University of Salford becomes home to new sculpture helping to spread awareness about Mental Health

Categories: University Campus

The University of Salford has welcomed a new sculpture to its campus which aims to promote mental health support across Greater Manchester. 


Arriving in Chapman Square on Peel Park Campus last week (Thursday 2 November), the sculpture has since sparked huge interest on campus from students, colleagues and members of the public.  

The University prides itself on its mental health and wellbeing services and in 2022 launched its Mental Health and Wellbeing commitment. 

Jonathan Winter, Director of HR and Organisational Development, has been working with the ‘Six Places in a Different Light’ team to bring the sculpture to the University. He said: “The University of Salford is proud to work with the ‘Six Places in a Different Light project’ to help spread the message of mental health support in Greater Manchester.” 

“The University of Salford is one of the first in the country to have anything like what we have, which is a Wellbeing Commitment for the people who work here and that has gained national attention. As a university, what we really want to do more of is treat the symptoms where we need too but preventing them arising wherever we can.”  

Commenting on the sculpture, Jonathan said: “I think it’s beautiful, and I am delighted that Kelly, who is a local artist, has been the one to work on this piece. It’s only been on campus a few days and it is already attracting a lot of attention; I hope people use the resources and follow the whole trail to see all of what this project has to offer.” 

University colleagues and the creators of Embrace in Chapman Square
Kelly Ma Illustrator and Artist behind Embrace

On each statue there is a QR code, which sends visitors to the project's website. Visitors can find and access information about the art, mental health support services and a specially written 12-track album, written by We are Willow, which features songs, spoken word and remixes. 

‘Six Places in a Different Light’ has been an ongoing project since 2016, and some of the tracks featured on the Album were recorded in the University of Salford’s New Adelphi building recording studios.  

The School of Health and Society has also been a big part in bringing this project to campus.  

Professor Margaret Rowe, Dean of School of Health and Society has been working closely with Jonathan in bringing ‘Embrace’ to campus. Margaret said: “At the School of Health and Society, our underpinning is about wellbeing and resilience. Within the school, we've got mental health as a discipline, we also run psychology, psychotherapy and counselling courses.  

“So, it's really embedded in all that we do. The idea of being attached to such a wonderful project that really visualises mental health and mental wellbeing is absolutely imperative for us to be involved.” 

Six Places in a Different Light expands on the current work to engage with new audiences and connect with new communities through creativity, to embrace mental health in a different light. 

The giant head statue, titled ‘Embrace’, is one of six statues in the project, which is a free public art trail promoting mental health awareness and wellbeing. 

Kelly Ma, is an Illustrator and the artist behind the ‘Embrace’ sculpture in Chapman Square. when asked about what inspired the piece, she said: "Being inspired by the young people from Jamie Horrocks Trust, I really wanted to make it a bright positive piece which worked out well as it happens to be in a place surrounded by students" 

 "This piece is about embracing all the sides that make us who we are, all the good, all the bad things that we find hard to accept about ourselves." 

The Six Places in a Different Light trail is a project delivered by We are Willow and Wild in Art is on display across Manchester and Salford until Monday 11 December.  


Image Credits: Charles Leek 

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