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Paul Haywood: Guns to Goods Sculpture unveiling
Manchester Cathedral 8th March, 2016

Paul Haywood: Guns to Goods Sculpture unveiling

Portrait of Dr Erinma Bell MBE DL

Portrait of Dr Erinma Bell MBE DL
Unveiling at Manchester Cathedral
Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

In recent years, ‘Guns to Goods’, initiated by Paul Haywood, has been working with Dr Erinma Bell MBE DL, the charity CARISMA, Greater Manchester Police, the University of Salford, and Middlesex University, to create fresh ways of engaging the public in community-led gun crime reduction initiatives through the arts.

In March 2015 and with the support of Arts Council England, the artist and sculptor Karen Lyons created a portrait bust of Erinma made entirely from gunmetal. The sculpture is made to a scale 1.5 life size. It is cast in iron recycled from guns retrieved from amnesty or police seizure.

The portrait Erinma Bell is important for a number of reasons:

- Erinma Bell is a woman who has taken positive action with and on behalf of her local community; building partnerships for change with lasting value.

- Erinma has used this experience to support peace initiatives in urban centres across the world and to link community experience for the sake of improving local empowerment.

- The sculpture makes a direct contribution to gun crime reduction with the destruction of weapons for the purpose of new creative production.

- The sculpture celebrates the leadership of a woman within her community and highlights a paucity of sculpture in the public realm dedicated to the civic and social contribution of women.

- The project offers an opportunity to raise the profile of community-led innovation, addressing an ever more complex urban context and confronting contemporary challenges in the hope of a better future.

‘Guns to Goods’ is a campaign project that brings together artists, community based charities, professionals in academia and relevant sections of the Police.

Our common purpose is the eradication of weapons based crime in our communities. The ‘Guns to Goods’ initiative promotes the symbolic destruction of illegal guns and weapons; converting their material into raw materials for use in the production of creative artefacts of lasting value.

‘Guns to Goods’ was established with the specific intention of managing the safe recycling of metals from long-barrel firearms sourced from police custody. We aim to develop public sculpture, community expression and new design as a means of celebrating a community response to violent crime and advocating on behalf of active communities building social cohesion. The focus of the initiative is to create a lasting legacy of high quality artworks. The shared goal is to build awareness of those charities affecting long-term change so that more and more people can contribute to the reduction and eventual eradication of armed violence in our streets.

The initiative was developed through an Arts and Humanities Research Council Creative Fellowship in 2011 (PI: Professor Paul Haywood) and as a result of collaboration between CARISMA (Community Alliance for Renewal, Inner South Manchester Area), the University of Salford, the Greater Manchester Police, MAV (Mothers Against Violence), and Middlesex University.

A marriage of technology, manufacturing enterprise and fresh creativity will create opportuities for new public expression and fresh engagement; raising real awareness of ongoing efforts to support those vulnerable or victim to weapons based crimes.

The Guns to Goods initiative has recently started to collaborate with the Jeweller and Designer, Ina Norman, to develop means of creating contemporary craft from recycled gunmetal. Her initial pieces will be presented at the unveiling of Erinma Bell portrait on Tuesday 8th March.