Made It: Exhibition Review

‘Made It’ at Paradise Works

The girls are Short Supply are killing it right now. There were so many people at the exhibition launch of ‘Made It’ at Paradise Works, and that’s all thanks to the guys getting the name out there and spreading the word! If you haven’t heard of the exhibition, or of Short Supply, then you must literally be living under a rock – or just simply off grid.

‘Made It’ is the first of an annual exhibition which aims to help recent graduates show their work in the ‘real world’. To help with that transition from student to artist. To help build up their CV and their exhibiting experience.

Short Supply (created by Mollie Balshaw and Rebekah Beasley) say: ‘Our key objectives right now are generating creative opportunities for artists in the North of England (with particular emphasis on providing emerging artists chances to exhibit their work)…’ I think is massively important. It’s so difficult to get your foot in the door in the art world, so organisations like this, that are there to help push these opportunities, are hugely important to Manchester.

‘Made It’ – which is a mint name for an exhibition – features the work of graduates from the 2018/19 class, from across the North West. The overall exhibition is a great mix of sculpture, photography and painting. With this in mind, the exhibition features many names we love and have featured before.

One artist being Oliver East, who one of our old Manc of the Month artists. His work combines paint, sculpture and illustration. His work brings light to all the rubbish we dump on the streets of Manchester. He creates these public art pieces all around Manchester, giving new life to items we class as waste. The piece I loved most was the camouflage piece. East paints old wood which is now propped in front of, and painted to blend in with the background. Strips of wasted wood now blend in with Craig Charles Funk and Soul nights. It is very pleasing to the eye indeed.

An artist that was new to me was Megan Needham’s and her sculpture ‘Slump’. The shapes resembled a lower half of a body, with a disfigured top. The light, pink colour and shape, folded over the chair, represent this weird human form, sat there, waiting for something. It was kind of like a 3D version of a Jenny Saville painting, showing all the lumps and bumps of the body. It also looked Tim Burton-esque, creepy, distorted, and could come alive and move at any point.

Another artist who we are huge fans of, an artist whose work we have in the Cotton On MCR shop (cheeky bit of advertising for ourselves here), is Emily Wills. We love a collage here in the Cotton On office, and Wills’ are some of my favourites! There are so many things I love about her work; the primary colours, the textures contrasted with straight lines. There’s photography, there’s perspex, fabric pieces and paint. I could look at them all day and find something new each time.

Sarah Gilmans work was impressive. Her paintings of empty, what looked like a Polaraid pictures, really were fascinating. She regularly paints tape and it is so realistic. The tape was holding the empty photograph on a wall and it looked like you can peel the tape away. For a painting of predominately grey, void spaces, it really caught my eye. I loved the little pinholes in the image photo, as if this photo had been pinned to a cork-board or something. These little details make such a difference when looking at art.

A couple of the pieces at ‘Made It’ we had seen recently at the MSOA Degree Show 2019. One was the weird noses that I discussed in the previous review. ‘Zoom of Noses’ by Candice Dehnavi was still super weird. The motorised noses move so they look like they are breathing, like lungs, in and out.

Ellie Brennan’s work was also featured in the MSOA Degree Show. Her piece ‘Parmo, Chips and Garlic’ is a textile piece, a rug of sorts that depicts cartoon images of the food. Her work explores ‘fast food motifs, favourite meals and nostalgia, resulting in soft, approachable works that encourage public interaction.’

Having seen these pieces only a couple of months ago was a little frustrating. I want to go to a new exhibition to see new work. But I totally get it, your degree work is supposed to be the best art you have made so far, so of course you want to show this off as much as you can. And I am unlike a lot of general exhibition goers I think – other people probably don’t go to most of Manchester’s exhibitions as much as I do, so wouldn’t have seen these pieces before.

I also think some of the pieces were a little too conceptual for my taste, but that’s just a personal view. Some work I just didn’t quite ‘get’, it just didn’t do anything for me. But you are going to get that in most exhibitions you go to.

Overall, I think this exhibition, and Short Supply as a whole, have some great ideas, they are driven and determined, and have worked harder than any one else I have seen recently. It’s only been a couple of months since they themselves graduated and they have hit the ground running. This needs to be a lesson to a lot of us out there! Just as Uni finishes, doesn’t mean your work needs to as well. Take some inspiration from others and get cracking. Well done ladies, well done!

‘Made It’ hosted by Short Supply is on at Paradise Works from 16th August to 30th August.

Please note: This is a sponsored review.

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