George Orwell tribute in Castlefield and Placebo at The Lowry – BeesBlogs Art in Manchester

George Orwell in Manchester? Saul Hay  shortlisted by Northern Soul for Small Business of the Year 2018, present their latest exhibition ‘Room 103 – a visual tribute to George Orwell‘ and the great mans son Richard Blair will be at the opening on 6th October. We also have international contemporary dance at The Lowry with Placebo. Risa Takita at The Portico and Charwei Tsai and Mandy Barker at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art

Important Diary Note: 

Aviva Investors Manchester Art Fair 12 -14th October Manchester Central


“Room 103: a visual tribute to George Orwell”

11th October to 11th November. Preview 11th October 18:00 – 20:30

George Orwell
Clare Ferguson-Walker – Sorrowful Siren

Saul Hay Gallery will be opening their “Room 103”, containing paintings, sculpture, and video works paying tribute to the work of writer and journalist George Orwell.

George Orwell
Glen Ibbitson Target blackbox

The themes which artists have investigated in this work include issues arising from surveillance techniques, artistic resistance to state repression and the preservation of individual liberties and freedom of expression.

George Orwell
Alan Pergusey fortress

Curator and exhibiting artist Glenn Ibbitson says “in these times of fake news and false media narratives, we need Orwell’s exemplar of moral integrity more than ever. He has set the conversational pattern amongst my artist friends for several years now, so I decided last year to test the waters and propose a tribute to him. This took the form of an online gallery blog, where like-minded makers could display any work reflecting ‘Orwellian themes’, or art which in some way bears the influence of his writing. From the beginning, I saw this as a virtual window display to attract the attention of a gallery. Ian and Catherine, who operate Saul Hay lent their support at a very early stage.”

George Orwell
Roberto_Cambi The Bird Charmer

The catalogue of works includes contributions from artists from the United States, Italy and Catalonia, reflecting Orwell’s international importance.

Orwell’s son, Richard Blair, is to open the preview at 6pm on October 11th.



THE POWER OF PLACEBO The Lowry, Salford 11th – 13th October



Placebo will see seven dancers reckon with the ‘placebo effect’ questioning what makes us feel better? What is fake and what is real?  Placebo is directed by Suzy Willson, features original music by Paul Clark and costumes by ART SCHOOL

George Orwell
CLOD ‘Placebo’ Credit Camilla Greenwell

The ‘placebo response’ describes an effect which occurs when a person is given a ‘fake’ or ‘inactive’ treatment but experiences an improvement in health regardless. Scientific research has shown that the colour or size of pills can impact on their effectiveness, that sham surgery can create lasting pain relief, and that the ‘performance’ of the doctor can impact on medical outcomes. Some placebo treatments have now been shown to create measurable physiological change in the brain and the immune system.

George Orwell
Placebo, Clod Ensemble Image credit Manuel Vason. Costume credit Art School_preview

What are the ramifications of this research for the way we think about and practice healthcare? Is modern medicine making the most of the power of placebo?

George Orwell
CLOD ‘Placebo’ Credit Camilla Greenwell

The Power of Placebo brings together scientists, artists, architects, ethicists, writers and anthropologists, to explore how our attitudes, beliefs, relationships, rituals and environments can affect our health for better or for worse.


Asia Triennial Manchester 2018 event


Rita Takita ‘BIND’ The Portico Library


Risa Takita at The Portico Library

Dancer, artist and curator Risa Takita has developed a new interactive performance through research into the history of Manchester with James Moss, Exhibitions Curator at The Portico Library. Specially commissioned for Asia Triennial Manchester 2018, Risa’s new work raises questions about the meaning of identity, history and culture and draws inspiration and insight from the library’s connections with the wider world over the last three centuries.


Charwei Tsai and Mandy Barker at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art

PV 11th October Exhibition continues until January 2019


Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art

Continuing ‘A Season for Change’, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art present two solo exhibitions that explore climate change and social responsibility.

In her first UK solo exhibition – ‘Bulaubulau’ – Taiwanese artist Charwei Tsai shows a series of works exploring the relationship between humans and nature, drawing on the sustainable and traditional practices of indigenous communities in Taiwan. The exhibition includes installation, film, photography, ink drawings and a new video commission documenting eco-living in three indigenous communities in Taiwan.

Hong Kong Soup is an award winning photographic project from UK artist Mandy Barker which demonstrates, with ironic beauty, the extent of plastic in our oceans.

PV (Both exhibitions) 6pm to 8pm Thursday 11 October.

Exhibitions run from 12 October 2018 – 20 January 2019, 10am to 5pm (closed Mondays)



Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival Open 2018

Arts festival competition entries labelled best ever at launch night

Warrington Contempoarary Arts Open 2018 Winner Marie Jones

The entries for this year’s Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival Open have been labelled the best ever at a celebration of this year’s competition. Nearly 300 artists and photographers submitted work to the competition and collectively generated the highest standard of work seen in the history of the event.

Now in its eighth year, WCAF18 has for the first time been able to offer a whopping £2,000 in prize money which it is hoped will help catapult the winning artist’s career into the professional sphere.

Martina Murphy, cultural manager for Culture Warrington, the charity which runs WCAF and Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, said she was blown away by the standard of work submitted. “I can honestly say I was wowed by the quality of entries we received this year,” she said.

Winner Marie Jones with Warrington Culture Chair Martina Banner

“The standard just keeps getting better and better and this year, perhaps thanks to the significant increase in winnings, I believe we have attracted the best artists and photographers in the area; the entries have undoubtedly surpassed previous standards.

“I hope the £2,000 will now provide the winner – the very deserving Marie Jones – with a real opportunity to make that next step on her career path.”

Marie Jones, who lives in Chapelford, said “I’m very excited and I feel so very grateful to be chosen from what is a really strong show.