Manti's Spirit
Voices of St. Mary's
Living like Cave-Dwellers

Drawings and photos by Wayne Cheetham
Text and Design by Klaus Dieter Michel

St. Mary's Estate is a residential area by Oldham in Northengland near Manchester. In the sixties it was with others a social model for the british soap opera Conoration Street.

And nowadays? It became a sad and hopeless space. Such as you can find so often in the north of England. In this country where the centralistic policy is so much concentrated on the south and mainly on London, i experienced a mixture of social and cultural ignorance and despair. Security alarms and poverty.

Reasons why we do the "Works for cultural Deserts".

  • documentary tale from St. Mary's
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    -- I was only one time in St. Mary’s Estate.
    On that sunny and friendly afternoon i walk with Wayne to the entrance door of that block where we want to meet Dave. Dave, who was described by Wayne beforehand as a very chaotic and paranoid guy should own an old bomber-radio from the Worldwar II. That would be a perfect part for an art installation which i prepared at that time.

    -- The letter-boxes in front of the elevator are obviously not used any more. Hundred times overpainted and entitled with gloomy appearing messages. In the elevator which appears to me like the inside of an empty tool-box with a concrete bottom it smells of disinfectants. Also here hundreds of writings and tags. The messages of the writers itself were tried to be removed. Obviously with too caustic substances because everywhere on the walls in the elevator and the corridor i discover matt gleaming tracks of scrubbings...

    Corridor in green Light --- Rottweiler Steps --- Burned Magician's Head

    Alchemistic Mask -- But there is no chance. Slowly comes layer on layer. Signs and words which cover everything.

    -- On the corridor it is oddly silent. From time to time only dog-barking. But nobody is to see. From the gallery comes strong sunlight into the long corridor. Nevertheless here in the depth of the passage is everything illuminated with a shimmering green light. From where does it come? Like in a computer-game-maze.

    -- Wayne and i are now in front of Dave’s door. Number 46. Only on this floor must be approximately 60 apartments. Everywhere humans scantily locking up themselfes. No noise. Dave seems to be not at home. Through the letter-slot we can see a small cut-out from his living-cave. „Ey - look there, there is the bomberradio.“ So i look through the letter-slot. I see only hopelessness. A tiny cut-out.

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