Manchester’s ‘Buzzin’ art scene


‘Buzzin’ Manchester’s contemporary art scene certainly is! After a fantastic week in which we saw the George Owells son Richard Blair, open Saul Hay Gallery’s latest exhibition ‘Room 103’ Aviva Investors Manchester Art Fair at Manchester Central, which was the best yet. (The fair continues to get better every year and is firm favourite on the Manchester art calendar), we also had Paradise Works Open 2018 and the re-launch of Rogue Artists Studios. (Latest Exhibition ‘Manifesto on until December)I’m sure all involved must be absolutely shattered as all the above mentioned, plus Castlefield Gallery, Asia Triennial, Contemporary Six, Venture Arts, Artzu, all spent the weekend exhibiting/assisting at the Aviva art fair. Respect!!

In today’s blog we have a number of events happening over this weekend, so apologies for short notice.

Zellij Arts

Saima Rasheed Walk to School II

Public Workshop: “An Introduction to Indo- Persian Miniature Painting”
Saturday 20th October 12 – 5pm

The workshop will provide an introduction to Indo- Persian Miniature Painting. Led by the artist Saima Rasheed you will create your own bespoke miniature style painting using traditional techniques; tea stained paper, gouache and gold leaf.

All materials will be provided and no prior experience required! (Free, book through Eventbrite). Places are limited so book quickly to avoid disappointment!

The afternoon will begin the afternoon by eating a light lunch together (please let us know if you have any dietary requirements or allergies). Tea and coffee will be provided throughout the day. It is expected to be finished by 5pm.


Asia Triennial 2018

Jai Chuhan  – 12:00 – 20:00 to Sunday 21st Oct HOME

Jai Chuhan

Connecting with her solo show Refuge at Gallery Oldham (Sat 15 Sep – Sat 24 Nov), Jai Chuhan will spend a week making paintings in our main gallery in an open studio, an immersive space suffused with colour and sound. She will create an evolving sculptural installation that changes every day within the architectural environment of the gallery.

Naomi Kashiwagi – 14:00 – 16:00 19th Oct Manchester Catherdral

Naomi Kashiwagi Gramaphonics credit Chris Paul

An immersive ceremony of sound and space as an exploration and expression of the artist’s biracial heritage, an intrinsic fusion of two cultures, British and Japanese.

Coaxing and illuminating a hybrid poetic and spiritual essence within performative rituals, music, sounds, movements and spaces, in the liminal and awe-inspiring Manchester Cathedral.

Image Credit: Naomi Kashiwagi, ‘Gramophonica’ – photo credit Chris Paul Daniels (2015)

Romina de Novellis – 13:00 – 16:00  Manchester Cathedral

The idea of Europe is under threat. Brexit will see the UK separate itself from Europe, while global conflict, often the legacy of European colonialisation, has created an influx of refugees trying to enter Europe, all of which has contributed to the growing power of the political far-right. With Na Cl O, Romina De Novellis uses a torn European flag to literally wash the floor, metaphorically washing away the problems of the present and the past, a deliberately futile gesture that highlights these ongoing political tensions and the potential breakdown of international relations.

Romina De Novellis artistic work is on the concept of the body in terms of public processions, installed in urban spaces and followed by the gaze of passers-by. Gesture is at the center of these paintings that come to life through her body. Her aim is to show how a state of trance, alienation and madness, can manifest on the body, especially in the precarious human conditions that exist on the margins of society (related to employment, wide social networks, and family). Women, Saints, Daughters, Icons of everyday life, the protagonists of Romina De Novellis’s work originate from her studies in anthropology and ethnomusicology.

Romina De Novellis Na CI O Something Else Biennial Cairo credit DeNovellis Bordin 2015


Image Credit: 1 Romina De Novellis, Na Cl O, Something Else Biennale Cairo, 2015, credit photo De Novellis Bordin 2015


LANDMARKS: The Gallery at St. George’s House Bolton

Kate Davies, Sarah Feinmann, Maggie Hargreaves and Fiona Moate.

20th October – 10th January 

Sarah Feinmann ‘Beached’

Collage and works on paper or canvas reflect the processes at work in our environment; the ways in which nature supports life and the ways in which time and people put their mark on nature. This exhibition looks at nature itself as well as at the traces, erosions and edifices, from wheel tracks to monuments, fences to hill figures: the results of time, history and people’s interactions with their surroundings.


Each artist brings a unique focus to the exhibition: Kate Davies looks at the overlooked and insignificant parts of the worked landscape and at the tracks and traces, sticks and stones which mark the land; Sarah Feinmann’s work uses juxtapositions of used and worn scraps and fragments of paper to examine the nature of time, memory, change and erosion; Maggie Hargreaves is interested in the natural environment and how the interactions within it enable it to function as a habitat for all; and Fiona Moate makes semi abstract paintings, which incorporate landscape elements, from ancient monuments to architectural landmarks.



Pauline Wiltshire | Maurice Taylor | Lindi Kirwin – World Peace Café, Chorlton

On now until December




The work of three young, rising artists has been chosen for public display at Manchester Art Gallery, following a rigorous selection process by The Manchester Contemporary Art Fund over the weekend (Oct 12 – 14).

How Much Life is Enough – Juno Calypso, represented by TJ Boulting

Each piece, selected from hundreds of exhibiting artists, explores issues surrounding identity and belonging. The pieces provoke conversation by harnessing topical issues and celebrating historical and iconic object forms.

True to the Fund’s objective – to support young artists and provide them with a money-can’t-buy platform through which to achieve critical acclaim and greater popularity – the deserved winners, 27 year old Benoit Aubard from Paris, Juno Calypso aged 29 from London and 34 year old Ian McIntyre from Yorkshire, are all first-time exhibitors in the city and at a crucial stage in their career as they seek to gain public attention.

Speaking on behalf of The Manchester Contemporary Art Fund, Aviva Investors Manchester Art Fair CEO Thom Hetherington, said: “The Manchester Contemporary Art Fund is passionate about providing the people of Manchester with the opportunity to enjoy works from the most relevant contemporary artists.”

Homesick – Benoit Aubard, represented by Jerome Nivet-Carzon

“This year’s recipients have produced outstanding works which will be at home as part of Manchester Art Gallery’s public collection. People sometimes know Manchester Art Gallery for its historical collections, but it’s important to remember that all art was contemporary once, and that Manchester Art Gallery must constantly acquire significant pieces which respond to our lives now, to ensure that it remains relevant for centuries to come.

“We hope the pieces we have chosen will encourage the public to reflect on their own identity and that of Manchester, from the city’s industrial revolution to social challenges we face today – the works really do each have a piece of Manchester within them.”

First to be selected at Friday’s exclusive preview of The Manchester Contemporary and Manchester Art Fair was the work of Parisian Artist, Benoit Aubard, represented by French gallery Galerie Nivet-Carzon.

Recognised for combining objects with words and a use of poetry to create works that comment on the ongoing challenges faced by modern society, Aubard’s chosen piece – Homesick, is a poignant text-based work, seeing a single powerful word sprayed directly on to a bedsheet found on the streets of Paris.

London-based photographer Juno Calypso’s piece – How Much Life is Enough, explores performative identity within the confines of a highly gendered space.

Shooting alone in a nuclear bunker 26 stories underground, the double self-portrait sees the artist feature twice in both a male and female bathroom.

Re-engineered Brown Betty Teapot – Ian McIntyre, represented by Airspace Gallery

Representing Calypso and speaking on the significance of the selection was gallerist Hannah Watson, Co-founder of exhibiting gallery TJ Boulting, representing young and emerging female artists. Watson said: “It is great because she is a young artist and it is the first time she has been admitted into Manchester Art Gallery’s public collection. She is an up and coming star … so hopefully this is the beginning of Juno coming to Manchester and doing other things in the city. If she does a talk you have to come and see her, she is brilliant.”

The final piece selected is the result of a three-year project by Manchester School of Art PHD student, Ian McIntyre. The artist worked with Airspace Gallery as part of a residency exploring revitalisation strategies for British industry. His piece – Re-engineered Brown Betty Teapot, explores how the humble teapot has evolved over the past 300 years and outlines the unquantifiable impact industry can have on a city like Stoke-On-Trent.

Speaking on the selection, Kate Jesson, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Manchester Art Gallery, said: “Great contemporary art speaks on the time within which it is created, the pieces we have selected are proof that themes around identity and belonging can be explored without needing pictures of people.

“The collection belongs to the people of Manchester, so it is really important that our selection speaks to all people in some way.”


Artist Frances Disley Joins board of Trustees at Castlefield Gallery

Frances Disley

Originally from Warrington, Frances lives and works in Liverpool. She is Manager of the Bluecoat Print Studio and has been a Lecturer in Fine Art at Liverpool Hope University for the past 5 years. Frances was Director of The Royal Standard from 2012-14 where she continues to be a studio holder, and was co-director of MODEL from 2014-2017. From 2016 to 2018 she was a Liverpool Biennial Associate artist.

Frances Disley, says, “I am excited to be joining the board at Castlefield Gallery, an organisation that I know is instrumental in supporting artists at all stages of their careers. I am particularly interested in how Castlefield Gallery can help grow, support and enable the artist community within the region, with particular reference to developing and sustaining your practice, and especially their work with artists at a similar career stage to myself.  Being based in Liverpool and having been involved with the development of opportunities for artists here over the years, I am positive I can bring a lot to the role, especially given Castlefield Gallery’s commitment to the artist community operating across the region.”

Frances will have a lead role on the Board of Trustees in the area of artistic and career development, complementing the activities of our artist representative Ian Rawlinson and the Castlefield Gallery team.

Frances joins our Trustees at an extremely exciting time as we look towards 2024 when Castlefield Gallery celebrates its 40th anniversary and she will play a key role in shaping the next chapter of the organisation.

Marla Cunningham, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Castlefield Gallery, says, “We are delighted to welcome Frances on our board at this pivotal moment as we prepare for our 40th anniversary. She will play an important role as Castlefield Gallery continues to support artists in the region and beyond.”

Helen Wewiora, Director of Castlefield Gallery, says, “Frances is an accomplished artist, her work is exciting and she is open to taking risk and experimentation. Frances has a very distinctive ability to see quickly to the heart of an issue and operates with great sensitivity and a generosity of spirit, as is evidence by some of her past and current roles. She will bring these qualities to our Board of Trustees, and vitally she will bring a current and regional voice, one designed to inform our existing and future work in the area of artist development.