Art in Manchester – Sculpture, Film and Manifest arts festival

Paul Digby – Transcending the Figure – Saul Hay Gallery

Exhibition 15th – 30th June

Art in Manchester
Paul Digby – Saul Hay Gallery

Art in Manchester: Saul Hay Gallery present ‘Transcending the Figure‘. A celebration of the front line of the public sector; this exhibition is part of a three year project, 2016 – 2019, by artist Paul Digby. Paul worked with the emergency services drawing and sculpting them in classical poses. These classical poses highlight the heroic nature of his subjects, statuesque and isolated from context like a Greek God or Roman Emperor. In contrast the individual subjects see themselves as just ordinary people going about their work. We’re really pleased to be part of this collaborative and accessible project, a subject close to the heart of Co-Director Catherine Hay who previously worked in the NHS for almost 30 years.

Art in Manchester
Paul Digby – Saul Hay Gallery

The project has also involved a series of collaborations with different community groups including schools, universities, galleries and museums. The exhibition incorporates small clay figurative sculptures made by children who attended school workshops.

Art in Manchester
Paul Digby – Saul Hay Gallery

Paul Digby will be running a small workshop for children 22nd June 2pm – 4pm. more info: Saul Hay Gallery


Eileen Simpson and Ben White: Open Music Archive – Castlefield Gallery

14 June – 18 August 2019

ESBW – The Brilliant and the Dark – Castlefield Gallery

Art in Manchester:

Everything I Have Is Yours is an ambitious film and sound work by Eileen Simpson and Ben White (Open Music Archive) that looks back to the first decade of the UK pop charts (1952-62). Working with a group of older musicians – many of whom are the ‘original teenagers’ of the Greater Manchester music scene, now in their 70s and 80s – the film focuses on this diverse group as they re-engage with public-domain samples from the formative era of the ‘birth of pop’, and incorporate these timeless sounds into new musical creations.

When the musicians play, they individually and collectively interact with digital technology, recalling archive sounds ripped from 1950s and early 1960s shellac and vinyl chart hits. Copyright-controlled elements of the original records are separated out and copyright-expired samples are released through an algorithmic process to enable collective use for the project and for future sharing.

Auditory Learning – Eileen Simpson / Ben White Castlefield Gallery


As the group trigger sounds from the past, the camera continuously tracks its way through the assembled musicians, echoing the circular loops of the music itself. What results is a vivid sonic conversation, an intergenerational call and response that traverses the private, personal and public.

Everything I Have Is Yours has been commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella, Contemporary Art Society, University of Salford Art Collection and Castlefield Gallery. An edition of the film will enter the University of Salford Art Collection.

To coincide with the launch of Everything I Have Is Yours, Castlefield Gallery will present Eileen Simpson and Ben White: Open Music Archive, the first UK survey show of the artists’ work from 14 June – 18 August 2019.  The exhibition presents a selection of projects developed over the last ten years in which the artists explore the performative potential of the archive by reanimating copyright-expired archive material. Featuring sound recordings gleaned from the genesis of the music industry in 1920s Atlanta, a lost feature film from 1950s Jordan, and samples from the very edges of the public domain ripped from 1960s UK chart hit records – the artists deploy rich archive material to produce an open source body of audio-visual work and invite a range of collaborators to produce and perform the public domain.


Manifest Arts Festival 2019

12th – 21st July – Contemporary visual arts festival – Manchester, Salford, Bolton and Wigan

Art in Manchester
Elisa Artesero and Roger Bygott at Work Life

Art in Manchester: Absolutely delighted to see that Manifest Arts Festival will return to the North West for the third time from the 12th-21st July. Showcasing the talent of artists based in the region, the biennial festival has doubled in size, featuring over 50 events, exhibitions, workshops and talks across venues in Manchester, Salford, Bolton and Wigan.

Art in Manchester
A visitor at the newly created Paradise Works – Manifest Arts Festival

With 25 premieres of new work and exhibitions, 15 open studios, 3 workshops, 4 artist/curator talks, 4 performances, several specially extended exhibitions, and over 350 artists – this year is set to be even bigger and better than the previous two. What’s more, everything remains free to attend.

Festivalgoers will be treated to an eclectic programme of events at unique and unusual artist spaces such as Rogue Artists’ Studios, which is housed in an old primary school, and AWOL Studios, which is based in a former Mancunian mill. Events are also taking place at some of the most prestigious institutions in the region, including Manchester Art Gallery, to host the return of popular quick-fire artist talks ‘Manifest Calling’, and Manchester Craft and Design Centre, where Redeye’s professional speed networking for photographers will be held.

Art in Manchester
With Maria Balshaw CBE Director of Tate

Other highlights include Richard Shields’ tragicomic Opera and exhibition at Chetham’s Library, and Rowland Hill’s premiere live performance, incorporating British Sign Language and spoken word, at The Portico Library – both of which are Manifest Arts Granada Foundation Micro Commissions, new to this year’s programme.

Manifesto curated by Manifest Arts –

The festival was set up and is run by local visual artists, Elisa Artesero, Roger Bygott and John Lynch.

“The vibrant culture of different artistic practices in the North West region contains spaces that most people don’t get to see ordinarily, and some don’t know exist at all. It’s a melting pot of different types of people with a whole range of interests and approaches to their artwork. This is our third festival and we just keep growing with more artists wanting to be involved and show their work to the public, and more visitors wanting to come and experience the festival.” said John.

“Whether you’re a seasoned arts professional, or you’ve never been to something like this before and are curious to know what lives are being lived in big and small artist studios across the region – everyone is invited to attend. Grassroots art is going on right under your nose, and Manifest Arts Festival is an opportunity that opens the doors to this culture. The best part is that it’s free to go and see. We hope you’ll like it – maybe you’ll even want to join it!” Elisa explained.

Roger added: “For me, the inspiration and spirit of Manifest is about community association, trusting grassroot links and mutual encouragement. As artists, practicing within this broad vibrant community, we aim to help strengthen those connections and to share more widely and publicly the artistic fruits emerging from it.”

Link below for Manifest programme: Full Festival Programme

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