Paradise Works & The Manchester Contemporary 2017- Manchester’s Great Weekend of Art

Manchester Contemporary & Paradise Works Opening – Manchester’s Great Weekend of Art


It’s going to be a great weekend for art lovers and artists alike this weekend as Manchester Contemporary 2017, now in its tenth edition, and the only UK invitational art fair for critically engaged contemporary art outside London comes to Manchester Central and Artists Hilary Jack and Lucy Harvey, with the support of Tom Bloxham’s  Urban Splash open a new art space, Paradise Works for 30 emerging and established contemporary artists working across creative disciplines

Paradise Works – Salford’s New Artist -Led Art Space

Developed in response to the crisis in studio provision, the ambition of the artists behind the new Paradise Works studio is to create a sustainable urban model for artist-led activity in the growing arts ecology across the city-region. Formed in April 2017 with the support of Arts Council England and Tom Bloxham MBE, Chairman of Urban Splash, Paradise Works is now the home to 30 emerging and established contemporary artists working across creative disciplines.

Manchester Contemporary
Lucy Harvey


Tom Bloxham MBE, Chairman – Urban Splash said: “Urban Splash are delighted to be able to support the artists at Paradise Works.

 Urban Splash has developed a long history of supporting arts initiatives like Ocean Studios in Royal William Yard, Plymouth and S1 Arts at Parkhill, Sheffield; and literally hundreds of temporary shows and exhibitions.

 I believe that artists play a critical role in city centre life and it’s fantastic that we are able to help with this initiative.” 

Jane Beardsworth, Director, Arts Council England, North said: “We’re very pleased that such a fine group of artists has found a new home in Paradise Works, further strengthening the network of independent practitioners in the locality and adding to the distinctive cultural mix that is making Salford such a magnet for creatives.”

Hilary Jack, co-founder of Paradise Works said: “We set up Paradise Works just seven months ago in response to the crisis in studio provision for artists in Manchester. Artists want to be at the heart of cities and we strongly believe that the presence of artists adds to the diversity, vitality and economy of urban centres. 

Manchester Contemporary
Hilary Jack_courtesy Danny Moran

“Paradise Works is now an intergenerational group of thirty artists. We are really proud of our proactive membership which includes emerging and established artists working across all media. We have ambitious plans for the future and with support from our partners we’re hoping to secure our presence within the city.”

The inaugural exhibition is presented in the studio’s newly commissioned gallery space and across the building in site specific interventions and performance. The Politics of Paradise explores historic and contemporary notions of “paradise”, artists’ respond to their new home on the Salford and Manchester border, and to the utopian vision often attributed to, and compounded by artists.


Lucy Harvey, co-founder of Paradise Works said: ”This is our first large-scale public event and it’s an opportunity to welcome in the public and celebrate all that we’ve achieved so far. 

“As an artist, it is vitally important to be surrounded by a creative community and to be able to connect and collaborate with a wider network of artists and organisations. We’re looking forward to programming our new gallery for 2018, establishing partnerships and developing opportunities for our studio artists. We’re excited to become part of the growing artist-led and independent cultural scene on the Manchester/Salford border that is putting the city-region on the map” 


Manchester Contemporary
Paradise works


STUDIO ARTISTS James Ackerley // Louise Adkins // Sarah Blaszczok // Michael Branthwaite // Robin Broadley // Andrew James Brooks // Nina Chua // Nicola Colclough // Chris Paul Daniels // Elliott Flanagan // Louise Giovanelli // Lucy Harvey // William Hughes // Precious Innes // Hilary Jack // Andrew Lim // Kwong Lee // Kieran Leach // Jo McGonigal // Robin Megannity // Bren O’Callaghan // Alyson Olson // Rosanne Robertson // Sarah Sanders //  Debbie Sharp // Richard Shields // Cherry Tenneson // Claire Tindale // Elizabeth Wewiora // Winter & Kurth. Artist in Residence: Michelle Shields

The Manchester Contemporary 2017 opens at Manchester Central  27th – 29th October


The Manchester Contemporary is the only UK invitational art fair for critically engaged contemporary art outside London and brings art professionals and collectors together with emerging galleries and artists.

2017 marks the tenth edition of the fair which started as a collaborative project of graduate work and curated exhibitors back in 2008. Now ten years on it is moving to Manchester Central, one of the city’s most historic buildings, providing it with increased space and room to grow and allowing it to continue to drive the North’s art market forward for years to come

An exclusive performance art piece by the fabulous Plastique Fantastique, (who recently performed and exhibited at Castlefield Gallery), collaborating with East London’s IMT Gallery, is scheduled for the VIP Preview at 5pm on Friday

Speaking of the Manchester Contemporary exhibitor list announcement, curatorial coordinators of the fair Paulette Terry Brien & Laurence Lane of The International 3 said: “We are delighted once again to bring to Manchester a selection of first-time exhibitors alongside regular participants, with an exciting range of work that will appeal both to the seasoned collector and the intrepid first timer.’

Year on year the fair has sought to respond to the needs of artists and exhibitors and the wider art market and it is all underpinned by our core ambition to give audiences a high-quality art viewing and art buying experience” added Paulette.

Thom Hetherington, CEO of The Manchester Contemporary, says “We are proud to take place in one of Europe’s most vibrant and creative cities, and delighted to have secured a new long-term home at the historic Manchester Central exhibition centre. It places us firmly at the heart of the region’s unprecedented cultural renaissance.”

Some of the Manchester, and Salford Galleries taking part are Castlefield, Gallery, International 3, Saul Hay, Islington Mill, Alumni (University of Salford) Manchester School of Art, Paper Gallery, Venue Arts Presents and Paradise Works (see story above)


 Readers of my blog know I don’t normally have any product advertising on BeesBlogs. However, for something which supports the art I’m okay, this once, in sharing this. Greater Manchester has a great history of providing free entry to it’s galleries. If we don’t support and use our galleries cuts will mean we will lose them or at the very, least have to pay for entry.

The National Art Pass provides free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic houses across the UK, as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions

  • Buy as a gift for a friend or family member, and with the ‘plus one’ option members can also take a different guest to each visit
  • Every National Art Pass sale directly supports UK museums and galleries through the Art Fund