Leading UK sign maker Astra Signs has announced its support of Gratitude, a spectacular public art installation designed to pay homage to the ongoing courage and dedication of NHS staff and all key workers during the pandemic.

Organised by global art company Wild in Art and sponsored by Astra Signs,  the free to visit exhibition consists of 51 sculptures, all designed by individual artists from different regions, and curated in partnership with creative ambassador Dame Zandra Rhodes.

The event, which launched in Birmingham and is available to see in Manchester now, will also tour Edinburgh and London before the sculptures are auctioned off at a later date, where substantial proceeds will be donated to NHS Charities Together (Registered Charity Number 1186569), which supports the NHS, including its hospitals, ambulance services, community and mental healthcare providers and vital partnerships.

Astra Signs is proud to be the official signage partner of Gratitude, providing expert direction on the logistics, design, branding and install of the impressive event, and producing all brand assets including floor vinyls, toblerones, fence panels and crowd barrier covers.  The Manchester-headquartered company has also produced all 51 sculpture plaques, each one introducing the work, artist, and individual sponsor’s story.

Standing tall amongst the installation is Astra Signs’ sponsored sculpture, Faces of Lockdown, created by acclaimed Manchester illustrator and mural painter, Hammo.  Further cementing the partnership, the two leading names are inviting visitors to Gratitude to have the opportunity to win an exclusive piece of art, designed by Hammo and expertly illuminated in LED Flex Neon by Astra Signs.  To be in with a chance of owning the one-of-a-kind piece of work, visitors to Gratitude can download the Gratitude app and enter through the event’s app rewards or enter online at Astra Signs.

Speaking on the sponsorship, Founder and Managing Director of Astra Signs, David Derbyshire said:  “Gratitude is a spectacular and visually arresting art installation in aid of an incredible cause.  We’re thrilled to be able to support Wild in Art in the production of the event and to honour NHS staff and Key Workers nationwide for all that they have selflessly done to help others these last 18 months.”

Charlie Langhorne, Managing Director at Wild in Art added:  “Wild in Art is delighted to be working with Astra Signs whose expertise has been invaluable in ensuring the event is produced to a high standard. Without our sponsors these events would simply not happen, and we have been overwhelmed by the support of businesses.”

He continues: “Gratitude is a free event which seeks to recognise and thank all key workers and we would urge members of the public to book their tickets online.  In October, all the sculptures will be auctioned to raise money for NHS Charities Together our beneficiary charity.”

The partnership is the latest in a long list of art and cultural events supported by Astra Signs.  Earlier this month the multi-award-winning company was proud to support Manchester City Council’s Thank You Manchester weekender, a fun-filled festival of thanks designed to acknowledge how the city’s people had supported one another through the pandemic and to bring the laughter back and a smile to all.

Amongst the impressive line-up of free activities residents and visitors to the city were invited to paint their message of thanks on to an enormous ‘thank you’ sculpture made up of giant 3D letters that spell out ‘Manchester’, designed and manufactured by Astra Signs.

Measuring 1.4m high and 14 metres long the finished work will be displayed in Manchester as a reminder of the spirit of the city over the last 18 months.

Commenting on the brief, Derbyshire added:  “It’s both a joy and privilege to work with Manchester City Council to produce this vast and poignant sign of thanks.

“When the country entered lockdown some 18 months ago, we vowed that we would come through the pandemic stronger together.  We could not be any prouder of how our team, our partners and the people of Manchester, the city in which we are proud to call our home, have united during this difficult time.  We have produced thousands of signs over the years, all important in their own way, but perhaps none more so than this.”

Astra Signs is one of the UK’s most respected manufacturers of signage and wayfinding products, producing and installing world-class signs for a range of sectors including: sport, retail, leisure, architecture & design, government associations, and international events.  Clients include Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Capital & Centric, Laing O’Rourke, Transport for Greater Manchester, Manchester City Football Club, Skechers, Arnold Clark, and Morris Homes.