Exhibitions, Photography, Design and Frost Fairs – Art in Manchester

This weeks blog is packed full with exhibitions of art, photography and design, along with fairs and things to do. Do check out the dates though. Photo-journalist Alexander Ward exhibition at The Pilcrow starts tonight (Wednesday) Paradise Works ‘Cinema Paradiso‘ tomorrow and a raft of others this weekend including Cross Street Arts, The Whitworth’s Frost Fair and Altrincham’s Open Studios. You can also see ‘Metalcraft’ at Manchester Craft & Design Centre.

Don’t forget the fantastic Martin Parr’s ‘Return to Manchester’ at Manchester Art Gallery.



James Roper – ​​Metanoia ​​

Lauriston Gallery – Waterside Arts – Sale – on until 5th Jan

James Roper – ‘Aurum ex tenebris’


Waterside Arts have launched a solo exhibition by Manchester based  artist, James Roper whose most recent painting, drawing and digital art works will be  brought together in the newly refurbished Lauriston Gallery at Waterside.  Meaning ‘to change one’s mind’ ​Metanoia​​ describes the state the artist intends to  invoke in the viewer; a visual form of limbo where the perceptual shift between abstraction and figurative art is in constant flux.The exhibition features a number of beautifully rendered large-scale canvases from the eponymous series, some of which will be exhibited for the first time at Waterside. Alongside these most recent works, Roper will be showing a number of pieces from the  past series, ​The Inscending Spiral, where the artist explores ideas around film narrative  through his highly accomplished drawing and painting practice.

James Roper ‘Litha 1’

This rich overview of Roper’s recent output will give audiences an insight into the artist’s fertile imagination, allowing them to trace connections between the  interdependent pieces that make up his oeuvre. During the exhibition there will be 3 creative mindfulness workshops that will give  audiences an opportunity to discover more about the artists’ process and personally delve into meditative practices that inform Roper’s artistic vision.

Overseeing the exhibition is Mario Popham, Visual Arts Coordinator and curator who said:  “With its vivid colour palette, unique style and fine execution, James’s work is a visual  feast that engages the viewer immediately. Further viewing reveals a singular  imagination that, through references to popular culture and esoteric mysticism,  somehow succeeds in combining the frivolous with the spiritual and profound.     Rich, both visually and conceptually, James is an artist who has for me revitalised the  painting medium for the 21st ​ Century. I am very excited for this opportunity to present  a survey of his work, past and present in our main gallery space at Waterside that will  give audiences an insight into this inimitable home grown talent. “

Alexander Ward – ‘Living in the Inbetween’

The Pilcrow, Sadlers Yard Manchester

Alexander Ward

Manchester photographer Alexander Ward showcases the refugee and migrant crisis in Greece with his new exhibition ‘Living in the Inbetween’ Ward visited Thessaloniki, Greece in October 2018 to undertake a photojournalism project to document the crisis that has gripped the country.

Working with charities such as IndiGO Volunteers, Helping Hands International, DocMobile and Soul Food operating at the frontline to provide relief, Ward is now exhibiting his work at The Pilcrow in Sadler’s Yard opposite Victoria Station.

Alexander Ward

Ward said: “The morbid reality of the crisis has been well documented, so I wanted to explore the people giving up their time, money and energy to save and rebuild lives. “The most striking thing about the whole experience was the limbo people are in. Unable to return to the violence and oppression of their homeland, but unable to move on. There are so many stories here, about pain and agony, but about the warmth and commitment too. “It’s absolutely my most challenging project to date, in every way it could’ve been. An entirely sobering experience that reminds us of our privilege and appreciation for those at the frontline of helping others.

The exhibition will contain 35 pieces of work and aim to show the limbo that refugees and migrants find themselves in, along with the commitment and attitude of volunteers.

Launch Wednesday 28th Nov 2018, 7pm. – The Pilcrow, Manchester then throughout December.


Cinema Paradiso: HOME Artist Film Weekender Launch – This Thursday

Cinema Paradiso – Paradise Works

Paradise Works have announced ‘Cinema Paradiso an evening of expanded film, video and experimental sound performances to launch HOME’s Artist Film Weekender 2018. Works by an array of international and Manchester-based artists will activate Paradise Works’ dedicated gallery and screening spaces – ranging from single channel video works, to double-screen 16mm film projections and multi-format AV performances.

Cinema Paradiso – Paradise Works

Programmed by PW artist-film maker Chris Paul Daniels, the 2018 edition includes a new performance work by Paradise Works studio member Andrew James Brooks with impaTV. Combining analogue projection, live film, video synthesis, found sound, kinetic sculpture and electronic music, Die Schone Und Das Monster blurs the lines between film, performance, beauty and horror.

Tickets £3 on door, or via HOME box office.
Doors 6.30pm, screening 7-9pm. Dress warm, donations bar, and soup provided!


 Cross Street Gallery – Open Studios & The Deconstructed Cross

1st Dec – 11am – 8pm. Gallery Party 7-9pm

Palette and paint on wall Steven Heaton

Cross Street Arts open their doors to visitors, with their biannual ‘Open Studios’. See the artists workspaces upstairs, and work by associates lining their corridors. Cross Street Arts is home to nearly 40 studio members & associates including past Cotton On Manchester ‘Manc of The Month’ Steven Heaton, Other Art Fair success, David Stanley, Pankhurst in The Park commissioned artist Anna FC Smith and BEEP painting prize shortlisted artist Jane Fairhurst.

They are also hosting a curated exhibition The Deconstructed Cross in their gallery. Selected members have responded to the grade 1 listed St Wilfrids Church, in Standish, from which the collective derived its name. They are exploring the history and architecture of this ancient heart of the community. Evening entertainment to be announced.

Cross Street Arts will also have a stall on the Standish Christmas Market on Cross Street selling affordable works for unique Christmas gifts.


Manchester Craft & Design Centre – Metalsmiths

EXHIBITION : On now. continues to February 2, 2019.
Metalsmiths: A showcase of contemporary metal makers from Yorkshire Artspace.

IC-Sauce Jug-C.Imogen Clarkstone

Metalsmiths features the work of seven contemporary makers, each of whom offer a unique aesthetic quality and showcase a range of techniques and processes in their work.From the clean scores and folds to manipulated sheet silver in Imogen Clarkstone’s tableware and functional objects, through to Helena Russell’s work in silver and base metals influenced by ceramics, Metalsmiths is a celebration of the excellent craftsmanship nutured at Yorkshire Artspace.

Metalsmiths – Manchester Craft & Design Centre

Exhibiting artists:

Suzanne Berry, Imogen Clarkstone, Elizabeth Handforth, Francisca Onumah, Helena Russell, Charlotte Tollyfield, Aoife White.

AoifeWhite-Bloom Vase Detailing-C.Martin Smith

Altrincham Open Studios

Altrincham’s Open Studio

Altrincham Open studios have recently moved to a new expanded location at 20 Stamford Street, Altrincham. To celebrate this and to launch both the studios and their Christmas Exhibition they are having a launch party on Saturday 1st December at 7pm.

Altrincham Open Studios

You may know they have provided classes and workshops for many groups of people ,allowing the artist’s community in Altrincham to grow and flourish, and are providing classes for various groups of vulnerable adults and young people , specifically autistic spectrum groups, allowing them to find strengths and talents in art and technology, so flourishing. We also provide groups and classes to help people with their health and well being.

Altrincham Open Studios

With a large community of artists and makers connected with the studios this new exhibition will be a collection of selected work by local artists and makers and members and will be celebrating their new facilities and the new opportunities the location provides.

Saturday 1st December 7pm – 20, Stamford New Road, Altrincham, WA14 0EJ.


Hepworth Prize for Sculpture

Cerith Wyn Evans Hepworth Prize for Sculpture 2018 Danny Lawson PA Wire

The second Hepworth Prize for Sculpture has been awarded to Cerith Wyn Evans. The winner was announced at an award dinner at The Hepworth Wakefield.

The £30,000 prize, which recognises a British or UK-based artist of any age, at any stage in their career, who has made a significant contribution to the development of contemporary sculpture, was presented by The Hepworth Wakefield’s chair, Alice Rawsthorn OBE.

Simon Wallis said: ‘The judges found all of the artists’ exhibitions incredibly strong and compelling in different ways, capturing the vitality of sculpture being made today. It was very difficult for them to choose an overall winner. Cerith has been a hugely influential artist for over thirty years, and his recent work has been truly exceptional, extending the possibilities of what sculpture can be. The judges thought that the work he has made at The Hepworth Wakefield exemplifies this through its sensitivity to the site, integrating ephemeral and elemental forces to powerful emotional effect.’

Wyn Evans first came to attention in the 1980s as an experimental filmmaker and collaborator across artistic disciplines, including dance and performance. His sculptural works combine ideas and influences from art, history, philosophy and science in order to transform our perception of the world around us. He is perhaps best known for his elegant neon text works that mine a particular fascination with language and light.

The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture exhibition is on display at The Hepworth Wakefield until 20 January 2019. The exhibition features work by shortlisted artists Michael Dean, Mona Hatoum, Phillip Lai, Magali Reus and Cerith Wyn Evans.


The Whitworth welcomes winter with a weekend of free events Saturday 1 & Sunday 2 December 2018, 11am – 7pm

Frost Fair 2018 – The Whitworth

This December, The Frost Fair returns to the Whitworth, part of The University of Manchester, in celebration of the circus, marking 250 years of this popular art form that began in Britain.

The Frost Fair promotes art and togetherness, encouraging gallery visitors, the local community and members of the whole family to come together and enjoy winter at the Whitworth.

Baron Bazaar – champion of the stupendous spectacle, master of the most marvellous merry making and courageous collector of the curious – has returned from his long overdue quest to find the Supreme Celebration. Throughout his travels he has encountered a practically perfect pack of performers. Now for two days only, the Baron showcases this collected celebratory circus. So, prepare yourself and witness the greatest exhibition of excitement on Earth. Get ready for Baron Bazaar’s Bewildering Brouhaha at The Frost Fair!

The two-day programme of free activities will include circus performances from the Travelling Light Circus, live music from DJ’s and performers including Mr Wilson’s Second Liners. The Circus House presents Circus Baby for non-walking babies and their grown-ups, ‘Have-A-Go’ Circus Skills workshop, live trapeze performances and roaming stilt walkers throughout the weekend. The Art Garden will be transformed into an outdoor cinema after dusk and the Whitworth grounds will feature an array of craft market stalls from local artisans, delicious international street food pop ups, a seasonal beer bar and vintage fairground amusements.

Walk The Plank, one of the UK’s foremost outdoor arts companies, will transform the front of the Whitworth into a fiery courtyard and will mark the finale of the weekend with an enthralling firework display on Sunday evening. Hands on activities are on offer throughout the weekend, providing entertaining, lively and interactive spaces for all ages to enjoy