Photography by Amy Longstaff
Words by Harry Potts
Russ Meehan, aka Qubek, is one Manchester’s best know street artists. His Mancunian Bees have been grabbing people’s attention across the city for the last few years, but it’s his giant tribute to the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing that caught the mood of the city.
The mural on the side of The Koffee Pot on Oldham St in the Northern Quarter, took only 2 days to complete. It features 22 Manchester worker bees swarming around a honey heart, a remarkable tribute to the 22 victims of the terror attack.
Russ’s passion for art started at school, he went on to study the subject at Stockport College and began to produce artwork around the city in 2001.
Russ works closely with Manchester City Council and other artists to ensure that spaces around the city (particularly the Northern Quarter) are constantly updated with artwork that is thought provoking and relevant.
“I was the only student working on this shoot, so I was rather nervous. I did as much research as I could on Qubek, but had no idea what to expect. Me and my tutor Harry met Russ in the Cafe and shared a coffee, he was really friendly and chatty. When taking the photographs I was encouraged to explain my ideas and direct Russ, this wasn’t as scary as I had expected and has given me more confidence in my photography – my favourite image from the shoot is the one of Russ framed in the centre of the heart.”
Russ’s five words describing his Manchester:
“Home. Expression. Family. Creativity. Opportunity.”
© All images – The Manchester College (unless otherwise stated)