Mancsy hanky joins Peterloo Special Collections

Artwork by Manchester artist Mancsy has been added to the Library’s Peterloo collections.

Since its inception, The John Rylands Library has been intended as a gift to the people of Manchester. It is with some sense of pride, therefore, that we were chosen as part of people’s artist Mancsy’s “finders keepers” project.

We received a screen printed handkerchief that tied together a number of Peterloo exhibition items from across the city.

The handkerchief was handed to a member of staff anonymously on the evening Maxine Peake read ‘The Masque of Anarchy’ in The John Rylands Library. It was accompanied by a letter explaining the artwork, and the finders keepers project.

In the covering letter, Mancsy explains:

Objects were originally created to share the message of the massacre as the government covered up the true events of Peterloo…

To participate in a protest, one may carry a banner. Here I give you the August 2019 Mancsy finders keepers artwork and ask you to wave your hanky in the crowd, share messages and participate in society.

The artwork was digitised so that it may be enjoyed for generations to come, and by anyone who wishes to view it online using The University’s new digital imaging platform, Manchester Digital Collections.

Janette Martin, Peterloo exhibition curator, said of the donation:

It was the words in the border that struck me. Truly sentiments we need now more than ever. In the words of Manscy, ‘educate yourself’ ‘apathy is not an option’ and always remember that ‘peaceful protest is part of a healthy democracy’.  This exquisite handkerchief is the perfect addition to our Peterloo collection – honouring Manchester’s long tradition of political protest.
Janette Martin, Peterloo exhibition curator

To view the Mancsy hanky, alongside other Peterloo items from our Special Collections, visit Manchester Digital Collections.