Emma Evans, artist from Salford has teamed up with photographer Richard Kelly from Manchester, to create My Utopia, a free exhibition of their uplifting artwork.

The Salford artist is known for her positive window doodles covering Monton high street in the initial lockdown, and now, during the third lockdown, she is still spreading her positivity around Salford and Manchester with her artwork.

Emma Evans, artist, Richard Kelly, photographer.

Photographer Richard Kelly, is known for his raw and unfiltered images which have been published in Rolling Stone Magazine, Elle, Vice and The Guardian.

Emma said: “In lockdown, Richard was being really prolific and documented his daily walks with his photography, and I love how gritty and unfiltered it is.

“When I saw his images I could really see my illustrations doodled on top, so that is how it started, I got in touch with him and asked if he wanted to collaborate.”

Emma has doodled a positive narrative on top of the raw photography, to encourage viewers to see the same images in a more positive light.

The free exhibition will take place on 1 July, 7pm at The Carlton Club, Manchester and the prints are available to buy now on the My Utopia website.

Emma Evans creating her art using Procreate.

Emma said: “The dialogue of my illustrations and his photography is about looking at things in a different light, how you see the world and pausing for a moment and reflecting.

“My illustrations are mischievous creatures from another dimension which are here dropping messages of positivity.”

Advertisements for My Utopia in Manchester.

The pair are also creating a book of their work, which will act as an extension of the exhibition, offering new artwork and exclusive images and photographs to continue the narrative. Pre-order of the book is available on their website.

Emma explained the main image for My Utopia: “The photograph was taken down a back street with this lovely pink light, I illustrated a creature, the decks and people with their hands in the air dancing.

“This one really represents the spirit of Manchester and that longing of people wanting to be together dancing again. It is called ‘Party People’.”

Emma Evans, Richard Kelly in a Zoom meeting about creating the book.

Emma continued: “The next one is called ‘Oh Silly! Plant More Trees’ and the creatures are having a conversation and the one in the front is really confused as to why we have built all of these tall buildings, our city needs to be greener.

“We have titled each of the pieces, but we don’t want to explain each piece, we want the viewer to create the dialogue.”

If you would like more information about the free My Utopia exhibition, click here, and if you would like to purchase a print or pre-order a book, click here.

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