Art, Film and Photography – Contemporart Art in Manchester

Art, Film and Photography, there’s something for lovers of contemporary art in  all it’s forms in this latest BeesBlogs. Two of this weeks events are from the same stable. The Eighth Cosmic Kino at Instituto Cervantes and Boy Meets Boy/UK  at PS Mirabel. We have ‘Terranova’  from Adrian Pritchard at The Lowry Hotel, Olwyn Carroll’s ‘Why Don’t You’ at Altrincham’s Air Gallery. I’ve also included an exhibition of photography, still on at Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery entitled ‘Wake Up Together’. Stockport’s Vernon Mill Artists have Interwoven, showing at The Parsonage in Didsbury.  Manchester Craft and Design Centre  have 40 Years and Counting’ by Meghan Graydon Darby, Sculptor Halima Cassell, has her exhibition ‘Eclectica’ at Manchester Art Gallery. Finally, this weeks big announcement from Manchester Art Gallery – ‘A Life In Drawing’ – Leonardo Da Vinci……So much to see, so little time!!! Check below for more information.


24.01.19 – 12.03.19 – PREVIEW: Thursday 24th January 2019 | 6-8pm

Adrian Pritchard – Terra Inferno – The Lowry Hotel

Following the success of Adrian Pritchard’s exhibition Terraforma at the Grundy Gallery in 2018, Terranova is an extended version of this incorporating new additional works. Made from translucent epoxy resins the paintings that make up this exhibition explore the artist’s ongoing interest in physics, space exploration and the fluidity and flexibility of the medium itself.

Deeply rooted in and inspired by his ongoing research into extrasolar planets (Exoplanets), the paintings that make up Terranova demonstrate the scientific approach that the artist takes to his work. Pouring resins and metallic pigments onto rounded discs, the artist physically manipulates the paint by tipping and turning it. Over time, and as a result of chemistry and gravity, the materials then settle into their own shapes and patterns creating multi-layered compositions that reference the dynamic and ever-changing surface of planets.

Terranova meaning “new land” explores the discovery of these new worlds much of which have been discovered by the KEPLER space observatory launched by NASA. Its Adrian’s goal to twin these discoveries with his own creations and attempt to visualise these new worlds like precious jewels. Since 2018 there are now 3869 such recorded planets.

Adrian Pritchard (b. Garstang, 1973) lives and works in Blackpool. He was shortlisted for the John Ruskin Art Prize (2012); awarded the visitors choice award at the Neo Art Prize (2013) and an Arts Council England grant enabling him to tour his kinetic art works (2015). Adrian was awarded membership of the Kinetica Museum 2017.


‘Why Don’t You’ Olwyn Carroll – Air Gallery 

PV 7th February

Olwyn Carroll -Screen Shot 2018

Empathy is a projection, a selfish act. The values of Now tell us it is the admission of the weak. Advertising and the media project a false sense of empathy, it is used as a wearable, to be consumed. We are instructed on how to feel something. Emotions become a commodity rather than a sincere, altruistic reaction. Our heartfelt responses a mere projection of our sorry selves. Identity set in stone by an online algorithm. A perpetual stream of pop-ups and Cookies that you can’t even taste.

Why Don’t You presents a shadow-land. Repulsed by our superficial consumerist lifestyle forever striving for perfection, results in a pallide dissatisfaction that encapsulates our own inner fear of desolation. Objects and characters are caught in mid flow, presented with the frustration of the mundane and the everyday, we are twisted through the madness of the day into the surreal. Olwyn Carroll’s presents a video light and sound installation of stop motion puppet animation and sound by CURRENTMOODGIRL.

There will also be a workshop that will be held on Saturday 16th February 1pm-4pm in which adults can create their own unique character to be exhibited in an online animated film. Free but booking required.


Wake Up Together – Open Eye Gallery Liverpool

On until 17 February – Open 10am-5pm Tuesday – Sunday  (Free)

Untitled, Ren Hang, 2016, Courtesy of Stieglitz – OpenEye Gallery

​Part of Homotopia Festival 2018,  this a photography exhibition championing the rights of every person to love who they want and respectfully live as they wish.

The exhibition features the ​first UK showing of a series of the late Ren Hang’s​ work. Championed by Ai Weiwei and exhibited internationally, ​Ren Hang​’s photos play upon our sense of touch and the way that our bodies interact, both with our surroundings and each other. He often photographed his friends in Beijing, posed nude in domestic, urban and natural surroundings. His images are charged with a playful freedom to experiment, a drive to exist in our own skin on our own terms.

Ren Hang was born near Chuangchun, an industrial city in the North East dubbed the ‘Detroit of China’. He left for Beijing aged 17 to study advertising, during which he time he started photographing his friends posed nude using a point-and-shoot camera. The fearlessness with which people present their naked selves in his images gained him a mass following online but also attracted the attention of Chinese authorities, who deemed the work to be pornographic. He took his own life in February 2017, aged just 29.

A posed portrait of Lesbian couple ‘O’ (27, right) and ‘D’ (23, left). r”. St Petersburg, Russia. November 2014. Photo Robin Hammond/Panos for Witness Change

As well as practising photography, Ren wrote poetry that sought to express the depression he felt, whilst also locating fleeting snapshots of same-sex intimacy. ​The ​exhibition​ at Open Eye Gallery features his photographs alongside his poetry. ​The exhibition title, ​Wake Up Together,
​ is an excerpt from the body of work he produced throughout his lifetime.

In 72 countries around the world, there are laws that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex people. In many more countries, violence and prejudice against people who identify as LGBTQI+ is an all too present feature of society. ​Where Love Is Illegal
​ shares stories from people who are surviving punishment and oppression to live and to love. It champions the right to live free of discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation, and supports those for whom this freedom is not a given. ​Where Love Is Illegal  is led by photographer ​Robin Hammond​ and is a project by his non-profit organisation ​Witness Change​.

All of the people who participated in the project worked with the photographer to decide how to present themselves and how they wish to be portrayed. The photos are accompanied by accounts of living through discrimination in cultures that remain hostile to how they love or how they identify, presented in their own handwriting. ​Where Love is Illegal is an evolving international project that invites anyone to share their personal stories through social media, to push towards a fairer world that allows people of all genders and sexualities to love without persecution. Stories can be shared through their online platform.



Interwoven – Art Exhibition at The Old Parsonage, Didsbury  – Vernon Mill Artists

PV Sunday 3rd February 1-3pm

Interwoven – Vernon Mill Artists



’40 Years and Counting’ by Meghan Graydon Darby

Manchester Craft & Design Centre – Thursday 7 February, 6 – 8pm, Free.

40 Years and Counting Meghan Graydon Darby

Meghan Graydon Darby’s work celebrates the identity and culture of her hometown in County Durham. Her first solo exhibition ’40 Years and Counting’ comes after winning Manchester Craft & Design Centre’s 13th Annual MMU Graduate Solo Exhibition Award. Meghan has produced a collection of wooden sculptures and fabric wall hangings taking inspiration from the garden – including rubble, utensils, and discarded machinery.

The pieces on display have been made especially for this show. “’40 Years and Counting’ is a creative response to my Granda’s garden, a space that he put together around 1979 from gear he got from the demolished pit. This place is his own sanctuary, where he keeps an array of materials, tools and discarded matter.” – Meghan Graydon Darby.

Leonardo da Vinci – A Life in Drawing Manchester Art Gallery

1 February – 6 May 2019


In February 2019 Manchester Art Gallery will take part in Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing, a series of nationwide exhibitions to commemorate 500 years since the artist’s death. In partnership with Royal Collection Trust, they will exhibit 12 exquisite drawings by Leonardo from the Royal Collection, alongside 11 other simultaneous UK exhibitions.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was one of the greatest artists and scientists the world has known. He was perhaps unique in the range of his achievements, and drawing lay at the heart of his creativity. He drew to prepare his artistic projects, to record the world around him, to pursue his scientific speculations, and to make visible the workings of his imagination. Revered in his day as a painter, Leonardo completed only around 20 paintings; he was also respected as a sculptor and architect, but no sculpture or buildings by him survive. As so much of his life’s work was unrealised or destroyed, Leonardo’s greatest achievements are to be found on sheets of paper. Few of his surviving drawings were intended for others to see: drawing served as his laboratory, allowing him to work out his ideas on paper and search for the universal laws that he believed underpinned all of creation.

This exhibition presents 12 exquisite drawings which focus on the body and demonstrate Leonardo’s use of drawing to gain an unrivalled understanding of the human form. He dissected 30 human corpses, many at the University of Pavia, and aimed to write an anatomical treatise on the bones, muscles, tendons and internal organs – this treatise remained unfinished, and his ground-breaking researches were only published around 1900. Alongside anatomical studies, the exhibition includes caricatures, idealised male and female bodies, drapery studies, figures in action and drawings of an infant and foetus. These works demonstrate the variety of techniques Leonardo used, from pen and ink and metalpoint, to red and black chalks and watercolour.

Accompanying the exhibition is a display of rarely seen drawings from Manchester Art Gallery’s significant works on paper collection. Artists on display include Boucher, Burne-Jones, Fantin-Latour, Maillol, Moore, Motesiczky, Sargent and Whistler. Mirroring some of the tropes and the media found in the Leonardo drawings, the selection include drapery studies, portraits, full length nudes and studies for paintings. They are executed in a variety of media including pencil, ink, red, white and black chalk, charcoal and watercolour and date from the 17th to the 20th century.

Halima Cassell – Eclectica – global inspiration – Manchester Art Gallery

3 February 2019 – 5 January 2020


Halima Cassell is one of the UK’s most distinctive and dynamic ceramicists and sculptors.  She creates deeply carved forms in unglazed ceramic, bronze, stone, wood and cast glass and is inspired by geometry, architecture, natural forms and foreign travel.  She exhibits in the UK and internationally and her work is represented extensively in leading private and public collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.  Her public art commissions can be seen in Blackburn, the Forest of Bowland, the Ribble Valley, Leicester, Nottingham and Liverpool.

Cassell is gifted with an exceptional ability to visualise complex patterns and mentally project them on to 3-D objects.  Her work is diverse in inspiration and form, but her personal style is instantly recognisable due to her bold, energetic designs, crisp carving and intuitive understanding of how to integrate pattern, form, material and scale.

This extensive show, her largest to date, in the city where she first dreamt of becoming an artist, is the best opportunity yet to see the range of her work including the debut of her latest pieces.

Cosmic Kino  – 23rd January Instituto Cervantes, Manchester

Cosmic Souls, are launching their next Cosmic Kino the first to take place outside of Berlin. The Eighth Edition of COSMIC KINO: a film event that gathers filmmakers, film lovers and friends to enjoy exclusive films, essential cult movies and forgotten gems this time at the Instituto Cervantes on Deansgate MANCHESTER,  and are introducing a powerful and ground-breaking double feature highlighting the best of the QUEER and LATIN AMERICAN film scene at the moment.

From the same team comes:

Boy Meets Boy /UK – PS Mirabel 25th January


Leg, Arm, Head screenshot – PS Mirabel


BOY MEETS BOY / UK is the second from a series of events that will take place in several European cities to promote the crowdfunding campaign for BOY MEETS BOY, the first long feature film of Manchego independent director Daniel Sanchez Lopez. A gay ‘before sunrise’ on MDMA in Berlin.

The artist-led Mirabel Studios will host our Manchester gathering, where we’ll screen a selection of LGBTI+ short films by the Manchego filmmaker and special guests, followed by a conversation with them.


“The Pretty Things Are Going to Hell” + “Saft”- Daniel Sánchez Lopez

“Leg, Arm, Head” – Scout Stuart

Talk from the directors + Sophie Broadgate (from Queer Cinema Collective)

You will need to email to confirm attendance