Art for May- Exhibitions to See – Part Two

May Exhibitions – Contemporary Art x 3

This second Art for May is unusual in that the galleries featured are under one roof. All are artist led and feature emerging talent. They are also typical of a number of gallery space projects in Manchester which aim to nurture the wealth of talent which Manchester has to offer.

All the galleries below are open 11am – 5pm every Saturday

One – PS Mirabel

‘Menzel’s Foot’

My first offering for May is PS Mirabel an artist led project and exhibition space on Mirabel Street across from the Manchester Arena. Accessed by a gate in a large wooden fence, you pass Paper Gallery on your right, all one room of it! and enter into main exhibition space. I was there at the invitation from Richard Ward at PS Mirabel I attended their latest exhibition. Menzel’s Foot. Based on a part-self portrait, it is after all, Menzel’s foot we see, taken at the age of 62, the portrait depicts a rather grotesque, discoloured, swollen and crossed by varicose veins, right foot.

For the exhibition artists were invited to respond to Menzel’s painting. A total of 18 works are displayed and as with much contemporary art the interpretation is with the artist to determine.

A selection is shown below.

What I hadn’t been aware of is that PS Mirabel’s, Mirabel Street location is also home to two other gallery’s who also show at the same time.

Two – Sloe Gallery

‘Walk Here’

The first of these, Sloe Gallery, launched their May  exhibition by 4 emerging artists Anna Pintus, Aaron Hansford, Catherine Jack and Giulietta Ellman entitled ‘Walk Here’. Located in the basement area of the main PS Mirabel gallery, Sloe is an artist-led exhibition space, co-founded by a small team of postgraduate students from the Manchester School of Art. The gallery itself was rebuilt and restored by the Sloe team, who have turned an untended and disused basement into a fully functioning exhibition space.

Walk Here is a collective exhibition – highlighting the work of 4 emerging artists, and explores the themes of journeying the lost and found, life’s endless layers and ultimately change. Change is something we all experience in different ways and through creative outlets, whether it be fine art, graphic design or photography, we each approach, express and live it as individuals. Despite the work coming from a variety of visual practitioners there are distinct underlying themes, with all artists drawing from memories, emotions, the past, present and future. This exhibition looks to present this in a visually inspiring and unique way.

Three –  PAPER Gallery

As with PS Mirabel and Sloe Gallery, PAPER is an artist-led,  gallery based in the same premises as the other two. It represents a range of emerging and mid-career artists whose practice is based around the medium of paper. This ranges from drawing, painting, and printmaking to artist’s books, video, and performance. The gallery opened in August 2012 and has a regular programme of exhibitions, presenting the work of gallery artists as well as providing a platform for outside curatorial projects. In 2013 PAPER instigated an Artist-in-Residence programme, Exploring PAPER, and in 2014 a mentoring scheme for artists based in the North-West of England, funded by Arts Council England.

The gallery space is ‘bijou’ to say the least, but certainly packs a punch with the quality of the art produced.


‘Space is the product of interrelations; thus we must recognise space as constituted through interactions, from the immensity of the global to the intimately tiny. Space is the sphere of the possibility of the existence of multiplicity; Space is always under construction; it is always in the process of being made. It is never finished; never closed.’ (Doreen Massey 2005)
The exhibition, for space, brings together a group of artists who emphasise and consider the exploration and excavation of space through various approaches to drawing. For each individual artist, drawing is processed through encountering, researching, and engaging with architecture and objects in the physical and virtual realms. Their works address the textural, sensory, and durational nature of psychological space, as well as the historical recording of plotted space. The exhibition also reflects on the social geographer, Doreen Massey’s seminal publication for space (2005), in relation to changing our perceptions of space and  space as ‘the dimension of things being, existing at the same time: of simultaneity.’ (Massey 2005)


Anna Barriball / Tom Baskeyfield / Jack Brown / Layla Curtis / Gerry Davies / Hondartza Fraga  / Jenny Steele / James Steventon / Simon Woolham