BeesBlogs Art2c in Manchester

BeesBlogs Art2c in Manchester has more Spring Art2c. In addition to my two blogs earlier this month BeesBlogs has more  new exhibitions for art lovers in Manchester and the North West.

Joe O’Rourke – PS Mirabel | Hannah Wooll – Paper Gallery | Then There Was Us & Aaron Hansford – Sloe Gallery | Kate Haywood – MAG | Annie Swynnerton Retrospective – MAG | Alison Wilding – The Whitworth | OA Studios Life Drawing Classes |


ALISON WILDING – The Whitworth

Alison Wilding – In a Dark Wood, 2012 and Disposition, 1999 – Courtesy of Karsten Schubert, London – installation at The Whitworth 2018


Curator: Sam Lackey: 16 Feb -12 August 2018

Turner Prize nominee and Royal Academician Alison Wilding presents works spanning the past 20 years of her career. This new show at the Whitworth will comprise of three major sculptures, including one, Disposition,  from her 1998 series of 16 scenes from The Passion of Christ, gifted to the Arts Council Collection in 2006. Additionally the exhibition will present for the first time ‘In a DarkWood’, a sculpture created in 2012 but never previously shown and Largo, 2002.

Alison Wilding – Photo by Toby Coulson

She will also create a  new iteration of recent work,Reversing, 2017, a hand-printed wallpaper that rework William Morris Acanthus motif asymmetrically, fixing it visually and physically to the wall with a sharp-edged brass sculpture.

Alison Wilding studied at Nottingham College of Art from 1967 to 1968, Ravensbourne College of Art and Design, Bromley, Kent from 1968 to 1971 and subsequently at the Royal

Alison Wilding – Largo, 2002 (Private Collection) and In a Dark Wood, 2012 – Courtesy of Karsten Schubert, London – installation at The Whitworth 2018 _2

College of Art, London from 1971 to 1973. She was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1992 and received a Henry Moore Fellowship for The British School at Rome in 1998.


‘Places I Want To Be’ by Joe O’Rourke


Joe O’Rourke – ‘Places I Want To Be’


Joe O’Rourke explains the theme behind his new exhibition:

“This exhibition presents my work accompanied by the work of other artists I have selected: Alex Weir, Jake Russell, John Brown, Jesse Rivers, Ned Armstrong, Harry Frost, Linda Hemmersbach, Thomas Musgrove, Theo Christy, Gregor Horne. I came across the theme at work, in my cafe job, just from thinking about places I wanted to be. In my studio painting, back at art school, on holiday swimming in the sea with my girlfriend, playing football with mates. It’s a simple idea, but I kept on thinking about it and its resulted in this exhibition.

Throughout our lives we all think about other places that we want to be, whether they are real or fictional. From wanting to live in the world of Harry Potter as a kid, to wanting to live in the Costa del Sol once you have grandkids. The emotion of wanting to be somewhere else is hard to understand in yourself. Are you being ungrateful with what you have, a case of the grass is always greener? Or, is it genuinely an honest wanting to be somewhere better for yourself and others, why else would you go there in your dreams? Even if we are thinking of a real place, is it real in the way that we think of it? We all form attachments to real places through real experiences, but the places that we think about being, and how we imagine or remember those places to be, can be formed and shaped by many things including films, television, books, music, food, art, and advertising. Sights, smells, sounds and tastes all have the ability to represent places and to take us in our minds to somewhere else”.

Joe O’Rourke – ‘Places I Want To Be’

“I invited artists to respond to the title ‘Places I Want To Be’. The exhibition presents these responses in their variety. There are paintings that are born from memories and nostalgia. There are paintings that comically draw from idealised representations of places. There are paintings that express a place you wouldn’t want to be. There are paintings that are themselves a place; made from the materials of a place, that place being the studio, the studio being the place they want to be. The show also features some collaborative works by myself with Jake Russell and Alex Weir, two friends that I graduated with in June from Edinburgh College of Art. Over the past month we have kept in touch by doing some collaborations by post. I think of this process itself as responding to the theme, as making work with each other back at art school is a place we three want to be”

Annie Swynnerton Painting Light and Hope – Manchester Art Gallery

23 February 2018 – 6 January 2019

Annie Swynnerton Sense of Sight – Courtesy Walker Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery presents the first retrospective for nearly a century of the Manchester born, Victorian painter Annie Swynnerton (1844-1933), a pioneering professional artist who challenged convention in art and life.

Annie Swynnerton was elected the first female Associate Member of the Royal Academy in 1922 through the endorsement of established Academicians John Singer Sargent and George Clausen. Although this recognition came late for an artist with an international reputation, the ground breaking accolade prompted a major exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery in 1923 and ensured her legacy.

Painting Light and Hope features 30 paintings from across Swynnerton’s career, including 11 from Manchester Art Gallery’s collection with further loans from public galleries including the Royal Academy Collection, Tate and the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. The exhibition will also feature a number of rarely seen paintings on loan from private collections.

Montagna Mia 1934.13, Annie Louisa Swynnerton A.R.A. 1200

Portraits showing the artist’s Manchester connections open the exhibition including Susan Dacre, with whom she co-founded the Manchester Society of Women Painters, and the Reverend William Gaskell, husband of novelist Elizabeth Gaskell. The exhibition also brings together landscapes, allegorical works and later portraits. They reveal her as a continually inventive artist who engaged with current art movements and forged her own independent style shaped by her experience of light and colour in Italy.

Swynnerton first visited Rome in 1874, living for extended periods there between 1883 and 1910. The impact of Italy comes through in the vibrant colours and gestural paint of her portrayals of women that are a highlight of this exhibition. She represented women of all ages and walks of life, challenging conventions of beauty and capturing female power, strength, hope and potential at a time when women’s roles and opportunities were changing. Her shimmering nudes, winged figures and portraits of suffragettes show the importance of female networks and solidarity to Swynnerton’s art. Her portrait of suffragist Dame Millicent Fawcett, founder of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies, will be on loan from Tate.

The Reverend William Gaskell 1914.1, Annie Louisa Swynnerton A.R.A 1200.

As well as being a successful artist, Swynnerton was a passionate supporter of women’s right to vote for over three decades, signing the Declaration in Favour of Women’s Suffrage in 1889 and a claim for women’s suffrage in 1897, both organised by the Central Committee for the National Society for Women’s Suffrage. She also campaigned for better opportunities for women artists, setting up the Manchester Society of Women Painters, challenging the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts to open up membership, exhibitions and training to women. Travelling with Isabel Dacre in the 1870s and 1880s to study art and attend art classes at progressive institutions such as the Académie Julian in Paris, Swynnerton was part of a pioneering generation of women who travelled to further their artistic studies.

Swynnerton exhibited internationally, including at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris in 1905.  This brought her to the attention of Auguste Rodin who praised her work. Like Rodin, in her later paintings Swynnerton experimented with figurative abstraction.  Manchester Art Gallery’s Rodin sculptures Eve and The Age of Bronze will be on display during the exhibition run.

Alison Smith, Lead Curator, British Art to 1900, Tate says: “Manchester Art Gallery’s exhibition on Annie Swynnerton is much anticipated and long overdue. As a painter of ambitious figurative subjects and a forthright campaigner for female suffrage, she forged a bold style of painting that bordered on abstraction. Her powerful compositions and vibrant use of colour were admired by some of the most famous artists of the day including Rodin, Sargent and Burne-Jones. Now we have the opportunity to admire Swynnerton’s achievement in what will be the first major exhibition of her work since 1923.”


Kate Haywood – Manchester Arts Gallery


Since graduating just four years ago, Kate Haywood has emerged as one of the UK’s most distinctive and imaginative new ceramicists, showing at leading venues in the UK and abroad. She makes intriguing, surreal sculptures in finely modelled porcelain with colourful textiles, glass and metallic elements. Frequently inspired by found objects from long ago and far away, Haywood’s works are designed to engage our imagination and senses.


Hannah Wooll’s Interior World – PAPER Gallery

Hannah Wooll’s ‘Interiors World’ – Photo Credit the Artist

Hannah Wooll’s Interior World explores the domestic space, interior life and the value associated with related objects and artworks. Her recent practice relies on junk-shop sourced found media; starkly-lit, contrived photographs lifted from the pages of outmoded craft manuals set against incongruous ink painted figures. She plays with scale, splicing and assembling, both referencing and deconstructing the original image. The effect is an off-kilter technicolour film-set, maximizing the potential of contrived images freed from their intended context.

Hannah’s women appear awkward yet untroubled by their unnatural surroundings, acknowledging the style and era of the books with which she works, as well as the individual women that have pored over these home craft books filled with arguably outdated feminine pursuits and domestic recreation. The dreamlike and static qualities of the work are due to Hannah taking advantage of the duplicity of unnatural lighting, allowing a two-dimensional feel, lending a lack of naturalism. We swiftly become caught up in these quietly absurd moments, the image paused; melodramatic fragments of still and uneasy tension.


OA Studios – Life Drawing Classes


OA Studios – Life Drawing Class

If you want to update or try out your life drawing skills, OA Studios have launched a regular classes every  2nd and 4th Sunday of the month starting  Sunday 25th February. £5 (Bring your own materials) Lasting 2 hours and poses lasting from 30 secs to 30 mins. Link to info: Here



‘And Then There Was’ | ‘Through The Over Exposed Mind of Ruby’

Curated by Then There Was Us – Sloe Gallery

SLOE Gallery present a double-bill opening of two new exhibitions: ‘Through the Over Exposed Mind of Ruby’, an exhibition of photography curated by visual culture zine Then There Was Us and photography journal Through The Eyes Of Ruby, and ‘Synaesthesia’, a solo show of installation, photography and audio-visual artwork by artist Arron Hansford.

‘And Then There Was’ is an ongoing collaboration between SLOE Gallery and ‘Then There Was Us’, an independent Manchester-based zine exploring visual culture through the medium of photography, illustration and graphic design.

‘Then There Was Us’ curate their second exhibition at SLOE Gallery with ‘Through The Eyes Of Ruby’, a photographic journal by Owen Godbert & Ste Fletcher, documenting the current underground music scene in Britain.

Their exhibition ‘Through the Over Exposed Mind of Ruby’ presents a series of photographs taken throughout 2017 and 2018 and printed by Owen and Ste in the darkroom at Stills Gallery, Edinburgh.

“The project summed up so far – DIY, long trips on the Megabus, film processing in the kitchen, sneaking in gigs for free, evacuating venues, being thrown out of festivals, not having a clue what’s going on, pints of wine, The Kinks, avoiding security, beer soaked rolls of film, broken cameras and very hung over dark room days.”

Synaesthesia – Arron Hansford

‘Synaesthesia’ is a solo exhibition by artist Arron Hansford, exploring the boundaries and limitations of photography through installation, print and audio-visual artwork.

Testing the limitations of both the art world and the human mind, Arron explores the boundaries and transitions between two states. Working across various disciplines, the exhibition aims to create a discourse on the possibilities of particular artistic media, whilst simultaneously suggesting what may come next as these boundaries are pushed.

Arron Hansford is a visual and audio artist based in Manchester. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degree, his research is currently investigating the artistic limitations and collaborative boundaries of photography.