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Mosaicist Kennedy, Parisian Flo And Lucy The Florist

Jill Burdett on the mosaic man who's putting the DM boot in

Published on April 24th 2012.

Mosaicist Kennedy, Parisian Flo And Lucy The Florist

HE MGHT not appear it but Mark Kennedy is a busy man right now.

I am thinking of one massive boot filled with Manchester’s most industrious people.  Not the Madchester lot, I am not interested in them

Not only is he re-doing some of his famous Northern Quarter mosaics ready for Afflecks’s  relaunch in May but he also been commissioned by shoe brand Dr Martens to create a sign for its new stand-alone store on Market Street which opens this summer.

And he has just finished a new sign for NQ favourite, Northern Flower, which perfectly captures the style of the florist shop on Tib Street.

Here he is, stood outside with his assistant Flore Faucheux in the fur hat and proud shop owner Lucy Thorniley.

Lucy said: “We have been here seven years now and I love Mark’s work, it is synonymous with the area.

“When I knew we were going to get a new shop front I decided I wanted a new sign as well so took Mark one of our business cards, asked if he could replicate it. It’s up now and I love it. I like the idea of supporting another local business and maybe others will follow.”

Mark works out of a teeny, tiny workshop in eclectic furniture store Den, just round the corner on Oldham Street. He’s a Northern Quarter stalwart, famous for his pints of Guinness in local hostelries, and his passion and enthusiasm for what he sees as the honesty of real Manchester, the wry, gritty, significant city that somehow gets left behind in all the marketing.

Kennedy shares this small space with his lovely assistant Flore Faucheux who has fetched up here from Paris. And when I find them there they are happy to down tools and step out for a chat and a photo.

He says it was Flo who did a lot of the work on Lucy’s sign and she will be helping him on the Dr Marten’s commission.

He said: “It’s going to be big, 12ft by 5ft or something, and it’s going to be very Manchester. I am thinking of one massive boot filled with Manchester’s most industrious people.  Not the Madchester lot, I am not interested in them, but Mancunians with real history.

“A real mix of people. I may even have Hilda Ogden in there who knows.

“And I have to make a film of the whole thing as well. I think Flo can help me there. I want to set up a studio at the top of Afflecks and we’ll go out and find people wearing Docs and ask them to come up and stick a bit of tile on. I will call it Stick The Boot In. I have to get on with that really.

“There’s a lot going on. A lot of focus on this area which is good.”

 “Oh can you mention Johnsons Tiles? They sponsor me. They send me loads of their Prismatic tiles and I just have to mention them. And they have been really good.”

With that they head off back to their tile cutters.


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