Embryo Digital commissions Pride-inspired artwork to raise money for LGBTQ+ charity

Josh Peachey's picture

An artist called Manchester Tom has been commissioned by Embryo Digital to create a Pride-inspired piece of art for LGBTQ+ charity, akt.

Available throughout August, proceeds from donation-based downloads of the image will go towards helping akt support Manchester’s young homeless LGBTQ+ community.

Established in 1989, akt aims to provide LGBTQ+ people with a safe place to live and has helped over 50,000 young people through services such as emergency accommodation, independent living support, and their digital mentoring programme. 

Carrie Reiners, Deputy CEO at akt, said: “With 24% of homeless people identifying as LGBTQ+, and 77% of the LGBTQ+ young people akt help stating that coming out at home was the main factor in causing their homelessness, there is a constant need for care and support.

"The city as a whole is loving and welcoming of everybody and we love that Manchester Tom has captured that. We’re also so pleased he’s chosen to support akt with the image, and the proceeds from the image will help us to ensure that no one young person has to choose between a safe home and being who they are."

Manchester Tom, who was commissioned to create the work by Embryo Digital, is active within the community himself. Along with a photojournalist project called ‘Queers of Manchester, he also hosts a bi-monthly LGBTQ+ club night that takes place at YES on Charles Street, called ‘Dance Yrself Clean’. 

With the cancellation of Pride this year a blow for the LGBTQ+ community, Manchester Tom commented on its significance, stating that Pride has always been, “a celebration of and a struggle for freedom.’’

Commenting on his artwork, Manchester Tom said: “As this piece is inspired by the akt, I wanted to create something that speaks to the hope that young people feel when they arrive into a big city, thanks to the queer community that exists there. 

“It’s often a bewildering and lonely experience, but the first time you discover some of these institutions it can open up a whole new world and seem like you’ve arrived in Oz. They can be a real haven from the trauma that is going on elsewhere in life. I hope this captures that feeling of hope on the horizon.”

To purchase your digital copy of the artwork for a minimum donation of £2, visit the Embryo Digital website. The digital download will include a high-resolution desktop version and a phone screen version.

There’s also a raffle being held to win an A0 print of the piece with a winner being announced on August 31st.