Anybody looking around the Inspire Centre in Levenshulme would struggle not to notice the beautiful paintings that have adorned our hallway since the building opened back in October 2010.
The large, eye-catching canvases immediately grab passers-by with their bright colours and floral designs. But they don’t just invite us to look, their heavy textures also tempt us to touch as well.
They are all the creations of local artist Akther Bano. Akther has been painting from a very early age and is mainly self-taught. As a busy mother she used to paint in her spare time but now her children are older she has more time to pick up her brush – or should I say her knife?
Akther’s unique painting style is achieved by applying layer upon layer of coloured paint with a knife. She paints landscapes and abstract designs too but the work she is best known for at Inspire are her beautiful big paintings of poppies.
This year, to mark Inspire’s seventh birthday which falls at the time of Remembrance Sunday, she has very kindly donated a large painting of a poppy field to Inspire ‘for keeps’ and written a short poem to accompany it. This will be displayed permanently alongside the war memorial that we preserved from the old church.
Akhter’s kindness to Inspire is characteristic of her work. Her paintings try to capture the preciousness of life even in the smallest flower, her colours are chosen to encourage calm and well-being.
You can find out more about Akhter and her work on her website but better still, why not pop into Inspire and admire her work for yourself.
Thank you Akhter!