MANCHESTER is a beautiful city. There’s no doubt that beyond its football teams and music scene – there’s so much more to be discovered at our very fingertips. Cue artist Sasha Ray.
The Mancunian artist this year has her own stall on the famous Manchester Christmas Markets on the main site at Albert Square. Ray creates her very own photographic art, and her first project is based around Manchester.
“I do photographic montages, I combine 30-40 photos together and then digitally paint so the art is very, very colourful,” Ray says. Ray aims to take her photography work global – and has recently got back from Rome, but for now she wanted to start her work local – and being born-and-bred in Manchester, Ray thought her home town was the perfect place to start.
— Sasha Ray (@Sasharayartist) November 9, 2016
A big part of Ray’s artistic focus on Manchester is the impressive street art found all across the city centre. Such art includes the work of Akse P19 who’s image of the late David Bowie went viral after being shared online. It’s not only a representation of Ray’s love of the work she does – but also the work of other commited artists who create their own individual work.
With the Manchester Christmas Markets being so heavily diverse with nations from all across the globe coming to ply their trade – it’s sometimes easy to forget of those traders who are part of the host town.
“I get a lot of people going past my work and being very impressed and then realising ‘Oh, it’s all Manchester’, so it’s something for those who have travelled a long way to take something home with them,” says Ray.
For Ray, being able to have her stall on Albert Square is a massive opportunity.
She said; “To be based on Albert Square is invitation only. The council contacted me and told me they really liked my work – so it’s a great chance for me to be able to offer visitors something different”
Offering the paying customers the chance of experiencing culture is also high on the agenda of the photographic artist.
She says: “When people visit somewhere, they want to experience culture. I think it would be great to see more art and individual work on the markets in coming years”
There is a fantasy element to her handcrafted work which gives the normally grey-looking Manchester a face lift of colorful proportions.
Ray says: “When tourists visit Manchester they want to be reminded of Manchester in a good light, and not the grey skies which are so common here. I think my images offer a more colourful representation of Manchester, something that they can look at and smile.”
For Ray, Manchester is only the start of a long list of places which she’d like to bring her work to.
She says: “I’m planning on going to London next, as that’s a place I’ve always wanted to do. Also, as I’ve just got back from Rome, I got loads of photos whilst I was there – so i’ll be turning them into something pretty special soon”
By Daniel Willis