It was a really uplifting event with lots of old faces from Manchester’s Hacienda days and of course the city’s arts and music community.
This month (May) marks Action On Stroke Month and many exciting developments for The Stroke Association – including some new and improved branding (loving the purple logo!) and the UK-wide raising of awareness of how there is ‘life after a stroke’.
Richard Creme is an amazing example of this. Back in the day when he set up probably the coolest and most exclusive fashion store in Manchester – L’Homme – he enjoyed a reputation as a style icon and visionary. He dressed the likes of Prince, Bowie and a host of stars and musicians locally too.
You could not miss Richard…literally – he is a giant of a man! As a cheeky teenager back in the 80s, I would hang out in places like Horts’ Bar and the Hac (I was totally under-age, yes) and see him on the ‘Manchester scene’ – super-tall, deep voiced and always looking very cool.
When I heard on the grapevine that he had suffered a stroke a few years back, I was really saddened. His shop L’Homme had to be closed down and I am sure his family and all close to him must have had some really challenging and painful times as they saw such a talented man struggle with a huge life change – physically, emotionally and socially.
But Tuesday night showed us all just how powerful a role art and creativity, along with a lot of love and support from professionals, family and organisations like The Stroke Association, can go to help ‘re-invent’ and heal an individual afflicted by a serious health issue.
So, do go and check out Richard’s work at the gallery – it really is special. I love the portraits and quirky Biro images too – they ooze deep reflection, the reality of Richard’s life today and of course, humour.
Also, check out this brilliant blog by Clive Parkison from Arts for Health – it is a great read and deeper insight in to Richard and how art can heal and support those with illness and to improve health. Read it here
The Richard Creme exhibition runs at the university until May 11 at MMU’s Link Gallery as part of The Stroke Association’s Action On Stroke Month, supported by Arts For Health. Click here for more info.
Special credit to all those who worked so hard at the launch event and to get the exhibition highlighted – well done The Stroke Association (Chris Larkin), Clive Parkinson (Arts for Health), photographer Jillian Hartley and cheers to the excellent Yang Sing who provided refreshments/drinks on the night.