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Stunning portraits of Manchester’s famous faces to be auctioned to help the homeless

Shaun Ryder, Julie Hesmondhalgh

Manchester’s famous faces have posed for a series of stunning photographic portraits – to help raise money for Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham’s homelessness initiative.

Sixteen well known personalities from the city have posed for the startling set of portrait photographs as part of The Great & The Good exhibition by Burnage-born former Vogue photographer David Oldham.

Famous Manc stars have posed for the quirky images – including Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder with a bottle top over his eye, pop singer Badly Drawn Boy aka Damon Gough who swaps his trademark beanie hat for a tiger suit and ex-Coronation Street star Julie Hesmondhalgh in a striking gender-swap in a tuxedo suit and drawn-on moustache.

Julie Hesmondhalgh, photographed by David Oldham
Julie Hesmondhalgh, photographed by David Oldham

Leading figures of Manchester’s business scene are also given the portrait treatment – with night-time tsar Sacha Lord pictured in decadent repose, award-winning architect Ian Simpson pictured with an “Ian” bathrobe at the top of his Beetham Tower, and Rochdale policewoman and whistleblower Maggie Oliver in a striking designer gown.

The city’s sporting figures also feature, with Manchester City star Bernardo Silva bouncing a football on his head and Olympian Diane Modahl sprinting along a city backstreet.

Click or swipe below to see images from the Great and the Good Exhibition:-

Mancunian superstar DJs Luke Unabomber and Paulette, Stone Roses bassist Mani, Shameless actor David Threlfall, President of the University of Manchester Dame Nancy Rothwell, homeless champion and Skullfades boss Ged King and former chief executive of Manchester City Council Sir Howard Bernstein are also among the famous faces who gave their time to pose for the collection.

David Threlfall
David Threlfall, photographed by David Oldham

The exhibition, which took a month to shoot, was unveiled to the public in its entirety at an invite-only event organised by and staged at fivefourstudios in Salford on Friday November 1st, in partnership with Thomas Dakin Gin.

The images will now be displayed for a week at fivefourstudios, the Salford-based photo-studio, creative and event space jointly-owned by exhibition photographer David Oldham and his sister Emma Stamp.

The images will then be sold off – via a silent auction which starts at the event and lasts for a week afterwards – to the highest bidder, with all proceeds going to Mayor Andy Burnham’s A Bed Every Night homeless initiative.

Andy himself has also posed for an image, striking an impressive model pose in a smart suit jacket, and photographer David reckons he looks like a movie star.

Andy Burnham
Andy Burnham, photographed by David Oldham

All the celebrities and personalities involved in the Great & The Good exhibition gave their time for free in order to raise as much as cash for A Bed Every Night as possible.

The fivefourstudios co-owner Emma Stamp said: “The Great & The Good is a portrait sitting of a diverse group of people that are or have been important to the fabric of the city. Each portrait is completely individual with its own narrative.

“The aim has been to present each person as a character unlike any way they have been represented in the past, whether they be a rock star, a poet or a politician. But what’s most important is to use this collection of portraits to raise money for A Bed Every Night.”

Photographer David has spoken about how he persuaded some of his subjects to pose out of their comfort zone.  That includes getting Bolton’s Badly Drawn Boy to be pictured out of that beanie hat for the very first time.

Damon Gough
Damon Gough photographed by David Oldham

David, 51, said: “He was very nervous at first but, once he had relaxed, I managed to persuade him to lose the hat for the first time and climb into an adult-sized tiger-print onesie for the shot.”

Stone Roses legend Mani, according to David, is an “adorable maniac”.

Mani photographed by David Oldham

“He runs on raw energy, you feel that as soon as you meet him. He only stood still for about 2 seconds during the whole shoot and I managed to capture that in this shot. I got one single frame and I believe it is a really poignant image.”

He said Shaun Ryder was a real challenge to capture but he did it with spectacular results.

Shaun Ryder
Shaun Ryder by David Oldham

David said: “We argued for ages about getting Shaun to take his jacket off. Eventually he did. I wanted a brooding, moody shot with menace and Shaun definitely delivered.”

“It is very much inspired by Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now. You can tell he’s really lived his life from this shot,” David added.

Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, Sacha Lord, was captured during a session at fivefourstudios in Salford.

Sacha Lord
Sacha Lord by David Oldham

David said: “As Sacha is night time adviser for the city we both wanted something that represented that. We went for an ‘End of the Night’ theme and I love the shot we’ve captured – Sacha relaxing after everyone has left. It’s very iconic.”

Athletic icon Diane Modahl was also captured in an iconic pose in the city by David.

Diane Modahl
Diane Modahl by David Oldham

He said: “I wanted to picture her doing her thing in the streets of Manchester, looking every inch like a modern day Gotham with the iconic Refuge Building behind her – a modern day superhero.”

The Great and the Good exhibition is open to the public at fivefourstudios, 54 Oldfield Road, Salford Oldfield Rd, Salford, Manchester M5 4LZ until November 8th – when the auction of the images will also close.

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