is affordable and not too bad either. Posh apartment blocks are springing up, and the once-dire Civic Centre is looking lively again. Just a pity the old theatre is no longer functioning. Now that would have been the icing on the cake for the new Wythenshawe. This poster in available at statementartworks.com in any size you like!
Whereas its nearby neighbour Hale loves to flaunt its chi-chi trendiness, affluence and desirability, Bowdon presents itself as understated, restrained and 'old money'. Hence there's not a lot going on really - a few posh gastro pubs, a posh hotel, a posh looking green with a few posh shops, posh sports clubs, and a posh Indian restaurant. Oh yes, it's posh, especially when you look beyond the high hedges and gates and wonder at some of the finest houses - indeed mansions - in the whole of Cheshire. Wow, are they grand, which is why they say you're going 'up the hill' when you go from Altrincham or Hale, and that is meant in so many ways. Footballers, TV stars and the generally well-wadded live there, in a very understated way, of course. This poster is available through statementartworks.com at any size you like.
That's four boardrooms I'm in now! Last week I took six framed posters to JL Advisory LLP, an accountancy firm in central Stockport. This picture shows the three landscape shaped posters, while the portrait shaped ones are out of shot. The partners picked the images according to where they all live, hence the Heatons, Whalley Range, Stockport and Poynton. They added the Manchester Powerhouse and London posters just because they liked them, I presume.
I actually customised all the posters to include the company name, which is shown on the Stockport poster below.
Thanks ladies, great doing business with you.
If you would like me to do the same for your company, please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheers - Eric
Put your loved one's name in
the Manchester hall of fame!
I started doing them as presents for friends, but now they are taking off with the public - my bespoke Manchester Alphabet posters. So in this example, I've changed the original P is for....to P is for Phil Jones, who is my mate over the road. I've added some other details and used his name in the headline too. All I charge for the work is an extra tenner on top of the framed and poster prices. Just contact me on email@example.com if you fancy having one done for you, a friend or relative. And if you live in Sale, check out my Sale poster on www.statementartworks.com - the strap line at the bottom could easily carry your name or street or both!
The Mancunian way is not to be confused with the Mancunian Way. The former - the mindset and spirit of the city's people - is very special indeed. However, the road of that name, with a capital W, is about as horrible as it gets. Has anyone ever travelled on it and not be gripped by terror at where to come off and what lane to use, or indeed where the bloody hell they are? My Gran used to have a flat right next to it in All Saints, and she'd say, " Eric, i love it here, because the lights at night are fabulous, what with all the different colours and the speed. Champion." She said champion - a sadly dying northernism - quite a lot, but on the subject of the Mancunian Way I had to disagree with her. Not champion, Gran! So you're not likely to see a smiling couple on a Vespa any time soon on the Mancunian Way, buy hey, I love Vespas, and I quite like couples who smile while motorbiking (see the film Priceless), and I love Manchester, in spite of the Mancunian Way! Great Ancoats Street - now there's a road - and being transformed into something amazing. Go to the Port Street Beer House, and then go for a wander. My Gran and I did that years ago when it was the heart of the textile industry, and it still sends a tingle down my spine.
Most of my posters and associated products are usually bought by individiuals, but occasionally i get orders from firms in the region.
Recently it was my pleasure to supply a number of framed posters to Niche Consulting in Eccles, a company that specialises in health and social care work.
I dealt with one of the partners, Kate Jury, who had previously bought some smaller works off me at the Treacle Market in Macclesfield.
When I called at the offices, I found Kate and the rest of the firm really welcoming and enthusiastic about my posters.
Says Kate: "We were in the process of trying to give our office a new 'identity' and found Eric's artwork by chance. We knew instantly that his work would be perfect for us and we love the way that he pokes (always kind) fun at suburban characteristics in and around Manchester and the North.
"The really difficult thing was trying to choose which pictures to buy as we could have bought the entire back catalogue! In the end it came down to a vote and purchased 8 large ones and 3 small ones - we are delighted with how they look.
"Eric also provides superb customer service and, if you get chance to have a cuppa with him, he is a fantastically interesting fellow with some great insights and stories".
The feeling was entirely mutual. Such a fabulous bunch of people!
Whalley Range. Just the name sounds Wild West. Well, it was wild once, in the sense that drugs and prostitution were its main industries. But now the 'prozzies' have been replaced, slowly, by professionals, and it's becoming so gentrified that the term 'ChoBo' has been coined, by estate agents, to indicate it's the 'Chorlton borders.' Sick, obviously, but let's not forget the fact that Whalley Range possesses some of the finest buildings and streets in the whole of Manchester. It's real, old Manchester. Gritty and gorgeous in equal amounts, rich and poor, trendy and trackies cheek by jowl. And to cap it all there's the Carlton Club, as old school as you can get, but more wonderful and special than any arsey posers' club in the city centre. You'd have to be a real wally not to love Whalley Range. Love goes out to Laurence Hopkins, a mate and one-time resident of the Range, who helped me with the research. www.statementartworks.com
It's a strong and stable composition...or is it a composition of chaos? Hey, who cares about cheap slogans, it's just a picture painted by me about Sale in Greater Manchester, or is that Cheshire, or should we just say Trafford? Goddamit, why can't things be clear-cut in life? One thing I do know, though, is that this is my first framed A2 print of my new Sale picture (it's signed accordingly), and it's going on sale (more confusion) this Saturday and Sunday at Altrincham market, for £50, or you can reserve it, by emailing on firstname.lastname@example.org. First come first serve, first past the post, that sort of thing, just to labour the political metaphor. Anybody would think some kind of strange, weird election had taken place! Of course I'll have lots of smaller framed and mounted versions, too. We are also at the Northern Quarter market on Sunday.
And just one last thing. Went to London on Monday and Tuesday, and my London poster (also attached) never seemed more appropriate. Had a great time in Twickenham (very nice) with our lovely mates, and then it went downhill in the city itself. Southwark, home of Tate Modern, used to be our favourite bit, but now it looks like an even worse Dubai - crap apartment blocks creating wind tunnels, noice, congestion and a dystopian cityscape straight out of Orwell. Vile, and then we paid over £10 for two pints in a bog-standard pub. How do people cope with that? Ah, that train to Piccadilly...
Anyway, hope to bump into you in wonderful Altrincham and theNorthern Quarter over the weekend.
Did you know that the temple folly in Heaton Park is the highest point in Manchester? Or that there's a fine collection of trams from around the world in the park? Or that on the other side of Bury Old Road there's another great bit of open space in St Mary's Park, along with its lovely clough? Or that there's also Philips Park, not to mention a few golf courses on Prestwich's boundaries? Blimey, it's like living in Richmond, and it makes Prestwich a great place for families, dog walkers and, more recently, the urban trendies. OK, strictly speaking, most of Heaton Park comes under Blackley, but it's the natural playground for the people of Prestwich. If you didn't know any of the above, then you deserve to be beaten on the bottom with a copy of Woman's Weekly (check out your Victoria Wood songs to understand that). The late, great comic was born in Prestwich, where the billiant writer Howard Jacobson was brought up, and which is now home to Guy Garvey of Elbow fame. The town is home to north Manchester's largest Jewish community, and has a bustling high street and very smart tree-lined avenues. This poster, by Eric Jackson, is available on www.statementartworks.comRead More
No, it's not polluted - it's the iron oxide, or something like that, that seeps into the water, which gives the Bridgewater Canal in Worsley its distinctive orange colour, an almost identical hue to that of tomato soup, in fact (many thanks to my old mate Simon Donohue for coming up with that comparison). And that, along with the classy Arts and Crafts homes and buildings, makes Worsley one of the most sought-after districts north of the Irwell. The jewel in Salford's crown. Deliciously rich! So cool is it, in fact, that it was recently featured in the The Great British Interior Design Challenge. Now that's trendy. This poster, by Eric Jackson, is available from A4 size all the way up to A1, through statementartworks.com and at the usual markets and selected shops/galleries.
The Ascent of Manc
We've come a long way in the area now known as Manchester...or have we? From tribal, hairy nut-eater to...tribal, hairy nut-eater. Here is the Ascent of Manc poster, released on November 1.
Available through www.statementartworks.com, at numerous artisan markets around the north west and selected retail outlets and galleries.Read More
You don't have to be a rabid Blue to see that Pep Guardiola is just the tonic the Premiership needed, offering a brand of football that is off the scale wonderful. Of course this poster may come back to bite me on the bum if it all goes disastrously wrong this year, but if City do fail it won't be through a lack of adventure, style or class. And sorry to all my United mates (to whom I am a curious aberration), but it's only a gentle joke at your expense, and you might just have the last laugh.
The poster is available to buy at www.statementartworks.com
Stretford is famous for its association with football and cricket, with United and Lancashire County Cricket Club on its borders in Old Trafford, but it was once celebrated for having one of the finest cinemas in Britain.
A few years before the outbreak of the second world war, the Longford Cinema opened its doors for the first time, and its revolutionary design and state of the art interior and acoustics were hailed as 'the future' of wide-screen entertainment.
Sadly, the once-grand building has changed hands, closed, re-opened, been neglected and finally abandoned to rot. Admittedly it's on the unlovely Chester Road, but it remains a scandal that nothing has been done to use this masterpiece in some way. Instead, it has been daubed various shades of blue and pink over the years and stands as a testimony to council inertia.
Myposter features it in steam-punk mode and the Hopkins family of Old Trafford on the tandem. As for the geezer on the flying machine? That was instead of a flying pig, which is about as likely to happen as something being done about the great Longford Cinema.Read More
Do you know Eccles has one of the finest restaurants in the north west? Put it this way, if Smiths was in London, Giles Coren would think it was the best thing since sliced Prosciutto. It's not all good, though - the one-way system is like entering the third circle of hell. It's a pity, because within it there's the Church Street area, which would not be out of place in a quaint market town or village. Of course, Eccles is famous for its cakes, which are beyond wonderful. Just don't mention Chorley...
This poster is available through www.statementartworks.comRead More
Manchester's 10 Commandments
Here is the updated edition of my Manchester's 10 Commandments poster, with Alan Turing replacing Ian Curtis as the cover star. This is to celebrate the Royal Exchange Theatre, in October, putting on Breaking the Code, the play about the troubled computer genius and war hero who was shamefully hounded to his death by the establishment because of his homosexuality. The computer pioneer, who helped decipher German messages in the Second World War, worked at Manchester University and remains one of the city's greatest ever figures. Without him, the Allies may very well have lost the war, while the development of computer technology would arguably have been delayed by years if not decades.
Go on, you've heard it so many times, haven't you? Strike up a conversation with anyone from the Heatons, especially Heaton Moor, and you'll get: "It's just like Didsbury, with so many great shops, bars and restaurants, and the houses are amazing, but so much more affordable." And then you'll hear the 'added value' bit. "And it's so much easier to get into the countryside and the Peak District here, yet we can still get into town in 15 minutes on the train. And we've even got the 192 bus every minute."
Now they've got the revamped, Art Deco style Savoy cinema to boast about too, and who can blame them? It's a stonker of a place. See the latest movie then pop over to Damson, one of the hippest restaurants in the north west.
The four Heatons - Moor, Mersey, Chapel and Norris - form the trendiest corner of Stockport, giving the town a much-neeed cachet. If that gold dust could be sprinkled over the regeneration projects currently sweeping Stockport, then the town will once again be able to lure in the visitors from the affluent suburbs.
This poster is available through www.statementartworks.comRead More
Bramhall, which is actually in Stockport but feels more like hard-core Cheshire and has a fabulous Tudor Hall to prove it, now has more gastro bars than you can shake a feta and olive brioche at. Good thing, bad thing? Who am I to judge? But I would add that the Mounting Stone is the best addition to the high street in 20 years, maybe more. This poster, which you can ponder as we go through the Brexit divorce and beyond, is available through www.statementartworks.com