• Oscar Slacke

Aly & Mick

We have worked with artists; husband and wife, Aly and Mick for a few months now and we caught up with them to see how they were getting on and find a bit more about their story.

Mick and Aly have been together for 18 years and their passion and love for not only art, but each other is truly admirable. Aly, originally from Norfolk but moved to Newcastle in 1988, first approached Street Art Initiative after hearing about us in a local newsletter. Aly explained her past her struggles with Bi polar, other mental health issues and how art has aided her in managing these challenges.“I find it hard to ask for help - going straight from a paid job, to ESA and then universal credit and having to use a food bank ourselves I found that really hard. That's why we feel comfortable working with you.”

Her story and her charisma shone through on the phone to our founder Oscar and within hours, she was Street Art Initiative's newest artist.

We couldn’t wait to get to work on helping to sell Aly’s artwork. We organised a meeting to see some more of her work and get it professionally photographed.

In doing so we also met Aly’s husband Mick...

Mick, born and bred in Newcastle (Denton Burn to be exact) has been an artist for many years and has been involved in various local projects. From working with homeless people, to the probation service and putting on exhibitions across the North East. However much of that changed recently.

Mick had a bonfire accident back in March 2020 which caused him to have partial loss of sight in both of his eyes. Mick spent months in and out of hospitals whilst they worked to regain his sight. Mick’s grit and determination enabled him to recover much of his vision, however this impacted his ability to practice art in a substantial way.

Although Mick’s accident left him unable to perform his former portrait and more detailed pieces, it opened up a new opportunity for Mick to explore landscape and abstract works.

Within minutes of our first meeting, Mick conveyed that he would also love to get involved with Street Art Initiative.

A new and sensational working relationship was born!

“It’s completely focused me on what I need to do instead of working in a manic way, I'm working in quite a controlled manner.”

Since we first met Mick and Aly we have worked on building their portfolio and curating their pieces and putting them up for sale. We have sold a few of their original pieces and also run a successful campaign of print sales. “People are so creative and they just want an opportunity and a chance” Their pieces for sale are available to view here

Street Art Initiative started in the COVID-19 era, which means we have had to support and guide our artists from afar. “It's difficult to support people through COVID because it's got to be from a distance.” However due to the wonder of technology and communication we have been able to get Mick and Aly’s artwork displayed on our multiple platforms.

“We are comfortable, supported and feel at home with your organisation”

We could not be happier with Aly and Mick's progress over the past few months. Their integrity, determination and commitment is second to none. From me, Oscar and all of us at Street Art Initiative we want to say a massive thank you, we could not have done it without you both.

Check out the full video interview with Aly and Mick across our social media

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