In the early hours of Wednesday 16th May, 8,000 hand-made clay figures appeared around Manchester’s busiest streets, designed to reflect the rushed, early morning commutes made by those who were most likely to find them.
The public were encouraged to take away the figures for their own enjoyment and share their thoughts, films and photos online. As such, word spread very quickly on twitter of their existence, with many people tweeting pictures and details of their locations, so much so the hashtag #littleclaymen began trending.
The models, designed by artist Lawrence Epps were placed around the city as part of an exhibition, at the Future Everything festival at MOSI, which celebrates the latest developments in art, music and technology. Lawrence had previously created similar artwork in London and Stoke.
Whilst many had no idea about their existence and merely stumbled across this brilliant piece of the exhibition, many were actively on the hunt for them, following tweets from MOSI and FutureEverything as to their impending arrival on the streets. The response was incredible, urging workers to use their lunch breaks to scour areas in which they had been spotted, and taking them as desk mascots!
The little clay men succeeded in raising awareness of the festival, creating chatter and interest in the build up to the event.
It remains to be seen how successful the little clay men were in directly driving footfall. What they have accomplished, however, is successfully allowing the public to interact with the festival, taking it out of the confines of the museum and firing up the imagination of the public.
(Image courtesy of www.sykey.org)