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Hilton House, a community and creative hub located in Manchester, recently launched its first art exhibition of 2023. It promises to be a thought-provoking and visually stunning display, titled “Surviving on a Shoestring: A Visual Commentary on the UK’s Cost of Living Crisis,” this photography exhibition explores the beauty and struggles of living on a tight budget through two distinct yet complementary lenses.

The exhibition is a collaboration between two photographers, Claire and Dillon. Claire captures the beauty and dignity of Mustard Tree food items in a visually striking and glamorous way. Her images are both aesthetically pleasing and captivating, inviting viewers to reflect on the often-overlooked beauty of everyday items. Meanwhile, Dillon takes a more direct approach by showcasing products with messaging that reflects the daily struggles faced by those living on a tight budget. Her images highlight the stark contrast between the luxury products that many of us take for granted and the basic necessities that are a daily struggle for others. Together, Claire and Dillon’s images create a powerful and fascinating exhibition that invites visitors to reflect on the harsh realities of the UK’s cost of living crisis.

The exhibition is not just an opportunity for visitors to enjoy intriguing art; it is also a chance to support a worthy cause. Hilton House has partnered with Mustard Tree, a charity that helps people create opportunities for themselves by providing practical support, friendship, connections into work, improvements to health and wellbeing, and new experiences that encourage aspiration. The exhibition not only raises awareness about the cost of living crisis but also raises funds to support Mustard Tree’s mission. This partnership reflects Hilton House and CERT’s commitment to putting the community at the heart of everything they do.

Hilton House’s dedication to celebrating art in all its forms has created a welcoming and inclusive space for local artists, particularly those whose art has not been publicly displayed before. The community and creative hub has created a platform for artists to showcase their work and engage with a wider audience, providing a valuable opportunity for underrepresented talent to gain visibility. This has been made possible by CERT, Hilton House’s parent company, which has created a community and creative hub that goes beyond the building’s four walls.

Johnny Villanueva, CERT’s Community Marketing Manager, has spearheaded the organisation of recurring events in Hilton House, with the aim of celebrating art in various forms and elevating the visibility of local and minority talents in Manchester. Johnny commented: “Hilton House is not just a building; it’s a space where people can connect and share experiences. Art is a powerful way to bring people together and create positive change in the community, sparking meaningful conversations about important issues.”

Through its commitment to celebrating art and supporting the community, Hilton House has become an important cultural hub in Manchester. It has created a space where artists and community members can come together, share their experiences, and support each other. The “Surviving on a Shoestring” exhibition is just one example of Hilton House’s dedication to creating meaningful experiences for its community members.

The exhibition is currently open and free to view for the public every Mondays to Fridays 9AM-5PM until the 7th of June 2023. Donations to Mustard Tree can also be done at the venue via a QR code on display.  

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