It is very rare that anything, especially something internet-based, in its essence a sedentary activity, makes you want to get up and out there from sitting comfortably on your warm bed. Yet Hayley Flynn’s blog entitled ‘Skyliner and Other Tales from a Dilettante’ does just that.
Based in Chorlton, the blog seeks to expose ‘rare’ or even just ‘artistic’ features of the Manchester area that we wouldn’t normally acknowledge. If the leaping up is a slight exaggeration, this screen-based activity worms its way in with its unique angle, until next time you find yourself in Manchester city centre you will look up and you will see there is a plethora of art out there that is so often missed.
This site won Best City and Neighbourhood Blog 2011, and was featured in the BBC Manchester and Creative Tourist’s Top 25 blogs 2011, and quite rightly too. What began as a search for lost and undelivered letters soon developed further; where Hayley found postcards she soon discovered little-glanced-at history, and the ‘Skyliner’ series that now dominates the blog is the cuckooing tangent born from those location-specific secrets.
From two men sitting atop a building near Piccadilly Station, to bird statues on fire escapes in the Northern Quarter, to walkways in the air on Oxford Road, Hayley Flynn confronts us with the Manchester that we miss in the street-level rush of everyday life. She accompanies the striking photographs and images with solid foundations of history and research, introducing us to a whole new side of the city up towards the grey clouds.
Her most recent project takes a look at the shadowy insides of the Hulme Hippodrome, featuring exclusive photography by Andrew Brookes. Other favourites include a description of the elusive ‘Manchester egg’ if ever you’re on Oldham Street.
So, if ever the rain stops long enough for you to lift your head towards the heavens without the threat of being poked in the eye by an umbrella, make sure you have Hayley’s blog as ammunition to get that bird’s eye freshness.
Check it out at hayleyflynn.tumblr.com