Art in Manchester – Why be Exotic in Private? Louise Giovannelli and Slime UR Life



Jenny Steele – WHY BE EXOTIC IN PRIVATE? –  Rogue Artists’ Studios,

PV: Saturday 8th June 2019, 2pm- 5pm

Dates: 9th June  – Saturday 29th June 2019.

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Jenny Steele – The McAlpin, screenprint on wallpaper on marine plywood sculpture

‘Why Be Exotic In Private? is a solo installation by artist Jenny Steele, which is the result of her research into South Beach Miami’s 1930’s ‘Seaside Moderne’ architecture which was inspired by the long sweeping streamlined curves and details of ocean liners and the International Modernist style.  In addition to recording the formal and decorative elements of the buildings, Steele explored the social history of the largest area of coastal art deco architecture built internationally. The installation was Steele’s first solo exhibition in London at The Foundry Gallery, Chelsea, and now comes to Rogue Project Space, Manchester

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Jenny Steele – Inside the Tropical Garden view of window

For ‘Why Be Exotic in Private?’ Steele has created a series of screen printed, shaped panels that suggest temporary theatre sets. Walls of the gallery are painted in colours from the South Beach palette, which was created by artist Leonard Horowitz in the 1980’s to revive the dilapidated architecture of Miami South Beach; to create a more tropical and desirable environment. The reverse of each panel is painted in a single palette colour and reveal a restaged collection of research, drawings, photography, postcards and historical memorabilia from the buildings which have influenced the designs on the front. This ‘behind’ gives an insight into the way in which Steele works, a process which normally remains hidden from final public works.

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Jenny Steele – The Palm Pink risograph close up

Manufactured from swampland with imported trees and foliage, parrots and flamingos (none of which were indigenous to the area), the tropical paradise of Miami Beach in the 1930’s was seen as the ultimate holiday destination, designed as another-worldly place; becoming a playground that would provide a backdrop for people to perform relaxation at the seaside. During the 1970’s and 80’s, following years of neglect and facing demolition, many of the art deco buildings were restored by the newly formed Miami Design Preservation League. Their voluntary efforts included repair, repainting in tropical colours and persistent international promotion of this distinct area of architectural heritage. This successful regeneration has made Miami Beach one of the most recognised and desirable seaside cities internationally, demonstrating the transformative power of colour, design and pattern.

Why be Exotic in Private

Drawing on the architectural ideas of American architect Morris Lapidus, who designed playful and glamorous hotels in Miami and internationally, Steele has created a ‘mis-en-scene’ – a total art work where she has set the stage. Morris declared architecture as a movie set where the guest took on the role of an actor, and interiors created a space to act out of the ordinary from their everyday lives.  Artificial foliage leads us through the environment to the work ‘Inside the Tropical Garden’, a printed response to the ‘The Tropical Garden’, an unattainable exotic garden Steele researched that was kept behind glass in Miami’s Lincoln Road Mall during the 1930’s.


Louise Giovanelli – Manchester Art Gallery

6th June – 19th April 2020

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Louise Giovanelli

Art in Manchester: .

Manchester Art Gallery are bringing together a new body of work by contemporary painter Louise Giovanelli, to be shown alongside a selection of early Renaissance works from Manchester’s and the National Gallery’s collections, as well as contemporary works by artists with whom she shares an affinity, from the David Roberts Art Foundation and Tate.


Using as her starting point Manchester Art Gallery’s The Crucifixion by the school of Buoninsegna di Duccio from the 14th century, Giovanelli has undertaken a major Arts Council England funded research project to visit early panel paintings and frescoes in Europe and the USA. Artworks from this period by early Renaissance masters Duccio, Giotto and Piero della Francesca, as well as contemporary artists Mark Manders and Victor Man, have influenced her new collection of paintings and a selection of these artists’ works will be in dialogue with her canvases.  Two late medieval pictures from The National Gallery will travel to Manchester and be shown alongside The Crucifixion and works by Giovanelli. Duccio’s The Transfiguration from 1307/8-11 and Andrea di Bonaiuto di Firenze’s The Virgin and Child with Ten Saints from 1365-70 both have exquisitely decorated gold-leaf backgrounds and are excellent examples of work from this period.

This exhibition will consist of paintings that refer both to art history and the contemporary mechanics of viewing and consuming imagery.  Cropped and isolated images gleaned from historical painting and sculpture are repeated and restated throughout several works, dislocated from their origin and repositioned within a sequence of multiple artworks.

A series of black monochromatic paintings derive from Giovanelli’s studies of the acanthus leaf and its use as ornament throughout classical art. From ancient Greek ceramics to Roman architecture, the leaf appeared in illustrated medieval manuscripts, regularly featured in Renaissance painting, adorned Rococo decoration and neo-classical architecture. Rich in symbolism, the perennial acanthus leaf has, for different religions and cultures throughout history, signified either mourning, enduring life or immortality.

Giovanelli begins by hand modelling sculptural acanthus forms in shallow black plasticine relief, which are then manipulated and folded to form deep linear ‘X’ shaped creases that run diagonally from corner to corner.  These are then painted to create dark but luminous abstract works. Giovanelli employs a layering technique to build composite works that simultaneously presents multiple modes of representation and explores painterly concepts of flatness, translucence, abstraction and realism.  Paying great attention to surface, Giovanelli’s use of colour ranges from muted grainy pinks and powder blues to luminous deep blue-blacks that saturate the surface, she reveals the painting’s own history by scratching through with fine lines to reveal layers of multi-coloured underpainting.


John Powell-Jones – Slime of UR Life: Work Drinks – Paradise Works

PV: Thursday 6 June, 6-8pm  Open: Saturdays 8, 15 & 22 June, 12-5pm, or by appointment.

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Slime of UR Life: Work Drinks – John Powell-Jones – Paradise Works

Art in Manchester  – John Powell Jones ‘s practice deals with themes of perception, power structures, personal realities and morality. With a background rooted in illustration and printmaking Powell-Jones’ recent work has a multidisciplinary approach, utilising ceramics, textiles, and painting, performance, sound and film.

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Slime of UR Life: Work Drinks – John Powell-Jones – Paradise Works

This new body of work sees Powell-Jones explore our relationship with work and our identity within the hyper-capitalist, consumer society of the 21stCentury. Work is no longer just part of our existence, but has increasingly become an all-consuming reason for being, oozing over every aspect of our lives as the line between work and leisure is blurred. In this secular society The Church has been replaced by The Office. We now worship at the alter of J.O.B, finding ourselves plagued by the sin of free time and the anxiety of looming unemployment.

Slime of UR Life: Work Drinks – John Powell-Jones – Paradise Works

The exhibition will explore these themes through a narrative following two characters, Frank and The Clown. As the audience makes their way through the space they will encounter visual artefacts, tufted wall hangings, ceramic effigies and film eventually passing through into Frank’s world and the residue left over from an encounter with The Clown.




Alice Cornelia – Back Now – Warrington Museum & Art Gallery

Until: Saturday 22 June 2019

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Alice Cornelia – ‘Back Now’ – Warrington Museum and Art Gallery

A young artist who was ‘highly commended’ in Warrington’s most prestigious art competition is now enjoying her first solo exhibition.

Alice Cornelia won special recognition in the Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival Open competition after impressing judges with the standard of her pieces entitled Back Now and Tip. Expanding on that work, her new exhibition is also called Back Now The 23-year-old from Warrington said “I felt the opportunity offered to the winner of WCAF’s Open competition would be really helpful for me as a young, emerging artist. “It was great to be highly commended; it’s a good feeling when somebody has found an element in your work they find appealing. “It also led on to this, my first solo exhibition, as well as professional practice workshops and useful networking, so it was an all-round positive experience.

“I’ve done quite a few group exhibitions in Glasgow but this is my first solo show, and the first time I’m really pushing the installation and moving image aspect of my practice.”

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Alice Cornelia – ‘Back Now’ Warrington Museum and Art Gallery

Back Now questions boundaries between documentary and fiction, inviting a discussion into the process of representation through collective memory and material reality.

Alice described the body of work as having a “playful relationship between representation and abstraction, and between the moving and still image”.

She said: “The work raises awareness of how little we know about reality through images, and how easily our imagination compensates.”

Intriguingly, when asked what she would say to draw in visitors, Alice added: “Come and spot the balloons!”