A new mural celebrating the life of Denise Johnson has appeared in her hometown of Manchester.
- Read more: A Certain Ratio’s Martin Moscrop remembers Denise Johnson: “Her voice should comfort in these times”
The new mural, by French-born artist Akse, appears on the outside of arts centre Niamos in the Hulme district of the city. See it below.
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Work in progress portrait of Denise Johnson at @niamos_mcr in Hulme, will be back on it on Thursday to refine the hand, face and hairlines and add a background; thanks to @natalieevemcr @misfitmanuk for organising it with the support of Denise’s family, @timbotimbo for sorting out the wall, @niamos_mcr for letting us paint on their wall and @flickofthefinger for the reference image and the upcoming video; credit: pic by @flickofthefinger #akse #p19 #graffiti #art #streetart #mural #muralart #portrait #manchester #hulme #mcr #denisejohnson
“We’re totally stunned into silence,” Johnson’s family said of the mural. “Really cannot find words for how brilliant this is. We’re genuinely lost for words in the nicest sense”.
Denise’s friend, BBC producer Natalie-Eve Williams, tweeted about the mural, writing: “Our girl is on the streets where she grew up. Cannot thank you enough @Akse_P19 for your kindness and generosity”.
Our girl is on the streets where she grew up. Cannot thank you enough @Akse_P19 for your kindness and generosity. a message from Denises family “Totally stunned into silence. Really cannot find words for how brilliant this is. We’re genuinely lost for words in the nicest sense” pic.twitter.com/YInhKqFkoD
— Natalie-Eve Williams (@natalieeveradio) September 29, 2020
The new mural comes on the day that Johnson’s debut album has been posthumously released.
‘Where Does It Go’, out today (October 2) via ADASSA, contains acoustic covers of The Smiths‘ ‘Well I Wonder’, 10cc‘s ‘I’m Not In Love’ and ‘True Faith’ by past collaborators New Order as well as two original tracks: ‘Nothing You Can Do’ and ‘Steal Me Easy’.
Following Johnson’s death, tributes poured in from the likes of Ian Brown, New Order’s Stephen Morris, 808 State and more.
Writing for NME, A Certain Ratio’s Martin Moscrop said Johnson’s voice “should comfort in these times,” adding: “She’ll be there with us forever in all the music she’s made. Her soaring voice should be a comfort to us all in these difficult times.”