‘In Manchester’ Artists Statements

Please find further information regarding each artwork on display at Saul Hay Gallery below.

At the bottom of the page is an option to vote for your favourite piece! There is also a link to a feedback form – we massively appreciate your time and thoughts regarding our exhibition!

Rachael Addis – 1

Rachael Addis is a contemporary painter based at Rogue Artists’ studios in Manchester. Her practice is fundamentally a mark making process, she creates abstract landscapes by applying a multitude of paint layers and patterns to the canvas. Her personal biography has had an important inspiration on the process, colours and aesthetic of her work. Originally from the Lake District she lived in Hong Kong and Thailand for her formative years. Her current paintings seek to establish a contemplative and meditative aspect both for the viewer and for herself. Rachael, uses unconventional processes to create her paintings, abandoning paintbrushes for found objects such as discarded fragments of toys, bottle tops, pieces of plastic and sticks.
Rachael studied BA in Fine Art at Manchester Metropolitan University and then progressed onto the MA programme at The Royal Academy of Arts Schools, London. She is lecturer in Fine art, following a break from painting Rachael seriously began to paint again in 2018.

Rachael, has exhibited in a number of solo and group shows across the UK; Royal Academy Schools Show, Manchester Art House Solo Exhibition, Loughborough University Gallery, Solo Exhibition Blackwell Arts and Crafts House. Lake District, Rogue Artist’s studios Exhibition, Manchester, Rogue Women October . Manchester, The Lowry Hotel Manchester, Harris and Erel Art and Comme Ca Art Manchester.

Paulette Bansal – 2

I am an artist/printmaker and live and work in Manchester. I am a member at Hot Bed Press Studios, the workshop where I usually go to print and where my education in printmaking began. This also led to the formation of Reveal Printmakers, a print collective that I belong to.
My approach to Printmaking is experimental, intuitive, and ordered all at the same time.
My work practice is about my own observation and experiences in the places I frequent locally and further afield. I respond to environments I walk around so ‘a sense of place’ is central to my inspiration. My experience with place is where I usually start, locally and further afield when travelling elsewhere. Observation of what has gone before and the layering of the environments are what I try to take away with me. The set of prints I have submitted for this application are about a region in Goa called Panjim, the layers of colour and linear forms are the elements I took away from here.
The works submitted for this application are part of a larger series created over a prolonged period of time; beginning with discarded or ghost prints, followed by a systematic application of solid colour followed by the making of a series of drypoint plates, and finally the addition of collage.

Pete Oakley – 3

Exploring the relationship between the consumer and the advertiser, my work starts life as a collage of adverts and editorials from Vogue magazine. Oils and water are then added over the top to warp and disfigure the image, to question the viewers perception of consumerism.

Olivia Hinchcliffe – 4

The two images I have decided to submit for this submission are taken from a series titled ‘View -through’ I did back in late 2020. The images themselves were produced by using small colorful geometric shapes, primarily used by children as learning resources. I would describe my photography as an exploration into shape and form, taking a mundane subject matter and completely reconstructing its initial aesthetic is something I not only enjoy but also find somewhat fascinating.

Suzanne Bethell – 5

Colour, its potential to excite the eye, engage the heart and awaken the soul is central to my art. As a painter and printmaker who enjoys combining these processes, I work intuitively, often with mixed media. My work is abstract and experimental, inspired by a sense of time, place or poetry. I am interested in the power of colour to alter mood and mind-state and the notion of a universal language of mark making.
In 2020 I was shortlisted for the Flourish national printmaking award through WYPW (West Yorkshire Print Workshop); and was a finalist in the inaugural open exhibition at HOME, Manchester.

Julie Cassels – 6

I have a particular interest in the aesthetics of textiles and clothing and their depiction in all art forms, throughout Art History.
I have made work in many different forms with the intention of high-lighting drapery and making it the focus.

During a period of research, I read Aldous Huxley’s ‘Doors of Perception’ in which he experienced an awakening to the meditative power of drapery during a monitored experimentation with Mescaline in the early 1950’s. He commented that what he experienced had shown him into an artist’s mind, captivated by the beauty of folds of cloth. The implication that this opening of his mind gave access to an otherwise unappreciated artist’s viewpoint, made me aware of the individuality of focus when looking at art. This realisation led directly to the ‘Seeing Differently’ body of work, exploring how I saw things. I adjusted art books, paintings and photographs by painting out, cutting away and masking everything except the drapery. It was during this research process that I came to understand that, for me, the other areas of an artwork are not blank but exists in pale low relief. The work in this series are representations of my view, literally ‘The Way I See It’.

Jimi Backhouse – 7

Since graduating in Fine Art at Manchester in 2012 where I specialised in oil painting, my work has moved into digital art.
Throughout my artistic career I’ve explored a multitude of different areas and ideas but always centered around three main themes: mental health, Judaism and memory.
Through the medium of digital art I’ve been striving to create a realistic depiction of paint texture and colour whilst making visually engaging images.

Nancy Collantine – 8

Nancy Collantine is a visual artist living and working in Greater Manchester, UK. She works in a range of medium including painting, drawing and site-specific installation.

“Drawing and painting gives me a space in which to grasp and make sense of the world to process what has happened before and what is happening now. Although I choose to paint mostly non-objective paintings, there is an original subject, most often it is my response to a place.

I begin with secondary source material, hasty drawings in my sketchbook, memories and forms and motifs from previous paintings. I collect economic gestures which I arrange in the space, relationships start to play out.

Colour and composition are my controls, if I have an idea in mind it can only ever be a starting point, because it has to be pushed and pulled, broken and lost in order to find my way out, to explain something whilst at the same time achieving a rightness in the composition and the content. Decisions, failures, accidents, my moods, some days neat, some days loose and untidy, all of these conditions layer up and I like to reveal this process, like a palimpsest. “

Sandra Robinson – 9

Visual Maps, visual memory, walking, travel, mapping, landscapes of the mind. When I walk I think about life experiences, places I have been whilst absorbing the landscape I am walking through. My paintings are not traditional landscapes, they are are about being in the land and what I am thinking and feeling as I walk, I like to call them headscapes.

The paintings begin with a linear drawn element using paint , pencil and charcoal. Followed by layering of paint trying not to think too much, losing myself in the process of painting a conversation develops between artist and canvas. As the painting progresses more control and precise decisions are made while still trying to maintain an element of expressive mark making and intuition.

Katharine Ferns – 10

My work focuses on the construction of identity through remembering and the mis-remembering of the past. Our conceptions of the past, whether vivid or distorted, form our current mythologies and perception of ourselves. My work questions how identity is constructed when memory is disconnected, repressed or absent. Some events of the past are stored as sensory fragments without a coherent narrative or semantic guide within the mind and held as body memory under the skin. I focus on how the body holds events from the past that cannot be expressed through language. Using the visual imagery of the figure, I am questioning whether tacit communication of the body is possible in my paintings.

In my work I am attempting to communicate this state of being beyond language and this state of being dissociated from language, the body and sense of self. The layering of imagery is a reoccurring element in my work, as the figures remain unresolved despite the attempts of reconstruction. This relates to the healing process that produces not only physical scarring but also involves the reconception of self. The figures remain fragmented to communicate this state of experiencing multiple layers of memory that do not resolve into a coherent narrative required by society.

Laura Garcia Martin – 11

My work is focused on personal experience; it explores the different social environments in which I have been immersed throughout my lifetime. I paint from the perspective of the outsider and in exhibiting my work, I feel art to be my first language and my mother tongue. The artistic process is for me an autobiographical one. I am interested in how the space/body relationship is often fraught with difficulties; in how the boundaries of the space we occupy are shown to be supportive and damaging in turn, so that we are both protected and imprisoned, framed and fragmented by them.

Andy Smith – 12

I like to examine the logocentric perception we have of meaning. How this meaning is then used as a strategy by the powerful to manipulate thought and action. I use recognisable and newly created symbols and icons to investigate, challenge and sometimes deconstruct established norms of cognitive coding. My practice being simply a conversation with myself and the world, and as such, the creation of myth, meaning and the re-use and recontextualisation of works constitute the present ‘end’ product. Examining power and consent inevitably involves looking at propaganda and myth. Deconstructing information, ‘fact’, icons and iconography, is essential in this quest for universal truths.

Analysing and removing (editing) elements and ideas from narratives is the source of creation for me. The ‘art’ comes from the area between what is ‘known’ and what is felt. ‘Belief’, and it’s effect on oneself, -and by extension others, is arguably more important to the individual and society in the post-truth digital age as it was pre-religion because our beliefs, and therefore actions, have implications globally. My process and practice attempts to engage with this enigma in a visual and visceral language, with mark-making acting as a kind of contemplative and cathartic attempt to comprehend, explore and illuminate

Ollie Manco – 13

Although an art lover for many years, Ollie Manco only started to paint in late 2019.

He mainly paints compositions of his home city of Manchester. Working from photographs taken spontaneously, he chooses areas of the city that have meaning to him and attempts to capture natural, understated scenes.

Self taught, Ollie is influenced by various styles of art including Impressionism, romanticism and American Realism.

Peter Davis – 14

I am a social realist painter.

My ongoing body of work looks at our relationship with personal technology. Through portraiture and figurative urban landscapes, my aim is to capture the spirit of the age and create contemporary paintings that act as social documentary on our digital epoch and the status of the human being within society.

I started this series in 2015 to reflect the increasingly addictive relationship we have with the tech that dominates our lives. Seeing people connected to their devices 24/7 is so common that we don’t give it a second thought anymore. As the American writer, Henry Miller, puts it “What the painter sees he is duty-bound to share. Usually, he makes us see and feel what ordinarily we ignore or are immune to.”

My paintings hold a mirror up to what we have become and give us clues to what lies ahead.

Molly Goulding – 15

Molly aims to produce paintings that border on the uncanny by wavering between familiar and surreal natural forms. The ambiguity of the forms creates a tension that keeps the image in a limbo state between the two as she looks to disturb and redefine landscape painting. Molly intends to induce a feeling of being lost within a landscape in the sense you are apprehensively aware of your disorientation in a vast open space yet at the same time unable to see far in front and therefore feel concurrently closed in. Representing the insecurity and instability of a shrunken world.

Molly feels connected to a painting when the colours elicit a sense of nostalgia and finds using variations of the colour blue accurately encapsulates this complex feeling. Indigo has a unique and alluring depth-it is engulfing and unnerving, comforting yet melancholic, leading to feelings of both peace and calm yet at the same time it can be overwhelming. Using hues of blue and purple allow her paintings to hinge on the surreal as it is a colour scarcely found in nature-it signals a warning for danger and poisonous food, so its intentions are to push you away. Molly finds this contradiction mobilises the unsettling force of entangling and layered structures, and the tension between the real and surreal.

Emily Gates – 17

Echoes of places roamed, mountains hiked and nature explored, translated into a painting the viewer can connect with. A view with a sense of familiarity about it, a place they have been to or somewhere that reminds them of home. I work from my home studio and my main studio in an old grade II listed mill at Creative Spin Studios, Leigh Spinners Mill in Leigh, Greater Manchester. The outdoors provides me with a constant source of inspiration and in particular my love of the North UK where I am from. When I am not in my studio painting, I can be found out hiking across the many wonderful ‘Wild Places’ of the North.

I enjoy creating mixed media collage landscapes, taking inspiration from the places I enjoy being in and aiming to capture feeling and mood in that moment. I enjoy the process of layering papers. Maps, dressmaker’s patterns and typeface help me to create surface pattern, texture and detail, which I work into further using pencils, pastels, paints and pens.

Rachel Barber – 18

I am an artist and printmaker. My work explores the natural environment of land and seascapes. I am constantly trying to capture something of the atmosphere that I encounter whilst spending time in these places.
Exploring the hills of the Peak District, along the coast of North Wales and on recent travels to Iceland and Canada, all have a great influence on my work.
In this recent body of work I have been exploring mono and screen printing in layers, sometimes using metal leaf and inks creating textures to reflect light ,movement and form.The inspiration for this work has come from the woodlands I have spent many hours walking through in the last months trying to capture the different light and atmosphere felt at different times of the day and evening.
I having spent many years as a practicing artist, I then completed a 3 year printmaking course at “Hot Bed Press” Print Studio Manchester. Amongst many other group exhibitions, I have exhibited work at the Hepworth Wakefield Contemporary Print Fair,The Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair, the Manchester Art Fair, at RK Burt Gallery London. I have also sold exhibited work
for the last 3 years through a gallery in London.

Elaine Fox – 19

Elaine is an artist who relates to the beauty and essence of landscape, she reveals a spirituality to landscape and the otherness that we take for granted. The effects of light, colour and intuitive responses play a major role in her paintings and drawings and this is highly visible throughout her work. Elaine is based in the North West of England and her work evokes the wild landscapes of our coastlines and interiors and at the heart of her practice is an innate love of the outdoors and the responses to the beauty that exists all around us.

By using experiences and observations to capture a moment in time, she uses energy and colour that is not of a particular view or image but exists as a collection of visual prompts that have been observed from nature. Elaine also works with natural elements in the landscape making site-specific work to highlight the beauty and integrity of our surroundings, Andy Goldsworthy being an important influence.
Elaine has also have been a participant of Landscape Artist of the Year and been included in exhibitions and events around the North West of England.

Tracey Hollis Rowe – 20

I am a Contemporary British Landscape Artist based in the North West UK, whose main subject is Wild Places and Landscapes. My compositions are created from memory, using expressive gestural marks to build layers, texture, negative spaces and form. Intuitive mark making with palette knives and tools, using paints and mediums that are then manipulated until an image emerges.

Sam Owen Hull – 21

My work explores the space between the many polarities and contradictions that we exist between: internally and externally. Ideas about duality connect with observations of our increasingly polarised society. Quick, gestural painterly marks contrast with the slow, laborious precision of hand embroidery, trying to find a tension or balance between the two. The marks made by thread try to contain, control, make sense of the freedom and movement of the paint. I draw parallels with our desire for freedom against our insistence on borders, our place in the natural world against our destructive existence within it.

In formal terms, I like the materiality of thread against paint, which tries to find the space between fine art and a craft process, 2D versus 3D. I like the texture of the thread, bringing the warp and weft of the canvas ground back to the surface of the painting, and the transient light effects various threads bring. As my practice develops, I am becoming more interested in the materiality of paint too, using the paint itself to cut, construct and collage into my work. Cutting sheets of paint and adding elements to the surface in a similar way to the embroidered marks contrasts the physical and illusory qualities of paint. I’m taking apart the elements of my work and attempting to reconfigure them in a way that expands and investigates the spaces between painting, making, drawing and sculpture.

Jeffrey Knopf – 22

I am currently in my final year of an MA in Contemporary Fine Art at Salford University, originally coming from a studio craft background, I am now focusing these skills and new ones on sculptural assemblages. As an artist working within the realm of three dimensions, I am always looking for new ways of presenting my ideas. Recently this has involved using 3D scanning equipment and 3D printers to bring these ideas to fruition. What I am trying to achieve is a dialogue between the past, present and future of art and sculpture with the materials and reference points I am currently using, as if a future civilisation has stumbled upon all these fragments and tried to re piece them all together, thus creating a new vision.

Contextually and critically my way of working is nothing new, but an amalgamation of past and current working methods, this in part could be due to deliberately not planning and formally designing my work, instead opting to fly by the seat of my pants engineering encounters between objects. I am especially interested in the essay “Art as Technique “by Viktor Shklovsky. In this essay he writes about the ideas of “defamiliarization” “We apprehend objects only as shapes…we do not see them in their entirety but rather recognise them by their main characteristics. We see the object as though it were enveloped in a sack.” Through the 3D scanning and printing of the objects, I am now able to defamiliarize the viewer with what they are viewing, and all that remains are the ghostly hints of something that once was or could have been.

Sophie Anderson – 23

Inspired by weathered pebbles and a fascination with texture, my current work explores the idea of what makes something precious. Working with silver and enamelled copper I’ve created tactile pieces that celebrate the overlooked. They become something to be treasured for more than their monetary value, contributing to wellbeing through the sense of touch.

Stefanie Trow – 24

Stefanie Trow’s work centres on the human gaze – her unique compositions leave us to question what cannot be seen or what exists outside the framework.

Each work is inspired from an assortment of images and sketches – found and from life -becoming starting points for Trow’s emotive paintings. The work considers themes of memory, movement, obstruction and colour meaning.

Intense bold colours are pulled and scraped across the canvas, creating an expressive language of their own. Trow’s expressive brushwork gives way to movement. The paint just about holds onto the image, creating an ebb and flow of realism, taken away from us sometimes by abstraction. Like trying to grasp a memory, parts of the paintings remain vivid, whilst others drip and slide away from us, pooling into a new reality, ready for the viewer to unearth.

Carlos Ferg – 26

Carlos Ferg (b. 1977) is a Spanish artist who has lived in Manchester (United Kingdom) for eight years, where he has established his studio and from where he develops all his work. After living in several cities in Spain, during part of his childhood and adolescence, he graduated in Art History from the University of Castilla – La Mancha in 2001. That year, he moved to Madrid, not pursuing an artistic career, and although he was always had a taste for drawing, he wanted to take painting lessons, a step further beyond the simple application of drawing on paper. While he was working on different fields far from the creative environment, he had a hunger for visiting museums, something that kept his connection with the artistic environment. After ten years living in Madrid, and due to awful personal circumstances, he began a process of learning pictorial techniques on his own, investigating and developing his own style, first through the medium considered essential throughout of history, oil technique. During this stage, he was really interested in the work of Velázquez and, fundamentally, Sorolla’s study of volume and light. At that time, he had the opportunity to move to the UK and the possibility to explore and learn new mixed media techniques such as pastel, acrylics, etc., apart from receiving new artistic and pictorial influences from the 18th C and 19th C British artists.

It is in 2015, when he decided to develop a more solid project that will lead him to configure his own work, prompting his personal style in terms of technique and content. Since 2017, he has had the opportunity to work with galleries such as Carré d´Artistes Gallery (France), and Galerie Evénementielle (France), selling his work in the United Kingdom, Norway, the United States, France and Spain. In addition, he has expanded the channels to show his work through online art auctions, considering the weight that these platforms have gained in recent years in the Art market, due to their ability to divulge work globally. On the other hand, he has had the opportunity to publicize his work exhibiting at the Manifest Art Manchester and also displaying his work at The Liverpool Art Book edited by Emma Bennet and The Guide Artists magazine as well. He has a professional studio at Awol Studios, Manchester, UK. A space for artistic and creative development, which brings together a hundred spaces, creating a unique community in an unique environment, because it is one of the few factories of the Industrial Revolution that have been preserved to this day, considered a Grade II historical heritage.

Maddie – Staton – 28

I am a painter currently in my third year at Manchester School of Art, completing a BA Fine Art degree. My practice is built up on my interest of the power colour holds in manipulating emotional responses, as well as playing with ideas of how individual interpretations of what universal symbols communicate differ from eye to eye. My paintings intend to blur the lines between abstraction and figuration. I am interested in the shapes that form organically from the interactions between the paint applied and my own sub conscious creating a narrative within it. Every mark is a direct response to the last. The paintings do not tell you what they are, they encourage the viewer to decide for themselves. The scene is formed through symbols as oppose to painting representationally, meaning a viewer’s perception of what they are seeing is a result of their individual experiences. Often the images are not easily identifiable at first glance as they are concealed within the painterly marks, it is only when looking again that they reveal themselves.

Lewis Pathak – 29

Lewis Pathak’s work is a hybridization of both painting and sculpture and has a strong emphasis on the creation of geometric colour systems. His paintings have evolved from works on canvas to larger more immersive installations made from wood and often consisting of multiple separate panels. Part of the purpose of these installations is to change the change the way a space is perceived aesthetically by breaking the norms of what is considered to be painting. There’s a strong sense of duality in Pathak’s work as it combines the use of contemporary digital design with more traditional mediums like painting and carpentry, a synergy between the handmade and machine-made.

Alan Begg – 30 / 31

I work primarily in sculpture, including drawing and site-specific installations. Often my work is themed around transitions and gradients of natural phenomena, such as twilight and the turning seasons. I construct geometric forms based on specific angles which may locate a work to a particular place (eg, angle of latitude) or time (eg, solstice). The recent works included here are part of a series of wall-based sculptures which have been cast using jesmonite resin. The curves, planes and positive and negative spaces of these more formal works have been derived from basic divisions and ratios. In some works aluminum foil and felt have been used for the light reflective or absorbent properties of these materials which activate further dialogues between light and shadow.

Laura Pedley – 32

For me, painting is where I become truly myself, more like myself than at any other time, something settles within me and I can create in peace. This is why I paint in abstract. The process for me is as important as the outcome, being both physical and emotional. I’m looking for the tensions between order and chaos, drawing inspiration from the transitions between different layers found within the landscape, and the places where human construction intersects with nature. I find hope in these paintings.

Creating these atmospheric and peaceful paintings I use acrylic paint to layer rich blues and greens, bleeding into soft pinks and peaches. I’m seeking to capture the essence of spacious landscapes and seascapes, working into the pieces with pen to build contrasting linear forms inspired by man-made structures. By exploring the juxtaposition between these two worlds, and mapping out the layers and rhythms that create beauty in the midst of uncertainty, I aim to capture the delicate balance holding up the world around us.

Imogen Ella Richards – 33 / 34 / 35 / 36 / 37

My text works originate from personal thoughts and observations documented in a journal/diary format. To contradict their often private and emotive nature I present the works on plain A4 paper using a typewriter. The works partly speak to the role that control and secrecy play in the self, as I present elements of my thoughts and feelings on my own terms, in the endeavour of trying to control how they, and therefore myself, might be perceived.
Extracting the key elements from the original handwritten text and processing them through the restrictive typewriter depersonalises the text and forces the work to exist and operate outside of my own personal relationship and experience with them, allowing the words to lend themselves and connect with a viewer, perhaps becoming relatable or humorous.

The rigid and reproductive nature of the typewriter gives me the means to present my internalised thoughts to be consumed as a visual and textual artwork, their ambiguity and lack of visual evidence of their owner and origins gives me a sense of freedom when creating them, as if they take on their own persona and become the opposite of the handwritten streams of consciousness from which they stem. Their plainness gives them the ability to make blunt, unapologetic and at times, sarcastic statements which allow me to find humour in my own experiences and explore thoughts and ideas without judgement.

Nerissa Cargill Thompson – 38 / 39

My work investigates change over time, not just eroding or decaying but new layers of growth, giving juxtapositions of structure and colour. Recent work highlights the issue of plastic pollution and the permanence of disposables through sculptures that combine embellished textiles and cement cast in plastic waste, inviting us to consider the packaging that we use and discard on a daily basis; objects that are so lightweight and seem so insignificant that we barely notice them. Naturally inspired textures emphasise the way our waste becomes subsumed into the natural world around us.

I create coastal inspired textures using a combination of embellishing and embroidery; blending a variety of recycled fabrics to create subtle variations in tone. These are stitched inside waste plastic to cast true to life pieces with cement giving a distinct contrast between the manmade structure of the packaging and the soft natural textures of the textiles.

Fiona Donald – 40

There is something universal and enduring about putting a seed in the earth, living with it; tending it and watching it grow. The physical presence of the subject is important to my practice and I bring elements from nature in to the studio to observe, touch and grind in to pigments.
My work explores the cycles and rhythms of the natural world, its visceral life and death. Fundamentally it is about ‘Being’ present with the ‘thing’ and the visual conversations that occur. The product of these conversations become the drawings, paintings and prints.

Freya Wysocki – 41

I make tufted wall hangings that are a window into my own fuzzy world. I illuminate mundane situations yet inject these with a sense of humour and unease that pokes fun at our society. This is influenced by my love for cartoons, such as The Simpsons, which parodies Western culture and the human condition. My fascination with folklore and the mystical leads to a dreamlike yet freakish quality to my work. My rug making takes traditionally feminine techniques, which historically have not been taken seriously as an art form, and upends that by breaking free of the conventions of the medium whilst also celebrating a traditional technique. For me, rug making is a way to connect to something tangible in an increasingly digital and chaotic world.

Rosie Booth – 42 / 43

I create elegant forms of an imaginary environment, twisting and flowing together in an alluring manner, a slow and progressive way of working. Influence comes from natural forms, as well as the industrial. I make meticulously detailed work by manipulating my material, adding details over long periods of obsessive repetition in a compulsive meditation, until for me, a perfect balance is created.

Each mark is made intuitively, in response to the one before it. The growth of lines informs my next steps and the risks that I allow myself to take only enhance the direction the piece is headed. My approach is also simple, a physical response to the materials used playing with depth, form and movement. As I work, I force myself to slow down and consider each moment in the present. This immersion enables me to contemplate numerous influences simultaneously, integrating them both intentionally and subconsciously in the placement of each mark. My method invites new ideas to grow organically amidst the existing influences, creating a very intimate process with unlimited potential and unexpected results. I work predominately on the floor of the workspace with my bradawl and mallet, manipulating the sheet of metal one hole at a time. My aim is to create work that utilises physical labour and effort to elicit interest and emotion between the viewer and the work; this relationship reflects the time, craftsmanship and personal interpretation of the imagery that is at the root of my work.

Kat Preston – 44 / 45 / 46

The goal of my work is: to reclaim and rework the conflicts and insecurities that women experience in a post-feminist world – and build them into something BIG, BOLD and BEAUTIFUL.

I explore these themes of female sexuality and empowerment through the mediums of painting and sculpture. I depict the female body in an exaggerated form to reflect the ‘felt’ experience of being a woman. I see my work as a rebellion against popularist ideals of beauty. The opposite of all the Hollywood camera filters & editing apps; my sculptures give expression to how women feel on the inside. To unearth these emotional truths I use an intuitive process that allows access to my subconscious. In fact I rarely know, what I will make, or how I really feel until I have made the feelings into artwork.

Jason Carr – 47

I am a New Zealand born artist who has lived in the UK for 20 years with my practice based in South Manchester .
Focusing on figurative and portraits my themes circulate around the light and dark of life.
Through my work I strive to challenge myself and push my own boundaries while retaining honesty and rawness through the narrative. Expression through paint is therapy and gives me the freedom to tell mine and others stories.
I have exhibited in the UK and New Zealand.
Chosen as a finalist for the Griffin Art Award 2015/Awarded the GFest/Magnum Visual Artist Award 2017/Awarded the Lady Petchey Award as a finalist for the Emerald Winter Pride Art Award 2018. Pre selected for Royal Society of portrait Painters Annual Award 2018.Shortlisted and exhibited for The GM Arts Prize 2019. Exhibited Manchester Open Exhibition HOME. Published in Portraits for NHS Heroes 2020.

Steve Williams – 48 / 54 / 55

In September 2020 I took the plunge and after 40 years following a career in the commercial world I left my job to throw myself wholeheartedly into the arts world. I owed it to myself having decided at school to park my artistic abilities to “return to later in life”. Creativity is a gift and it would be remiss of me to just dabble as a hobby and not to make the most of it. I’ve had no formal training, I just bought a book, some tools and a block of stone on the internet and had a go and I’m captivated by it. I’m at the start of my new career in a strange new world and finding my way as I go, doing as much work as I can, reading and learning from the masters and trying new materials, tools and processes.

I’m experimenting to find what I love doing and to develop my ideas and imagination. What I have learned is that the stone itself is the heart and soul of what I make, be it rockery stones from a garden centre or blocks from quarries or suppliers. Its hardness, colour, texture and imperfections dictate a lot of the creative process either as a block I impart my ideas upon or as a unique stone that guides my ideas. Carving stone is hard work; its dirty, dusty, noisy and laborious but I love it. I often get lost for hours in the rhythms and the feeling of unity between my mind, my hands and the material, a world away from what I’ve been used to.
So far my work is tending to gravitate towards two themes, faces and forms. There is something magical when a face starts to emerge from a piece of stone and its features, expression, and mood take shape and develop over time with each carving action. It’s there, its tactile, it’s almost real and I start to form a connection to it and give it a name, Freda, Emily, Ernest. It has a presence, unchanging, calm, reflective like a friend.
I like to take inspiration from natural shapes (shells, flames, fish, mammals, flowers) and the action of natural processes such as erosion and develop ideas and forms that have balance, simplicity and elegance.
I’ve submitted a range of work to reflect my exploration and to see what others think of my work.

Rhianwen Williams – 49

My current work revolves around and is informed by my experiences surrounding grief. These painting are part of a series which are abstract representations of a spaces or memories which I would consider my personal stages of grief – dispelling the concept and order of the “5 Stages of Grief”. I have worked with a formula of oil paint, spray paint and paint sticks to create a multifaceted collection of works which take inspiration from the colour field and lyrical abstraction painters. My practice is a cathartic outlet, and a way for me to unpack my experiences and visually portray the non-linearity of grief through recurring motifs and colours. Through my work I have found a way of turning my difficult experiences into something bright and approachable, and I invite you as the viewer to interpret them as intuitively as possible and to take a moment to reflect on your own experiences.

Jessica Dartnall – 50

Shared objects and spaces are at the centre of my practice, used to reflect on personal, lived experiences and remembered encounters through the use of oil paint. My work observes the repeated and often ritualistic behaviour created through recurrent daily use of the objects we interact with as part of our everyday routine. Exploring the sensation of inhabiting and moving within spaces that have links to both working class and queer culture, each painting takes pattern and form from observed interactions between people and objects. Ordinary everyday objects, such as bus seats and intricately patterned pub carpets, lose their identifiable qualities when translated into paint and instead become conceptual markers of space and social interaction. Recognising how groups of people organise socially and routinely, my paintings consider how humans interact, overlap, touch, communicate, and explore boundaries between each other and the spaces they inhabit.

These paintings are created somewhere between intention and chance, with half-formed shapes each referring to a specific moment in time but eluding a figurative narrative. Every painting is a space where memory, perception and emotion combine and transcend the physical world. Repeated brush strokes and clustering of patterns occur organically upon the canvas, drawing similarities between recurrent daily rituals and the physical layering of paint. The initial reference points of familiar domestic objects are obscured systematically as the creative process develops and the piece becomes increasingly more about the application of paint than converting an idea to an image.

Kevin John Pocock – 51

My work includes painting, drawing, prints, video and digital 3D constructions. Originally from Dorset I studied architecture at Cambridge University. Now based in Manchester I show my artwork in the UK (including the John Moores exhibition) and internationally. My work is primarily, but not exclusively, about the relationship and movement between our built and natural environment – both physically in the real world and mentally within us. It is about their relationship to each other and to my own thoughts, dreams, memories and experiences. I am interested in the effect these different environments have on us and how we feel and respond to them – physically, psychologically, knowingly and unknowingly. I construct and express this private interior of thoughts usually as a colourful, semi-abstracted space. It encompasses themes such as power, control, hierarchy, repetition, aggression, the passage of time, transformation and contemplation. I am interested in how the personal can represent the universal. Sometimes the subject and theme is about the wider built and natural environment, sometimes more personal about a special place and sometimes both together.

I develop my ideas through a design process that involves sketches, investigative studies, technical drawings and software. The final work is very close in spirit to the original idea. I play with light and shade, symmetry and asymmetry, and mixing different representations of space – perspective, elevation and 3D ‘bird’s-eye’ projections. In my work, whether on canvas, wood, paper or on screen I try to offer a contemplative convergence of my personal thoughts and feelings with my direct experiences of the physical world.

Jamie Kirk – 52

My work is influenced by lots of different things, namely my personal life and observations I make of the world around me.
Although these are fairly grounded origins, I afford the work breathing room to partially dictate itself as I believe some of the best decisions happen spontaneously, akin to automatic drawing. Doing so allows the attention to shift towards the interaction between colours, shapes, textures and forms, with an ambiguity that leaves their subjects unanswered and open to interpretation.

Charlie Spendlove – 53

My name is Charlie Spendlove, an animation student currently in Manchester. I have a love for every medium of art as well as all different styles, techniques, and disciplines. I’ve loved it for as long as I can remember. Growing up with supportive female figures around me gave me the catalyst to begin my journey through life, whilst trying to become the most authentic person I can be in this life. Id love to make a change through art, no matter the means or the way I go about it, our lives are our art, so why not make every day a-bit more colourful.

Andrew Hayhurst aka Andrew Aitch – 56 / 57 / 58

I am a photographer who has been working in Manchester and the surrounding area for approximately 3 years, drawing inspiration from the city, the people, and our infamous rain. I work in a variety of styles, each fulfilling a different creative urge. My street work draws from a variety of influences from Saul Leiter to Fan Ho, often using obscured figures and silhouettes as a proxy for any of us making our way in the city.

Millie Throp – 59

My practise as an Art Director revolves around storytelling. Image making is a powerful tool for creating fictional narratives as well as providing a voice for the marginalised. I create work that balances these two elements, utilising playful styling and light-hearted narratives, whilst keeping in mind the social issues in which I am passionate about. My practise relies on collaboration with other creatives who inform and enhance my own vision, it is a multi-disciplinary process that should be shared even before its existence as a final image.

Rowan Bridgwood – 60

I am an artist specialising in hand embroidery, based in Greater Manchester. My work weaves together personal memory, mythology and literary fragments to visualise the female experience. The medium of embroidery lends itself well to this. The domestic ‘women’s work’ of needle and thread that for years were many women’s only creative outlet now allows me to explore our marginalised histories and personal stories. Time-honoured embroidery techniques and repurposed fabrics are my tools to create contemporary paintings in thread.

Lynne Edwards – 61

I have a degree in design which I got in 1980. Since then I’ve been teaching (English to children for whom English is an additional language-mostly asylum seekers and refugees). I have always loved photography but have only recently (I’m 62) started drawing again and I’m loving it. I’ve never thought my work good enough to exhibit but if you never try you never move, on so here I am.

Jayne Pellington – 62

Originally from Newcastle under Lyme I  studied Fine Art at Manchester Art School and I’m a printmaker specialising in Etching (intaglio) and Linocuts.  My current work comprises of a series of landscapes. I have a particular interest in the contrast between old functional buildings such as mills and warehouses which are often re-invented for modern use, and historic landmarks alongside sharp, modern architecture. My work begins with a series of photographs and drawings of the places I choose as my landscapes. When I study and work on them later I decide which to select to use in a print.

Jen Orpin – 63

Medlock Roundabout and underpass under the Mancunian Way. This work is a response to the changing face of my city’s streets and urban areas as they one by one disappear and change due to regeneration. Using my painting as a way of documenting and highlighting their often-overlooked corners of gritty beauty before they are wiped out, destroyed and are just distant memories of the generations that grew up and lived their lives there.
Shining brightly under the street lights, large letters with swooshes of neon colours and bright white highlights hold their own against the dark weathered concrete walls of the underpass. Made under the cover of darkness by artists who use these urban pockets of walkways and tunnels as their canvas, they are sheltered by a thundering road above that snakes around and through the city’s high-rises. Tucked away and often overlooked they choose to create their masterpieces here, seen only by those who decide that the shortcut of walking under, with the perils of what lies beyond the dark open mouths of the unlit tunnels, is worth the risk.

Simon Scott – 64

I have not exhibited previously, and my painting has taken shape following lockdown in March 2020

Rebecca Stevens – 65 / 66 / 67 / 68

Rebecca is an embroidery artist from Manchester. She combines traditional and contemporary stitching techniques to produce landscapes out of fabric and thread.

Matylda Emma Augustynek – 69

A fundamental change in my life has occurred during the course of my studies for a BA in Fine Art at Wimbledon and one that has brought about a dramatic diversification in my practice.
In 2018 I became a mother and my practice became a response to the new context I found myself in. Motherhood is so existentially consuming and preoccupying that it cannot help but suffuse any artwork that I make.
I now find my domestic and creative life coexisting in an irresolvable discord that has ultimately become the reason for my choice of subject matter as I depict the female through the lens of motherhood.
Not only has the context of my work changed, but motherhood has also enabled me to develop my practice and to diversify from my previous classical media of wood and stone carving into film, photography and the use of my body and my experience pre and postnatal to explore the experience of woman, artist, and mother in the twenty-first century.
Whilst pregnant I found relevance in the work of the feminist artists of the 1970’s and 80’s which led to my growing awareness of the loss of women’s creative role in the human story. My role as artist-mother has provided me with the opportunity to bring this sidelined part of humanity to the fore of the art canon and of social dialog with a profundity I feel it deserves
I regard myself as fortunate to have been born into an artistic family and to have had the opportunity to study at a high school specializing in art and design in my home town of Krakov in Poland. Seeing family members managing an artistic career and parenthood has encouraged me to adapt to my new situation and in doing so I have learned to work in the in-between times available to me, this method enables me to continue my creativity.

Aidan Doyle – 70 / 71

I make work celebrating post-war modernist architecture, buildings that were designed to better the lives of people that used them, through clever and thoughtful design the architects diverged from what had come before them and developed an expressive unique style of architecture. These buildings are not so often protected or maintained so unfortunately throughout the past few decades we have lost a lot of these unique structures. Through my ongoing series of work, I seek to document and highlight examples of these buildings that are still with us, currently focusing on buildings in and around Greater Manchester.