Art and Culture in Manchester this week from BeesBlogs


Art and culture in Manchester never ceases to amaze me by its diversity and quality. From public gallery’s to squats, street art, people’s front rooms and empty shop windows, the opportunity to show art in all its forms is eagerly grasped. Which makes putting together a blog of what to see is a delight…..and a challenge to try to cover everything without making the blog so large it’s un-manageable. Hopefully BeesBlogs is walking the tight-rope okay and readers are happy with the amount and diversity of the content.


If any reader has a comment please give feed-back Positive or Negative, it can help shape BeesBlogs for the future! On that note I’m pleased that BeesBlogs is in the TOP 60 Art Blogs in the UK!!

Still to see:

In addition to this weeks new exhibitions and some culture for opera buffs (Tosca and The Merry Widow from Opera North at The Lowry), we have some exhibitions still running that are most definitely worth a visit if you’ve not yet managed to see them.

‘Room 103‘ – A visual tribute to George Orwell Saul Hay Gallery until 11th .

‘SUBI 수비‘ –  Artists from UK and Korea – Castlefield Gallery until 4th November.

‘Thick Time’ – The fantastic exhibition from William Kentridge  – The Whitworth Gallery until March 2019

Thread Bearing Witness‘ – Wonderful work from Alice Kettle  on cultural heritage, refugee displacement in textiles – The Whitworth Gallery until February 2019.

‘And Breathe….‘ explores art and mental health – Manchester Art Gallery  until March 2019

Plus look out for next weeks blog with news of Martin Parr’s new exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery

Michael Ashcroft – This is Manchester – Contemporary Six Gallery

PV 1st November – continues until 14th November

Michael Ashcroft – ‘Manchester G-Mex’ Contemporary Six

This is Michael Ashcroft’s first solo exhibition at Contemporary Six — it is a rare opportunity to see more than 30 of his paintings in one place. Works from three of Michael’s celebrated Manchester series of paintings will be on show together for the first time — After the Rain, Painting My Favourite Pubs, and Manchester From Afar. A master of landscape and cityscape in oils, Michael’s truthful style has captured the heart of this city and its art-lovers. His familiar Northern scenes, such as wet roads at dusk, raddled pub facades, and landmarks in the afternoon sun are painted to celebrate the bustling and beautiful nature of Manchester to residents and visitors alike.

Michael’s works are realistic but painterly, boasting an expert’s grasp of composition and contrast, and a faithfulness to his subject. Many art lovers believe his works to be Hopperesque in their style and quality. As Edward Hopper said himself of his own paintings, they are the ‘outward expression of the inner life of the artist’ — and indeed, it has to be said, Michael’s paintings are filled with affection for a city deeply important to him.

Where Are You In These Interesting Times? Air Gallery, Altrincham

PV 2nd November 19:00
Exhibition Continues 3rd -11th November

Katie Thomlinson – Air Gallery

Where are you in these interesting times? It’s not all doom and gloom, but some of it probably is. Artists respond to the question, acknowledging their immediate surroundings and global issues, reaching across the realms of absurdity that exist and unfold around us.
Air Gallery will play host to 22 artists’ reactions to contemporary global and local cultures, scientific and technological progression, the media both nationally and internationally, and the abilities and identities of the people who inhabit this provocative, disturbing and somewhat dystopian world we find ourselves in.

‘Where Are You in these Interesting Times’ Air Gallery

Where do we find ourselves within this? How do we find ways to cope? What is beautiful? Where do we find it, and how can we celebrate it?

Clever Cunst – Air Gallery

Artists: Rosie Abbey, Agil Abdullayev, Ambience Factory, Robin Broadley, Evelyn Cromwell, Clever Cunst, Enne&Moffa, John Flindt, Jake Francis, Lucy Hayward, Precious Innes, Colin Keays, Denise Kehoe, Kieran Leach, Lidia Lidia, Jospeh Lynn, Kieren March, Tom Milnes, Robyn Nichol, Jhonotan Puilido, Trevor H Smith, Katie Thomlinson.




Zellij Arts – MAI AL SHAZLY | Solo Show

3rd November – 26th January 2019
PREVIEW: Friday 2nd November 6 – 8pm PERFORMANCE: by Mai Al Shazly at 6.30pm The Other Side of The Giant Slab

Mai Ai Shazly The Third Trace 2018 – Zellij Arts

Mai Al Shazly is an Egyptian visual artist working with photography, video, and installation. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently at The Biennale Africaine de la Photographie, Bamako (2018) receiving a video art and experimental film production award from The Goethe Institute Cairo in collaboration with The Contemporary Image Collective, as well as a production grant through the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia Cairo (2016).

Mai focuses on the psychology of human behavior and it’s relationship to the surrounding environmental (city’s size, urban density, location) and political issues (regimes, stability and authority), her purposeful amalgamation reveals the breadth of conceptual art and its overlapping mediums, allowing her to speak to others across varying environments and schools of thought. The exhibition at The Alexandria Library features works from her series; The Third Trace (2018), The Other Side of the Giant Slab (2017) and Undercurrents (2015).


Opera North – TOSCA and The Merry Widow – The Lowry, Salford 

Robert Hayward as Scarpia and the Chorus of Opera North Photo credit Richard H Smith

Opera North is celebrating 40 years since it became established as the opera company for the North of England by bringing a compelling and visually dramatic new production of Tosca and a classic revival of The Merry Widow to The Lowry next month.

Opening at the theatre on Wednesday 14 November is a new production of Puccini’s much-loved Italian melodrama, Tosca. Floria Tosca, Rome’s star opera singer, is passionately in love with charismatic artist Cavaradossi. When he helps a political prisoner to escape, Cavaradossi is arrested and tortured by Scarpia, the corrupt Chief of Police. Tosca, an object of fascination to Scarpia, does everything she can to save her lover, but the consequences are far worse than she could possibly have imagined. From the jolting blast of Tosca’s opening chords, obsessive lust, politics, art and religion collide in this compelling thriller.

Giselle Allen as Tosca and Robert Hayward as Scarpia Photo credit Richard H Smith

Edward Dick returns to the Company to direct a production which makes the most of the opera’s strong contemporary resonances. The stellar cast includes Belfast-born soprano Giselle Allen (Cavalleria rusticana and Osud), Mexican tenor Rafael Rojas (Un ballo in maschera) and British baritone Robert Hayward (Andrea Chénier).

Tosca’s tragedy is followed by a revival of Lehár’s light-hearted operetta, The Merry Widow. Hanna Glawari (Katie Bird) is a young, beautiful and stupendously wealthy widow visiting Paris. Would-be suitors clamour for her hand but the situation is not quite that simple. The fate of her home state of Pontevedro depends on the choice Hanna makes; if she marries a foreigner, Pontevedro will go bankrupt. Small wonder then that her arrival in France creates high excitement among the country’s bachelors – and many a sleepless night for the Pontevedrian ambassador, Baron Zeta, as he does everything he can to make sure she remarries a suitable, Pontevedrian, man.

Alex Otterburn as Cascada, Máire Flavin as Hanna Glawari and Alex Banfield as St Brioche Photo credit Robert Workman

Director Giles Havergal’s stylish production is complemented by Leslie Travers’ fin-de-siècle set and costume designs while Kit Hesketh-Harvey’s witty English translation captures all the comedy and flair of this popular piece.

Richard Mantle, General Director, Opera North comments:

“Opera North’s purpose is to create extraordinary experiences every day, using music and opera to entertain, engage, challenge and inspire. In this, our 40th year, we seek to reinvigorate our incredible art form for the 21st century, and to share our work in new ways with more people across the whole of the North of England and beyond.”

Quirijn de Lang as Danilo with members of the Chorus of Opera North Photo credit Robert Workman

For those who are undecided whether to give opera a go or not, Opera North’s free ‘pop-up’ version, Whistle Stop Opera, returns to Ordsall Hall at 3.30pm on Monday 12 November. The half-hour crash course in opera provides a bite-sized introduction to the art-form as a group of professional opera singers and an accordionist perform scenes and songs packed with comedy, deceit, love and tragedy. After the performance, there will be a chance to ask the cast about the production and opera more generally.

Wed 14 Nov Tosca 7.30pm  Thu 15 Nov The Merry Widow 7.30pm Sign interpreted

Fri 16 Nov Tosca 7.30pm Audio-described Sat 17 Nov The Merry Widow 7.30pm