A local textile artist has designed a display to highlight construction workers’ mental health in Salford.
Located on scaffolding on Chapel Street, Lynn Setterington’s ‘Safety Net’ installation is an Arts Council England-funded project which reminds passers-by that ‘there is no health without mental health’.
Lynn, a senior lecturer on the Textiles in Practice programme at Manchester School of Art, said: “It’s about mental health awareness, but it’s really focussed on the construction industry because there’s a much higher-than-average suicide rate amongst workers in that sector.
“I stitched the letters and the netting with some of my students, and I also did a few sessions with 42nd Street, the young people’s mental health charity, to share and acknowledge and make sure we had a bit of a dialogue about what they thought about the idea.
“It’s one of those fortuitous things that’s been on the backburner, but then it’s all come together really well.
“I’m absolutely delighted with how it’s turned out.”
As well as partnering with 42nd Street for the creation of her display, Lynn has worked with Eccles-based Tunny Scaffolding for its installation.
She explained: “I saw the sign on the site at Chapel Street in Salford so literally just rang them.
“They said they’d really like to do it; they’d be really happy to because it’s a really good cause.
“Hopefully it’ll be seen by lots of passing traffic as well as people walking past.”
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Speaking about the ‘Safety Net’ installation, Lenny Tunnicliffe, of Tunny Scaffolding, reflected: “It looks great.
“I’d never thought of it before, and it was only when Lynn mentioned it… it opens your eyes a little bit, doesn’t it?
“There’s a big message out there, and it’s important.
“People need to know what’s going on, and I don’t think there’s enough people who really take enough care about it.”
Inspired by a conversation she heard on the radio, Lynn hopes the ‘there is no health without mental health’ message the Tunny scaffolders have installed will make an impact on the public like her previous projects have.
She said: “When I’m in my studio I listen to Radio 4 quite a lot, and there’s a programme called ‘All in the Mind’ that Claudia Hammond does about mental health.
“Two or three years ago, I heard them talking to an organisation called Mates in Mind, and they used this quote.
“I’ve done a lot of text-based stuff before, and it just seemed to resonate.
“I did one years ago to do with the AIDS crisis – ‘respect and protect’ which was one of the key slogans – and I just thought that again is a term that applies across all sectors and people, whatever your background.”
Lynn added: “It’s about stopping and thinking.
“There’s so many people with hard hats and hi-vis jackets walking round Manchester… be nice to them.
“We’re all humans, but there is this issue in that industry particularly.”
The ‘Safety Net’ installation will be on Tunny Scaffolding’s Chapel Street site until the end of October.
More information about Lynn’s work can be found on her website.