Contemporary art exhibitions from: HOME, Air Gallery & Castlefield Gallery

In this weeks blog:

John Walter’s major solo exhibition CAPSID starts at HOME.  and Altrincham’s Air Gallery have timely and poignant solo exhibition from artist Carole Evans  commemorating the 29 dead and the further 20 who died from their wounds, who all came from one street in Altrincham and which was awarded a roll of honour by King George V subsequently it became known as ‘The Bravest Little Street in England’.  Castlefield Gallery feature homelessness, environment and refugee issues in The Ground Beneath Our Feet

Plus snippets of other exhibitions/art you can see in Manchester:

The People’s History Museum have unveiled a mural by street artist Axel Void on the exterior wall overlooking the river Irwell, to mark the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre.

At the same time/day as the John Walter exhibition opens at HOME a new HOME Projects exhibition Darren Nixon – Coming Soon to Your Screen  a site responsive work featuring a large-scale painting over two walls.

PS Mirabel’s new exhibition ‘Tracer and Wedge’ ,Tim Ellis’s ‘Cypher’ at Paper Gallery , and Bunker Gallery have Rufus Biddle’sAdulthood’, curated by Catflap Collective – Saturdays from 10th November

Wigan Open Exhibition 2018 starts at The Old Courts on 16th November

And, for Opera lovers. Opera North have Puccini’s Tosca and operetta The Merry Widow 14 – 17th November

Finally, on Sunday 18th November Sale Arts Trail will have their ‘Yule Do‘ event at St Pauls Church  in Sale with 20+ artists selling arts and crafts you may like for Christmas.



PV Friday 9th 6-8pm Con’t Sat 10 Nov 2018 – Sun 6 Jan 2019

John Walter CAPSID ‘A Virus Walks Into a Bar’ HOME Manchester


HOME are presenting a major solo exhibition by John Walter, CAPSID is a multimedia, maximalist installation occupying the entire gallery space, and develops Walter’s ongoing fascination with the representation of viruses in the visual arts. The exhibition is curated by Bren O’Callaghan, and will be Walter’s largest solo show to date, cocommissioned by HOME, Manchester and CGP London.

Taking the HIV capsid as the starting point of his research, Walter expanded his examination within a broader context of virology. Capsids are the protein shells of a virus, which act to protect, cloak and deliver the virus to its host. CAPSID addresses a crisis of representation surrounding viruses, and presents a new way of viewing and understanding HIV based on the best current scientific knowledge.

John Walter CAPSID ‘Urinal Matt’ HOME Manchester

Perceiving the virus as a ‘sneak’ – a coercive and Machiavellian agent that tricks the host to undertake its malign bidding – Walter unpacks how the process of infection can address the spread of ideas between groups and systems.

Intertwining art, science, allegory and real-life situations, Walter engages with the potential of the body as a means to address issues of transmission, and seeks to bring knowledge and visibility to marginalised topics in contemporary culture, re-articulating and reinventing the representation of viruses in the arts.

John Walter CAPSID ‘Budding (googly eyes)’ HOME Manchester

Walter started conversations with Professor Greg Towers of University College London late 2015 early 2016 to explore this concept. The result transposes the scientific research of capsids onto the broader subject of how culture is transmitted.

CAPSID builds on central themes of Walter’s practice including biology, hospitality and Shonky aesthetics, and follows Walter’s 2015 exhibition Alien Sex Club.

Combining a large body of work, ranging from paintings, drawings, prints, to sculptures, sound and video installations, for his exhibition at HOME, Walter brings together imagery, language and symbols from children’s television and pharmaceutical industry to LGBT culture, science and art history.

John Walter CAPSID ‘GAG’ HOME Manchester

Central to the exhibition is HOME Artist Film commission, A Virus Walks Into A Bar (2018), combining Walter’s fascination with soap opera and surrealism. Set in a classic pub, the film illustrates the journey of an anthropomorphized capsid as it discloses its lethal effects. Performers embody different characters in dual roles, such as the capsid/villain, cell nucleus/barmaid and the cytoplasm/pub regulars. Walter made over 30 costumes for this film, which will be exhibited for the first time at HOME. Each is customised using embroidery, patches and pom-poms.


Air Gallery – The Bravest Little Street in England

PV: Tuesday 13th Nov 18:30-21:00
14-24 November 

The Bravest Little Street in England – Carole Evans – Air Gallery

The Bravest Little Street in England is a solo exhibition by Altrincham artist Carole Evans. It features two new bodies of work which memorialize the brave men from Chapel Street, who failed to return home after the First World War 100 years ago.

Chapel Street received the accolade of “the bravest little street in England” after the town was awarded a Roll of Honour by King George V in 1919. Out of the 161 men who enlisted from the street, 29 failed to return home, and a further 20 died of their wounds. Chapel Street was later razed to the ground in an attempt to clean up the town in the 1950’s. The story of the brave men of Chapel Street was largely forgotten until 2007, when a blue plaque was unveiled on the wall of Phantong Thai, formerly the Grapes Inn, and the last remaining building of Chapel Street.

This exhibition attempts to evoke a memory, and a personal connection, with the brave men who lost their lives. It includes two new bodies of work by the local artist; A Street of Soldiers and At Rest.

A Street of Soldiers is made up of 29 ambrotypes of current male residents of Altrincham, aged between 16 – 47, in order to reflect the ages of the soldiers from Chapel Street who failed to return. Ambrotypes are photographs exposed directly onto glass using the wet plate collodion process, popular in Victorian times; these are taken on a Thornton Pickard camera,built in Altrincham in 1908.

At Rest uses original photographs (of which the artist could only find nine) of the soldiers to create photographic memory objects, a popular method of remembrance in the Victorian era. The artist places herself in the shoes of the women who are left behind, by combining the photographs with crafts such as embroidery and pressed flowers.

The exhibition will also include archival photographs, artefacts and more information on Chapel Street.

Carole will also be running a free Panel and Coffee morning on November 17th from 11am-12.30 with guest speakers Charlotte Czyzyk, (Imperial War Museum North); Stuart Anthony, Descendant of Alfred Oxley, Chapel St and Karen Cliff (Trafford Archives).


The  Ground  Beneath  Your  Feet – Castlefield  Gallery,  Manchester

 PV  6pm-­‐8pm,  Thursday  15  November  2018 – con’t 16th November  2018  –  3  February  2019*

Jane_Lawson-Pink-oyster-mushrooms-detoxifying-Milton-Friedman, 2012 – Ground Beneath Your Feet – Castlefield Gallery

The  Ground  Beneath  Your  Feet  is  part  of  The  With  One  Voice  International  Arts   and  Homelessness  Summit  &  Festival,  in  Manchester  (12-­‐18  Nov  2018).   In  the  context  of  the  refugee  crisis,  rising  homelessness,  environmental  catastrophes,  right-­‐wing  populism   and  the  tragedies  caused  by  deterritorialised  capitalism  many  people  see  themselves,  their  identities  and   sovereignty  under  threat.  This  has  led  to  the  now  familiar  demand  for  stronger  borders,  rather  than  a  call   to  work  across  them  to  deal  with  the  global  challenges  we  face.  With  artists  from  Israel,  Ecuador,  Iran,   Scotland  and  England,  working  with  film,  sculpture,  demonetised  currency,  political  campaigns  and  fungi:   this  exhibition  aims  to  keep  the  conversation  nuanced  at  a  time  when  simple  lies  win  out  against  complex   truths.  Asking  how  we  relate  to,  learn  from  and  are  affected  by  the  ground  beneath  our  feet.

Coproduced  by  Documenta  14  (2017)  and  showing  for  the  first  time  in  Britain,  Roee  Rosen’s  film  The  Dust  Channel  (2016)  features  an  operatic  libretto  conveying  the  devotion  of  a  bourgeois   Israeli  couple  to  their  home-­‐cleaning  appliances  -­‐  in  particular  the  Dyson  DC07  vacuum  cleaner.  The  film   makes  a  figurative  association  between  the  dirt  which  invades  their  home,  the  windswept  sand  of  the   desert  and  asylum  seekers  held  at  the  ‘Holot’  detention  centre:  described  by  Israeli  Prime  Minister,   Benjamin  Netanyahu  as  illegal  workers  attempting  to  infiltrate  the  country.

Michael White, Tin Woodsman and Wolf from the series Believe it because you want to, 2016- – Ground Beneath Your Feet – Castlefield Gallery

Oscar  Santillan’s  The  Intruder  (2015)  presents  ‘the  top  inch  of  England’,  a  small  stone   taken  from  the  3028  ft  summit  of  Scafell  Pike  in  the  Cumbrian  Lake  District.  The  work  reflects  on  the  ways   in  which  humans  have  imposed  their  cultural  categories  over  nature:  the  highest,  the  largest,  the  deepest   etc.    Its  initial  exhibition  at  Copperfield  Gallery,  London  (2015)  sparked  a  variety  of  responses  including   angry  demands  for  its  return,  exposing  the  symbolic  potential  of  a  tiny  piece  of  the  ground.

In  her  pair  of  video  works  Fatherland  (2016)  and  Motherland  (2016),  Tulani  Hlalo   makes  a   solo  pilgrimage  to  see  what  meaning  or  what  connection  might  be  found  as  she  covers  herself  in  the  dry   earth  of  Bulawayo,  Zimbabwe  and  stands  in  the  cold  waters  of  King  Edwards  Bay,  Tynemouth  -­‐  the  birth   places  of  her  parents.  In  the  late  1990s,  towards  the  end  of  Zimbabwe’s  involvement  in  the  Second  Congo   War  and  after  the  confiscation  of  private  farms  from  landowners,  political  and  economic  instability  led  to   a  period  of  hyperinflation.

Michael  White’s   series  of  Indian  ink  and  gouache  on   demonetised  Zimbabwean  banknotes  (2016-­‐  )  depict  characters  from  The  Wonderful  Wizard  of  OZ  -­‐  a   modern  fairy  tale  of  a  journey  to  a  magical  land  which  was  also  intended  to  be  allegorical  of  the  political,   economic,  and  social  events  of  America  in  the  1890s.  In  our  current  era  of  continued  economic  instability
these  works  exemplify  the  complicated  mixture  of  both  objective  and  subjective  forces  which  impact  the   value  of  a  nation’s  currency.

Roee Rosen, 28Dust, Film Still, 2016 – Ground Beneath Your Feet – Castlefield Gallery

Dammam  (2018)  by  Omid  Asadi   is  inspired  by  musical  rituals,  from  the  oil  rich  region  of   southern  Iran,  present  in  religious  ceremonies;  in  particular  funerals.  Asadi’s  performance  involves  a  group   of  people  using  oil  barrels  as  drums  which  leak  oil  onto  a  Persian  carpet  as  they  are  played.

A  new  piece  of   work  being  developed  by  Jane  Lawson   will  draw  on  the  ideas  of  ‘Radical  Mycology’,  which   considers  how  mycorrhizal  networks  -­‐  huge  systems  in  which  fungi  and  plants  exchange  information  and   nutrients  within  and  between  species  -­‐  might  encourage  better  relationships  between  humans  and  their   ecosystem,  seeing  all  beings  as  having  inherent  value  and  interdependence,  regardless  of  their  economic   value.  Previous  work  by  Lawson  has  involved  oyster  mushrooms  -­‐  which  can  clean  up  hydrocarbons  such   as  diesel  –  being  grown  on  printed  copies  of  political  and  literary  works  which  support  the  ideologies  of   neoliberal  capitalism,  as  a  form  of  symbolic  ‘detoxification’.

At  Castlefield  Gallery  the  UK’s  first  Museum  of  Homelessness,  will  present  a  selection  of  stories  and   objects  donated  to  the  collection  during  their  State  of  the  Nation  project.  Objects  were  donated  from  a   wide  mix  of  sources  including  homelessness  workers  and  volunteers,  activists,  and  people  experiencing   different  forms  of  homelessness.  They  showed  what  is  going  on  for  people  in  detention  centres,  in  squats,   in  alternative  communities,  in  hostels,  day  centres  and  on  the  streets  -­‐  highlighting  the  systemic  injustices   that  continue  to  cause  homelessness  at  a  time  when  we  already  have  record  numbers  of  homeless  people   in  the  UK:  a  169%  increase  since  2010.

Keep  it  Complex  is  a  collective  of  cultural  workers  who  formed  during  the  EU  referendum  in  2016,  working   collaboratively  to  run  events,  workshops,  facilitate  discussion  and  create  campaign  materials,  often  using   traditional  artistic  formats  such  as  exhibitions  as  support  structures  for  other  cultural  work.  For  The   Ground  Beneath  Your  Feet  they  will  produce  new  merchandise  and  campaign  materials  with  funds  raised   from  sales  going  towards  their  third  annual  activation,  Nothing  Ever  Changes,  in  January  2019.  A  screen-­‐ printing  workshop  at  Castlefield  Gallery  will  also  aim  to  foster  informal  conversations  about  the  links   between  food,  agriculture,  migration,  feminism  and  work.