Hazardous Materials: Hazard 2014

Manchester’s a fun place to be at the moment: there’s creative stuff oozing out of every charmingly grubby pore, a little like Rimbaud in the throws of puberty.

Word Of Warning brought Hazard to a bemused public on the streets of Manchester city centre last week, transforming St. Anne’s Square into something  of an eccentric village fair populated with curious characters and stalls of esotericism.

There was a man making sculptures of people’s faces out of apples with his teeth; a giant boat lulling its passengers into a reverie as it span slowly on its axis; an energetic game of bingo fused with disco-dancing run from a car boot. Other artists ventured further into Manchester’s maddening labyrinth of one-way-streets and screamed at bricks outside Debenhams, or staged artistic responses to the Leveller movement rosemary-stuffed gas-masks and surgical staples. One of the most thrilling, visceral moments came when an artist fed herself, her husband and her child breast milk through the aid of an electric pump, much to the delight / disgust of those present.

The responses to the work were as varied as the work itself, which is one of the most appealing things about Hazard: the programme was stimulating enough to keep me thoroughly engaged and inspired on 5 hours sleep and a nasty hangover detonated by three-too-many Jagerbombs (and we know that ain’t easy). More outdoor art in Manchester, says I!

Here’s some eye-candy to rot your retinas.

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