Tag Archives: art

Mary Kelly at The Whitworth

Another must see show by an important feminist and political artist.

Fabulous exhibition that reveals Mary Kelly’s attention to detail and love of using really beautiful materials to create her work.  Mary is back today to do an interview with Art Monthly and for a major symposium tomorrow.

Mary Kelly's MultiStory House during installation when The Culture Show was there


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Anish Kapoor: Flashback

Renowned artist and Turner Prize winner Anish Kapoor took part in a photocall with Her Blood (1998), a major sculptural work selected by the artist specifically for Manchester Art Gallery’s exhibition space and being shown for the first time in the UK.

Anish Kapoor is known for his sensual and beguiling sculptures, creating his work using a range of tactile materials including pigment, stone, polished stainless steel and wax. Filling Manchester Art Gallery’s main exhibition spaces, this show (5 March – 5 June 2011) gives a unique opportunity to explore Kapoor’s earlier works alongside recent pieces lent directly by the artist, with a selection of significant sculptures on loan from UK collections, and from the Arts Council Collection.

A fantastic must see exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery launched at the start of March with a fine number of press in attendance and lots of great coverage.

Renowned artist and Turner Prize winner Anish Kapoor with Her Blood (1998), a major sculptural work selected by the artist specifically for Manchester Art Gallery’s exhibition space and being shown for the first time in the UK.

Photocall at exhibition launch

Anish Kapoor interviewed by Jonathan Schofield


Great video by Littlestar

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It’s been a busy time…

…and I’ve not been able to update this site as much as I’d liked but we’ve been occupied with working on Creative Tourist’s Manchester Weekender, RNCM, Manchester Christmas Markets & Christmas Lights Switch-on, and Manchester Literature Festival.

AP photographer capturing the amazing Shrink performance at the launch of The Manchester Weekender

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Liverpool Biennial is launched

I love it when I’m on the home straight toward the launch of another Liverpool Biennial. Having lunch with a journalist the week before the Biennial opened, he remarked that it seemed like only yesterday that it was last on. Two years do seem to pass quickly but the great thing is that every Biennial is different and I can never predict what the media reaction is going to be like.

This year we had over 100 press accredited to attend the launch days on Thursday and Friday with a great mix from international, national and regional media outlets. A big group of critics and feature writers from Vogue, Monocle, Time Out, The Independent, The Guardian, Art Review, Art Monthly, Frieze and the FT planned to visit from Thursday giving their verdict on the new commissions, the prize-winners and even the city.

So what did my week look like?

Monday: I’m helping a producer from Front Row, BBC Radio 4’s flagship arts programme plan how she’s going to get presenter (and reviewer of past Biennials) Mark Lawson round most of the Festival on Thursday, taking in interviews with Laura Belem, Rosa Barba, Daniel Boshkov, Tehching Hsieh and Gary Hume along the way. And get back in time to edit it do into a whole programme to be broadcast that night! I don’t envy her.

Tuesday: I’m meeting with Tania Bruguera about all her media requests – she’s very much in demand so I need to make sure that we can schedule her interviews alongside the performances she’s planning. Laura Johnson from NML has volunteered to meet the press group and bring them up from London. I’m meeting with her to let her know who’s coming up and what they’ll need from her on the trip up: whether they want to be left alone or if they need lots of information about Liverpool and the Biennial.

Visiting Sachiko Abe's magical installation at A Foundation with The Times

Wednesday: the chief art critic for The Times is coming up a day early to review as she needs to file early for the weekend paper. As she only has a day I need to plan how she’s going to cram in a whole festival across multiple sites in 8 hours without exhausting her and making sure she has a fair idea of the depth and diversity of it.

Thursday: the day we’ve all been building towards is the day we reveal Liverpool Biennial to the press. Front Row are in town from 9am so it all has to be ready for their recording. We’ll have a team of interns, some of whom worked on the press desk in 2008, waiting for the first press to pick up their passes from 9am too. It’s the day I really look forward to, seeing the city awash with critics and feature writers.

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The Moomins are coming…to Bury!

Tampere Art Museum Moominvalley Collection. Photo Jari Kuusenaho. Copyright Moomin Characters TM

As ever the vision and aspirations of Poet, Curator and Bury Arts Manager Tony Trehy know no bounds as he has managed to secure an exhibition of Moomins creator Tove Jansson’s gorgeous illustrations for Bury Art Gallery.

The Moominvalley of the Tampere Art Museum is a museum devoted to original works by writer and artist Tove Jansson. Its unique collections comprise around 2000 works. The two Galleries have also confirmed exchange exhibitions of Finnish and British art to celebrate the cultural Olympiad for the London 2012 Games.

Magical Moominvalley:

The Illustrations of Tove Jansson from Tampere Art Museum Moominvalley Collection Finland

23 October 2010 to 15 January 2011

Tampere Art Museum Moominvalley Collection. Photo Jari Kuusenaho. Copyright Moomin Characters TM

The world of the Moomins from Finland has delighted and captivated children and adults alike for the last 65 years.  This Autumn Bury Art Gallery will bring this magical world to the town as the first exhibition of a unique cultural partnership between Bury and Tampere in Finland. It will be the only exhibition in the UK that coincides with the 65th anniversary of the Moomins.

The exhibition will capture the magic of The Moominvalley of the Tampere Art Museum, which creates the feeling of visiting the Moomin valley itself. Dimly lit with pools of dappled light with the Moomin boat and islands of stepping-stones, this enchanted space will provide the perfect backdrop for these original Moomin illustrations.

Tove Jansson was a prolific illustrator and less well-known for her work produced in newspapers. Depicting the cherished characters of Moominpapa, Moominmama, Moomintroll, Little My, Hemulen and The Groke, her beautiful drawings will be shown alongside a collection of rare examples of Jansson’s illustrations published in Finnish daily newspapers.

The exhibits appeal to children who are fascinated by tales of the Moomins but also to adults who can appreciate Jansson’s expressive drawings and the darker subtexts of the images and stories.

Finnish writer and artist Tove Jansson created the white hippopotamus-looking creatures whose adventures were translated into 34 languages. Jansson wrote and illustrated eight books about these eccentric creatures, the first of which The Moomins and the Great Flood was published in 1945.

The exhibition coincides with the re-printing of the Moomin stories in English and the opening of Moomins and the Comet Chase, the latest Moomin movie, launched at the Cannes Film Festival, with a soundtrack by Bjork.

visit http://www.bury.gov.uk/arts


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The Manchester Weekender

Forty-eight hours of art, culture, music, film, food, festivals, literature, walks, politics, poetry, photography, theatre and spectacle all wrapped up into a single weekend.

The Manchester Weekender is a weekend-long snapshot of some of the best of Manchester’s art and culture. From 1-3 October 2010, The Manchester Weekender stages a series of one-off, intimate events that sum up the city, pairing international artists, musicians, festivals and writers with some of the city’s most beautiful settings. And it does this for one weekend only – forty-eight hours of some of the most unusual cultural experiences found anywhere within the UK.

Timed to mark the launch of Abandon Normal Devices (AND) and Recorders: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer at Manchester Art Gallery, The Manchester Weekender features the following highlights and with more to be announced:

AND Festival launch. After its smash-hit inaugural year in Liverpool last Autumn, this year’s Abandon Normal Devices comes to Manchester. A festival of new cinema and digital culture, it includes the UK premiere of Turner Prize winning artist Gillian Wearing’s first feature-length film, Self Made. New commissions from a clutch of internationally renowned artists, filmmakers and cultural provocateurs includes Phil Collins in a continuation of his critically acclaimed work Marxism Today. Vacuum packed and vertically suspended volunteers feature in artist Laurence Malstaff’s latest live performance while temporary outdoor cinemas pop up across the city. Midnight Mass from New York drag artist Peaches Christ will encourage bad cinema and even worse behaviour!

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer at Manchester Art GallRafael Lozano-Hemmerery. A major new exhibition of interactive digital artworks by Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, including the world premiere of a large-scale installation People on People a co-commission with AND festival and at least four specially adapted interactive artworks that have never been shown publicly in England before, including the seminal Pulse Room, the artist’s contribution to the Mexican Pavilion for the Venice Biennale 2007.

Manchester by water. A family boat party that connects the Manchester Ship Canal with the River Irwell; that puts food by one of the Northwest’s top chefs, Robert Owen Brown, on the menu; that links up one of Salford’s finest pubs, the Mark Addy, with two of Manchester finest museums (MOSI and the People’s History Museum); and that takes you from one city to its sister – Manchester to Salford – finishing up at one of the UK’s top ten architectural sights: Daniel Libeskind’s Imperial War Museum North.

Krysko & Kashiwagi. A one-off gig, that’s part performance art and part club night, all taking place in the distinctly unusual setting of The Whitworth Art Gallery. DJ Matthew Krysko (The Warehouse Project/Sankeys/Tribal Gathering) and the award winning performance artist Naomi Kashiwagi use the Victorian gallery as the backdrop for a new collaborative work that combines electronic music with wind-up gramophones, and 70 year-old shellac records with the latest in digital DJ technology.

Guestrant. Out of the suburbs, one of Manchester’s best kept pub-and-dining secrets runs its famously fabulous Guestrant, in a secret location. Electrik is the bar in Chorlton run by Electric Chair/Electric Elephant DJ duo Luke Cowdrey and Justin Crawford. The concept sees a talented local chef visit the bar to cook a surprise three-course meal for one night only. Intimate, unusual and communal, each Guestrant is a chance to sample food by top name chefs and get-to-know-your-neighbours.

‘Close Up’ featuring Jonathan Franzen. The celebrated American novelist Jonathan Franzen heads to the Whitworth Art Gallery to read from his latest novel, Freedom, as part of an ‘in conversation’ event with DJ/writer Dave Haslam.

The Land Between Us. The Land Between Us brings historic and contemporary art together on equal terms to engage with today’s notions of landscape and identity. Works by artists including Nikhil Chopra, Olafur Eliasson, Cyprien Gaillard and Larissa Sansour and Rachel Whiteread, come together with others from The Whitworth Art Gallery’s extensive historic collection, from William Holman Hunt to Samuel Palmer and J.M.W. Turner. It will be the first time that the Whitworth has shown all 50 Turners in its collection at the same time.

Creative Manchester Map.  A specially commissioned creative map of Manchester, designed by the artist-activist organisation Manchester Design Corporation with Laura Mansfield, the map plots project spaces, temporary, artist-led and mainstream galleries, contemporary arts organisations, artists’ studios, independent publications and curatorial groups – all those shadowy, often unknown agencies whose collective might provides much of Manchester’s creative capital. Walking tours all weekend take in not just art and culture but the cafes, bars and festivals that run simultaneously during the Weekender – the perfect way to enjoy the city’s hard-to-find and underground arts scene. The map coincides with the launch of Creative Tourist’s new iPhone app. – a guide to the art and culture of Manchester.

Urban wandering. From a sensory tour where families get to taste, hear, smell, see and touch Manchester to unusual creative activities ending in an urban picnic, and from psychogeography and parkour tour to the hidden museums collections and artefacts held in the city’s museums, galleries and archives. This series of tours explore Manchester with intelligence, wit, creativity and in some cases athletic prowess.

Postcards from Manchester. Don’t just visit Manchester – imagine it. As part of Manchester Literature Festival, the acclaimed and award winning poets Mandy Coe and John Siddique will be at Manchester Museum writing and helping visitors to write, poetry postcards, a unique way to capture the sights, sounds and smells of the city.

Hidden Manchester. A guided walk created and led by Manchester’s most popular guide, the broadcaster and historian Jonathan Schofield, especially for the Manchester Weekender. Schofield leads a very special, secret tour to one of the city’s most spectacular, but rarely seen by the public, buildings.

Beating Wing Orchestra at Imperial War Museum North. Best known for their sell-out performances at Manchester International Festival, Beating Wing Orchestra brings together artists from across Manchester’s musical spectrum, and from communities as diverse as Kurdistan and Cameroon, Bangladesh and Brazil, into joyful and life-affirming performances.

Black electronica. Contact Theatre hosts a three-day music, dance and arts festival that focuses on the influence of black music within the UK. Launching as part of the Manchester Weekender, Friday includes an evening of black electronica, while Saturday features a live dance link-up with New York.

Participating individuals, organisations and festivalsThe AND Festival, Beating Wing Orchestra, Castlefield Gallery, Chinese Arts Centre, Clarion Cycling Club, Contact Theatre, Cornerhouse, CUBE, Dave Haslam, Electriks, Family Friendly Film Festival, Imperial War Museum North, John Rylands Library, Jonathan Schofield, The Lowry, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Comedy Festival, Manchester Design Corporation, Manchester Food & Drink Festival, Manchester Jazz Festival, Manchester Literature Festival, The Manchester Museum, Manchester Science Festival, The Mark Addy, MOSI, NICE Festival, The People’s History Museum, Robert Owen Brown, Studiomama, Un-convention, Whitworth Art Gallery, 24:7 Theatre Festival.


The Manchester Weekender is organised by Manchester Museums Consortium and Creative Tourist.

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Spencer Tunick at The Lowry

After SKV’s brilliant splash in early March across all the mainstream national and regional media announcing the call for nude volunteers for The Lowry’s major new commission by Spencer Tunick, our art-focused campaign is well underway with a good response so far.  Some writers are even keen to get involved with what should be a really exhilarating experience on the day…

Spencer Tunick installation in Helsinki


12 June to 26 September 2010

The Lowry Galleries, Salford

Salford and Manchester provide the backdrop for a new large-scale installation by international artist Spencer Tunick this May, using his favoured material – the nude human body.

This particular installation has been commissioned for The Lowry‘s tenth anniversary. It represents a new departure for Spencer Tunick as he creates his first ever multiple site installation while the project itself is his first visual response to the work of another artist for the entirety of a project – LS Lowry.

The resulting photographic and film work will be shown at The Lowry from 12 June – 26 September as part of the exhibition, Everyday People.

The Lowry in Salford is marking ten years of creative excellence by commissioning New York-based Spencer Tunick to create an installation across eight locations in the two neighbouring cities this May.

The artist is renowned for site-specific landscapes in which he photographs hundreds or even thousands of nude volunteers, and previous installations have been staged in Sydney, London, Montreal, Melbourne, Santiago, Barcelona and Gateshead, featuring mass gatherings of nude participants posed in formations within major urban landscapes.

With the challenge of choosing to create his work across multiple sites, Tunick will also focus on the concept of ‘everyday people’ for the Salford and Manchester installation as a reference to the compositional style of LS Lowry, whose figurative works depict a mass of bodies going about their daily life. In contrast to his usual compositional style, he will break new ground in his approach by capturing the movement of everyday people within each photograph.

The exhibition will reveal Spencer Tunick’s unique photographs taken at each location, and an accompanying film will capture the essence of the installations across Salford and Manchester. The exhibition will also reference Tunick’s work within the broader context of artists working with the human body.

Michael Simpson, The Lowry’s Head of Visual Arts & Engagement says: “The Lowry commissions innovative, engaging and exciting contemporary art and is a key part of both the North West and UK visual art world. Tunick’s work not only reflects and records the landscape of an area but also its people.  The Lowry has spent ten years delighting, engaging and challenging both local and national audiences with the very best in visual art and performance. This exhibition celebrates our achievements and signals our continuing ambition.”

Spencer Tunick explains, “Salford and Manchester presents an intriguing prospect for my latest UK installation based both on the rich industrial heritage that exists across both cities and the art of LS Lowry. LS Lowry’s paintings depicting the mass of everyday people who contributed to the industrial machine of the 20th century, also provide an interesting frame of reference in terms of the compositional possibilities of the installations.”

To illuminate Everyday People further, The Lowry has commissioned a series of critical essays around the work of Spencer Tunick, the first of which, by Sarah Kent, will be published at http://www.thelowry.com/spencertunick on 6 April.

Spencer Tunick’s temporary site-specific installations have been commissioned by the XXV Biennial de Sao Paulo, Brazil (2002); Institut Cultura, Barcelona (2003); The Saatchi Gallery (2003); MOCA Cleveland (2004) and the Vienna Kunsthalle (2008) among others.

The Lowry is delighted to present Everyday People with the generous support of Arts Council England Sustain fund.

Editors Notes

The Lowry celebrates its 10th anniversary on 28 April 2010 and has spent 10 years delighting, engaging and challenging both local and national audiences with the very best in visual art and performance. The Lowry Centre Trust is a not-for-profit charitable organisation and registered charity (no. 1053962). All income supports our world-class Theatres and Galleries programme, the care and display of the LS Lowry Collection and our life-changing Community and Education work. The Lowry’s Chief Executive, Julia Fawcett was awarded an OBE for services to the Arts in the Queen’s 2010 New Year Honours list.

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