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‘Whisper to a Shout’

Over 2016, Manchester School of Art’s Outreach team have been leading the Peppered Moth Project. Working alongside colleagues in the Faculty of Science and Engineering and partners across Greater Manchester we are working towards publishing a resource book for teachers and educational practitioners all about the peppered moth’s story.

The peppered moth’s story is a Manchester Story. The moth which comes in two distinct shades of black or white has seen it’s populations in each colour grow and shrink in response to the level of pollution in the city. Imagine yourself back in Victorian Manchester with heavy industry belching soot and covering the streets, and you’ll see how the black moth became the better at camouflage. Contrast this to modern times where the pollution levels mean our streets are no longer covered in soot, causing the decline of the darker moth. This story of evolution acts as a way of talking about climate change and mans impact on the environment around us.

To create the resource we are working across arts and science disciplines from Key Stage 1 to 4 with different schools and young people at events across Manchester. So far we’ve made giant wicker moths, which have been suspended from the Art School's roof, made intricate wire moth animations, caught live moths in with primary school children and paraded moth costumes amongst much more. As well as the workshops our artist in residence Ant Hamlyn is creating a body of work in response to the moth’s story. Ant is sharing this work as part of th European City of Science Festival in July, and Manchester Design in September.

All of the activity over 2016 is gathering the momentum to form the teacher resource book “Whisper to a Shout” which will be launched on November 17th 2016.

Please contact Elle Simms e.simms@mmu.ac.uk if you have any questions.

If you have been involved in the project and want to share your story or images please connect with us on social media

  • @MMUartoutreach on Twitter
  • @MSAOutreach on Instagram
book cover

A Whisper to a Shout

Editors: Jane McFadyen, Anna Frew, Elle Simms, Clare Knox-Bentham

Published by Manchester Metropolitan University, November 2016

ISBN: 978-1-910029-25-1

Download Book (32MB)