Art in Manchester – BeesBlogs contemporary art for January

Art in Manchester
David Hockney by Stanley Lench, Gouache, 1979 Courtesy Warrington Art Gallery

Contemporary Art

2019 starts with an amazing array of contemporary art to see in Manchester and, slightly, further afield. We have ‘Interruptions’ comprising events, performances and workshops throughout January at Manchester’s Holden Gallery. David Bethell: ‘Fleeting Moments’ at HOME. Art Across’ Sara Riccardi is back at The Portico Library, by popular demand to reprise her series of art history lectures ’17 Artists Who Just Happen To Be Women’, Linda Hemmersbach has a solo exhibition  ‘Vein‘ at Cass Art. Bunker Gallery present their latest exhibition ‘Elevation. Underground at Mirabel Street where PS Mirabel also have the launch of ‘What are you doing in there?’ (PV’s for both on Friday 11th Jan)

Lastly, Warrington Museum and Art Gallery have the last week of: Stanley Lench: The Forgotten Artist and Days of the New Town: Birchwood at 50 (until 19th January)


David Bethell: Fleeting Flights HOME Mcr Sat 26 Jan 2019 – Sun 17 Mar 2019

Art in Manchester
Fleeting Flights – credit Glen Stoker HOME

A man opens the front door of his shack in a woodland clearing. He puts his face to the opening and looks around. He closes the door. Littering the ground outside is a collection of contraptions made from timber. Poking through the top of the shack is a wooden balloon…

Fleeting Flights is a new solo exhibition by British artist David Bethell, following the story of a man’s struggle to escape from his own self-induced purgatory. Taking place in an isolated woodland, the story follows the protagonist’s futile attempts to escape his ramshackle shack via a wooden balloon.

The exhibition features David Bethell’s debut short film for the first time, co-commissioned by Mark Devereux Projects and HOME Artist Film. As part of this solo gallery presentation, Fleeting Flights includes the many elaborate wooden contraptions designed and built by the artist.

Elevation. Underground – Bunker Gallery

Poster Elevation Underground – Bunker Gallery

‘Elevation. Underground’ is a show that explores modes of elevation, in an underground gallery space. The show features sculptural works by Bethany Costerd and Paintings by Zac Bradley. ( Note: Images are representative of exhibiting artists work. No exhibition images were available at the time of publication)

Elevation’ has as many physical connotations as it does spiritual, where one can climb, they can also ascend. This dualism reflects tensions between sculpture and painting, sculpture as the physical totem, and painted image, the dream. The works presented are displaced in time. While the sculptural works hint at an early desire to create physical height by building, the painted work attempts to depict future spaces that deal with the construction of a future home.
Underground locations provide a sense of gravity from above, a slight pressing sensation that alludes to higher levels, echoing the flawed rationality of dream space and childhood flights of fancy.

What are you doing in there? – PS Mirabel –  PV 6-8pm Friday Jan 11th

PS Mirabel’s first exhibition of 2019 is a group show of Mirabel artists, featuring work by Paul Cordwell, Vanessa Donnelly, Jack Doyle, Oliver East, Geof Hadfield, Ovie Ist Kings Iruru, Christine Lawley, Erin Sevink-Johnson, James Ventre, Richard Ward and Olga Woszczyna. If you’ve ever wondered what these artists are up to now’s your chance to find out!

‘Vein’ -Linda Hemmersbach – Cass Art

PV 24th January, 5.30-7.30pm

Exhibition continues until 7th February 2019. Open Mon- Fri 9am–6.30pm, Sat 9am–6pm, Sun 11am-5pm

Art in Manchester
Linda Hemmersbach, The Night Has Countless Eyes, 2018 copy – Cass Art


‘Vein’ presents a body of work made over the past year. Fragmentary and ephemeral, it speaks of a body in space, making sense of an unfamiliar landscape.

Fleeting marks have been made on various surfaces: paper, aluminium, canvas, plaster and photographs. Unstretched canvases hang suspended, reaching out into space. Pigments pool on cold metal. Some forms have left the confines of a two-dimensional surface, extending the painting.

Art in Manchester
Linda Hemmersbach – ivu_pigment on aluminium 2018 copy – Cass Art

The feeling and presence of each object and its relationship to the other works as an installation, have been carefully considered. Together they form a collection of signifiers that refer to experiences and atmospheres. Circulating between the internal and external, parts migrate from work to work – a colour, a rhythm, an arrangement of lines. Something that was lost might be found again elsewhere: a continuous cycle of discovery and abandonment.

Energy and time are embedded in everything. Like a deposit in a rock, carrying energy absorbed millions of years ago by living matter, connecting an ungraspable past with the present. The paintings here exist outside of language. They are an attempt to communicate what is unspeakable and unseen, what remains and what persists.

What does it feel like to be the wave, the fracture in the rock?

Interruptions: Holden Gallery

Each Interruption takes place 6-8pm FREE

Art in Manchester
Sam Meech, FeedbackForm, 2018 – Holden Gallery

Interruptions is a number of events, workshops and performances that intersects the Holden Gallery’s annual programme of exhibitions. Its short-term format enables different methods of working, allowing invited artists to experiment in the large scale gallery space, and encourages collaborative practice across disciplines in a series of one-off events.

Interruptions: Chris Paul Daniels – 15th January

Chris Paul Daniels has programmed an evening of sound, video and interruptions with invited guests Amelia Crouch, Aliyah Hussain, Alice Theobald & Jennet Thomas

Interruptions: Sam Meech & Raz Ullah – 17th January

Feedback / Form: Analogue meets digital in a series of experimental installations and generative performance using video feedback. The Holden gallery will become host to projection-mapped portals, chaotic video systems, and immersive interactive works that entangle the viewer with the environment – a mise-en-abyme. The evening will conclude with a short experimental AV performance by Raz Ullah and Sam Meech, conjuring sound and image to give feedback form.

Interruptions: K Craig – 22nd January

Art in Manchester
K Craig, From the World Without Us, 2018 – Holden Gallery

K Craig presents From The World Without Us, part of an ongoing artistic research project into Cosmic Pessimism, the sublime, mysticism and the End of the World. This audio/visual piece brings together macro photography, digital distortion, ritual film and sequenced samples to respond to ideas of what waits in a world beyond ours. With a live soundtrack that includes elements of drone, found sounds, electronics, ambient techno and minimal beats, From The World Without Us drifts between constructed landscapes, distorted figures and deep space, tracing a narrative arc to the end of the Anthropocene.

Interruptions: Jenny Baines – 23rd January

A series of 16mm film installations followed by a film screening, by Jenny Baines and invited artists.

Art Cross – The Portico

Art in Manchester
Art Across: Women Photo credit Steven Heaton

12th January 2019, 10am-12pm

19th January 2019, 10am-12pm

2nd February 2019, 10am-12pm

9th February 2019, 10am-12pm

Tickets £13 per session

After having been presented at The Portico Library in September 2018, this series is back due to popular demand.

Since the radical Do Women Have To Be Naked To Get Into the Met. Museum? (1989) by the Guerrilla Girls, the art world has been facing an increasing movement of challenging its predominantly male structure. It is impossible to modify retrospectively the canon that has ruled for centuries, made up almost exclusively of male artists; what we can do, instead, is use our modern consciousness to change our own perspective, to discover, welcome and recognise those artists whose contribution to the History of Art has been so far overlooked, or comparatively so, arguably and at least partly due to the fact that they were women.

Art in Manchester
Art Across: Women Photo credit Steven Heaton

This series will present seventeen artistic personalities, selecting some examples from different centuries: we will look at their lives and their art, put them into context and, as a result of the analysis of their biographies, we will acknowledge how their identity as female artists affected their careers, their work and their role for the following generations.

The project has emerged from the combination between Sara’s research and that of contemporary artist Jane Fairhurst. The sessions will be led by Sara, while Jane will informally add her point of view as an artist, opening up to moments of conversation throughout some of the sessions; she will then present her work in the final part of the last session.

12th January: Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), Sofonisba Anguissola (c.1535-1625), Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1652), Judith Leyster (1609-1660)
19th January: Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717), Luisa Ignacia Roldan (1652-1706), Rachel Ruysch (1664-1750), Rosalba Carriera (1675-1757)
2nd February: Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807), Élizabeth Vigée-LeBrun (1755-1842), Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899), Elizabeth Thompson (1846-1933)
9th February: Berthe Morisot (1841-1895), Mary Cassatt (1844-1926), Edmonia Lewis (c. 1844-after 1911), Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010), and Jane Fairhurst (b. 1953)


Stanley Lench: The Forgotten Artist and Days of the New Town: Birchwood at 50

Warrington Museum & Art Gallery

Art in Manchester
David Hockney by Stanley Lench, Gouache, 1979 Courtesy Warrington Art Gallery

This weekend is the last chance to see a duo of fascinating exhibitions at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery.

Stanley Lench: The Forgotten Artist and Days of the New Town: Birchwood at 50 both close on Saturday 19 January after a run of two months.

Discover the story of forgotten artist Stanley Lench (1934 – 2000) with this striking display, co-curated by Stanley’s lifelong friend David Trowbridge.

Art in Manchester
Photo of Stanley Lench

This remarkable collection charts the artist’s development through portraits of silent screen stars, playwrights, musicians and 1960s icons, as well as a selection of drawings and paintings of fantasy figures and early portraits of his family.

Days of the New Town looks back to 1968 when Warrington was designated a mark 3 partnership New Town.

Inspired by the Dutch “heempark”, or homes in parkland, the Development Corporation delivered housing according to an ecological planning approach which found its fullest expression in the area of Birchwood.

Days of the New Town

In Warrington New Town’s 50th year, this exhibition brings together photographs from the Development Corporation archive and a “people’s archive” reflecting Birchwood as both architect’s vision, and lived and evolving reality.