Manchester Contemporary Art May – One

Manchester Contemporary Art for May – One


This May kicks off with more great Contemporary art in Manchester with a new exhibition, Ground Evolution, from Susan Gunn which previews at HOME, Manchester on 4th May. We also have the latest in the Saul Hay Gallery series of curated talks with artists showing in their current exhibition ‘Manipulate. Curated by Art Across’ Sara Riccardi these discussions, with the artists sharing insights into their work, discuss with Riccardi how art of the last century can also be seen to use manipulation. (You might also want to make a note that Sara of Art Across, will be presenting a series of art history courses at Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery at the same time that the GM Arts Prize exhibition is on in May.)  OA Studios have their latest exhibition ‘to board a plane’  previewing on 3rd May explores, among other things,  censorship in China.

Manchester contemporary art covers the 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester and, If you fancy a trip to Rochdale for your contemporary art fix, why not take in a new exhibition at Touchstones. LORE: And the Living Archive explores British folk culture and three artists, Photographer, Bryony Bainbridge; printmaker and poet, Natalie Reid, and multimedia artist, Anna FC Smith respond to artefacts from the Doc Rowe Archive and Collection. (starts 5th May)

Manchester contemporary art: you can still see these exhibitions which are still on: more information on my earlier blog HERE

Susan Gunn – Ground Evolution – HOME – PV Friday 4th May

Susan Gunn draws inspiration from the changing evolution of the city and events that take place around her. Greater Manchester is the focus of a modern-day renaissance. A city with a rich history as the epicentre of the industrial revolution, it is presently undergoing a significant period of flux and development. Peppered with high-rise residential and commercial new builds, the artist’s own studio occupies a soon to be redeveloped site on Greengate.

Manchester contemporary art
Susan Gunn


For this exhibition Gunn has harvested earth, concrete and stone from the St John’s site at Old Granada Studios where the new Rem Koolhaas designed Factory arts building will be built. A historical site of invention and budding creativity forms the concept and idea behind new, experimental work included in this show. Earth excavated from this area has been subject to a mechanical process to transform it into a dust resembling pigment.

New works included in this exhibition are a contemporary monument to the history of the materials. In no way nostalgic, they express a literal connection to the earth and a primal, human ability to regenerate, recycle and transform: a celebration of reinvention and evolution.

Manipulate Art Across History. A curated conversation. Thursday 3rd May 6.30pm


Join art historian Sara Riccardi and artists exhibiting in our current exhibition, Manipulate, at the latest in our popular Art Across curated conversations.

Through the manipulation of shape, marks, composition and material the artists involved evoke a strong sense of mood, emotion and place, working in painting, collage, sculpture, print and video,

The artists will share a conversation and offer insightful presentations about their work, while Sara will expand on the connections between the contemporary works and the different forms of manipulation expressed in the past century.

Artists in conversation: Gareth Griffiths | Steven Heaton |
Martyn Lucas | Georgia Noble | Stephen Snoddy

Tickets £8 including refreshments


OA Studios – to board a plane – PV Thursday 3rd May until 17th May

Contemporary Art
OA Studios – to board a plane


To board a plane’ is a phrase banned on social media in China due to its association with the Chinese term ‘to ascend the throne’.

This group exhibition of mixed media work by postgraduate students and staff from Manchester School of Art and the University of Salford responds to the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art’s (CFCCA) recent exhibition ‘NOW: A dialogue on female Chinese contemporary artists’.

To Board a Plane explores the notion of dystopia, with artists reflecting on censorship in China, the oppression women face in the current global climate, and the rapidly evolving relationship between humans and machines.

Contemporary Art
OA Studios

Artists include: Michele Friswell, Benjamin Green, Pauline Kaushal, Beccy Kennedy, Zhen Li and Keith Bloody Mary.

Lore And The Living Archive:

Touchstones Rochdale, 5 May – 30 June 2018

contemporary art
HobbyHorse, _Anna FC Smith


Lore And The Living Archive sees three emerging artists respond to artefacts in the Doc Rowe Archive and Collection, thought to be the largest, most comprehensive of its kind in the world.

Photographer, Bryony Bainbridge; printmaker and poet, Natalie Reid, and multimedia artist, Anna FC Smith, contemplate what place traditions have in contemporary society and how they influence the communities in which they originate. The artists also consider the role of the archivist and how his presence at some events has become as anticipated and revered as the tradition itself.

The original artworks will be displayed alongside a curated selection of artefacts, film and photography from the Archive that illustrate customs from across the British Isles and complement the themes explored through the new artworks.

Doc Rowe has been documenting the customs of the British Isles for much of his life, including an annual pilgrimage to Padstow’s May Day since 1963. His passion – or habit – has seen him amass an enviable archive and collection which is currently housed in Whitby. This living archive, growing year on year, charts the rise, decline and revival of many of our calendar customs.

Contemporary art
Natalie Reid

The exhibition will be accompanied by a Wakes Day celebration at the Gallery on Saturday 26 May 2018, with more information to follow.

Project manager, Stephanie West, says: “Doc Rowe’s archive is of national importance and significance. The sheer volume of audio and video material documenting British folk culture is unmatched by any other collection in the country, and for the first time, we have the opportunity to understand its continuing relevance by opening it up to artist interpretation.

“The exhibition will allow us to explore the role of the folklorist and collector in the present day, and how intangible traditional customs can be ‘preserved’ for future reflection and artistic contemplation.”

Lore And The Living Archive will run alongside a new commission from Magnus Quaife. A food riot in 18th century Manchester meets the iconic, near-revolution of Paris 1968 in Manchester-based artist, Magnus Quaife’s newly-commissioned, multi-dimensional voyage into civil disobedience, language and unsung folk heroes. Quaife draws first on the legend of oft-forgotten Milnrow school master John Collier, known by the pseudonym, Tim Bobbin.