In Manchester: Artist Statements
For me, the draw of clay is its innate ability to connect us to our unconscious and past experiences of touch. Clay work allows me to explore my inner world as well as our collective unconscious, making the work deeply personal yet relatable. I believe in listening to my intuition and allowing it to lead the way, it has yet to lead me astray.
I am a photographer working mostly in Manchester. I mainly shoot the city when it is at its wettest and dreariest but love walking the streets to find the beauty most people miss.
Primarily a figurative artist exploring themes of changing social and cultural attitudes towards depictions of the human form in art and popular culture/history, and its further implications for self identity and body confidence. Utilising techniques across many diverse media and disciplines such as painting, embroidery and fibre art, printmaking and text based artworks, my aim to challenge preconceptions and suggest new connections and meaning in the audience towards the historical and contemporary depictions of the human form.
Annabelle Richmond-Wright is a multidisciplinary artist who graduated from Leeds Arts University in 2021. She has recently won the prize for the Manchester HOME/Castlefield Gallery Open Awards 2022 for her ‘Alexa’ sculpture. Annabelle visually communicates through means of sculpture, installation, and sometimes performance. The interests of her work are broad yet often bold and politically charged, ranging from the themes of work/labour, women’s work and gender roles, capitalism and technology, and materiality. More recently her work explores human consciousness against the backdrop of socio-political concerns of technology and capitalism. Inspired by her experience working as a digital marketing assistant, notions of work and office life is a running theme in her practice. The physical labour of making is intrinsic to Annabelle’s practice; often utilising machinery and power tools to create sculptures out of metal and wood. Casting and mold making is also central to her practice, from casting the body to creating giant computer keyboard keys, the making of objects is significant to her work.
Work-life-balance (2022) is a series of giant computer keyboard keys titled QWERTY (2019) that Annabelle sculpted in wood. that invites the audience to navigate around or – if feeling like a challenge – to use them as stepping stones to balance their way through as they make the journey from the enter key to the end letter key. The audience performs the act of balancing and navigating which is symbolic of the nature of the current neoliberal modern lifestyle and the drudgery of office work, and highlights how we are always in contact with some form of QWERTY keyboard.
Touch me I’m offline’, 2021, is assembled with cast human body parts and steel which Annabelle welded and manipulated by hand. Created at the height of the pandemic, Coronavirus impacted the way Annabelle thought and produced work about the body and human experience. The loss of physical touch as a ramification of social distancing and lockdown restrictions imbued with emotions of fear and guilt led Annabelle to emphasise the tactility and the abject within the bodily elements. Annabelle explores the materiality of the body with the visceral qualities of latex, expanding foam, and silicone finger casts. The artist intends to use abject tactility as a visual strategy to convey the longing for physical connection tainted with the fear and guilt of spreading the virus, known as the ‘skin hunger’ phenomena increasingly experienced during COVID-19. Annabelle fragments and scatters the body in a way that is unwholesome. Reflecting upon how the self exists in the digital and media sphere, the partitioning of the body into body parts reinforces the objectification and commodification of the self in late capitalism. What happens to us when we upload it to the internet? Where does it go and who owns it? Are the multiple platforms we find ourselves creating a personality for a fragmented and superficial way of being?
Tribal Hazard, 2021, was evolved by assembling and playing with form. The mask is a tribal patterned latex cast from a human head, with a steel forged spear going through the eye socket. The black object beneath is a plaster cast of the human’s neck, shoulders, and collar bone area, painted in the world’s blackest black paint. The paint creates a compelling visual, the blackness creates a void of depth, removing the human attributes and making it difficult to perceive details of this part of the body. The famous anecdote that Einstein remarked about the future world wars inspired the making of the spear: “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” Einstein made this comment when nuclear weapons were being created and tested. I wanted to take Einstein’s stark prediction about the future of humanity and use it in the context of my work. War technology and machines have inspired much of my work. It felt intriguing to revert back to primitive technology, including the spear. The primitive suggests the deep-rooted violence and territorial, and the inescapability of death.
A Manchester based visual artist focusing on themes of melancholy and loneliness in twilight cityscapes
Every photographic portrait is an adventure in light, shade and texture, exploring the unique character and personality of the place, mood and sitter. A love of capturing the moment of decision and a deep interest in the forging of unique expression is key to my work. My interest is in capturing the quintessential dynamic with authority, authenticity, compassion and intrigue.
Carlos Ferg (b. 1977) is a spanish artist who has lived in Manchester (United Kingdom) for ten 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, apart of making solo and collective exhibitions on CottonOnMcr events.
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.
Chloè Rose Daniels
I am a multi-disciplinary artist, predominantly working in fibre-textiles. My practice explores the relationship between human and nonhuman animals, and the dissociation that is embedded into us. This ongoing theme throughout my work stems from being a passionate vegan and an advocate for animal rights. I use techniques that are associated with femininity and the domestic, subverting these processes to represent the barbarity of using animals for food, fashion, and pleasure. Made to challenge and stimulate a sense of repugnance and disgust, my artwork forces the viewer to question societal beliefs and identify whether the viewer’s actions align with their morals.
Craig Simpson is a self taught artist who is inspired by the early twentieth century, especially the 1940s & 1950s. Not only does this influence his painting but everyday life, including how he dresses and music taste. Craig handles the paint in a loose and thick impressionist style, capturing the energy, movement and intensity in each of the figures.
I’ve always been uncomfortable talking about how I feel, so I like to use paintings. Some are more like lighthearted conversations with friends, while others are deeper introspective chats with myself. Either way, my work is a method of communication, but I usually like to leave the translation up to interpretation.
My paintings create an uncanny space that draws from the surreal, the lives and work of artists, allegory, myth, consumer culture, fandom, the kitsch, and nostalgia. I depict a diorama that is assembled from an assortment of found objects, collectable toys, antiques, bric-a-brac, stuffed animals, plants, and torn pages from fashion magazines. Objects are chosen as narrative devices, for personal significance, or as an appropriated reference. Located in my studio, the myriad references coalesce to create a dual space, one that is both physical and psychological. The paintings merge still life and the imagination, creating a self-contained world into a single painted plane.
Within my work, the doll is a recurring motif. I view the dolls as explorations of my own self, an un-gendered avatar aligned to my own personality and tastes. It might be easier to view the dolls as a form of drag, a way for me to inhabit the painting both as the artist and subject. The doll is also problematic. It is a rupture; both object and subject. The still life confirms its status as an object whilst the theme and narrative expand its subjectivity as a representation of the artist. My paintings entice the viewer into a world poised between the real and the surreal, a world that is both tangible and illusory.
Over the past four years of BA and MA studies I have followed an inquiry into iconographic aesthetics, re-evaluating their relevance within the current cultural climate, and re-envisioning the format in which they are presented. The works produced dialogue on philosophical and theological debates, utilising simple flat planes and forms inspired by traditional icon panel paintings. The resulting structures then act as a rotating lens through which light is passed, so producing a ‘projection of potential’ – a prophetic or hypothetic vision of the ‘possible’ that lies beyond.
Elizabeth Rose Randall
I’m a self-taught artist and have been living in Manchester for nearly 10 years – it’s definitely my new home for life! I love experimenting with different mediums (I’ll try anything once) but my true loves are acrylic and oil painting; I’m all about colour, so the vibrancy of acrylics works amazingly, but I can’t resist the lovely texture of oils, especially for still life. This would be my first exhibition.
I am a ceramic artist based in Manchester and work from a little workshop at my home. I create intricate porcelain sculptures which are inspired by microscopic studies of plants.
Being a physicist and now a ceramicist, I have always wanted to smudge the division between art and science. I am fascinated by Nature which is full of wonders and never ceases to amuse its observer. The deeper you go, the more spellbound you get. The way it constructs something atom by atom or cell by cell, has always intrigued me as an observer, therefore, I explore through the eye of a microscope. The great collection of microscopic slides, available at the Herbarium of the Manchester museum, have provided me with the opportunity to look through hundreds of specimens made by the botanists of the late seventeenth century. Under a microscope, nature reveals its wonders differently to an artist than to a scientist. An artist can never stop their imaginations from entwining with observations, leading them astray into an unknown world full of peculiar things; things you would find in an enchanted land, far far away. These microscopic studies enable me to establish that nature is as beautiful inside as it is on the outside and incite me to create porcelain sculptures which are a fusion of the scientific realities and my own imaginative interpretations.
Painting is just something I’ve always done and Over the past few years I’ve been taking it more seriously
Goober aka Molly Kempner
I’m not your average artist as I came into this world hatching inside a mushroom in Wythenshawe Park. Yes, I’m a fungus gnat larvae, but more importantly I’m a larvae with a passion for art. Unlike the other grubs, from the moment I emerged from my first mushroom I knew I wanted to draw and record the forest that surrounded me. I grew to learn about plants and fungi and felt it was important to share this beauty with the world.
This celebratory artwork came into existence to capture the delights of the mushroom festival we celebrate every October when the leaves start to fall and the mushrooms start to grow. Us Goober’s are big on sharing so I had to show us feasting and feeding all the lovely animals that share the forest with us. You may spot snails, slugs, mice, bunnies, birds, a squirrel and a little fox alongside 28 different fungi species that can be found locally!
A starting point is Van Gogh when he said “I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it”. Those words struck me as something close to the way I feel and approach painting. I’m an amateur painter and just enjoy the process and I love try out new subject matter, treatments and do a different painting each time. The result means my work appears eclectic but it makes it very enjoyable for me.
I am a sculpture artist based in Manchester, upcycling discarded furniture into whimsical creatures reacting to their salvage from landfill. This playful approach opposes art made from new materials and the capitalistic consumer-driven nature of our society, motivating people to similarly be inspired by what already exists in the world.
Although tackling the imminent issue of climate change, my work aims to make art fun, to reimagine art spaces, and to bring hope to people and remind audiences that with small changes, old possessions can bring new pleasure and amusement to our lives.
Chairs are often used in my practice because of their intrinsic yet overlooked existence in our daily lives. Challenging its position between form, function, and the body, my practice playfully gives life to these neglected objects and allows them to fight for their true worth and importance in our society.
I studied Art and Design at University of Leeds and have previously exhibited in Manchester, London, Leeds, Sheffield, and York.
I am based in Bankley studios, Manchester. Specialising in creating multi-layered complex screenprints. My work features both geometric and painterly forms, creating energy through gestural marks and a bold use of colour. Images explore the personal, the political and always playful, in an attempt to bite back from all the bad advice given in art school. Foundations lie firmly in working class history. Exploring subject matters such as the unity, politicisation and mobilisation of people. The latest work references those less celebrated figures in history, such as Rosa Luxemburg, Alexandra Kollontai and the architect Margarete Schutte-Lihotzky.
Accolades include winning the Leeds Leftbank Art prize and the Flourish Award for Excellence in Printmaking.
Movement is a major influence on my work. As both an artist and dancer, I feel a deep connection to the expressive nature of the human body. There is a grace and beauty to movement that continually inspires my work; the fluidity of lines and the interplay of shapes offer a palette of their own, which this work seeks to capture in some way.
I am a fine artist working in Manchester interested in using embroidery, textiles and photography in my practice. Some common themes in my art work surround feminism, the fast fashion industry and memory. I enjoy experimenting with different materials and using clothing and sewing as a way to portray important messages, as well as photography and film to explore the fragility of memory.
I discovered my work through therapy, as a way of exploring and expressing my emotions. With no prior skills or experience I launched myself head first into creating something that truly expresses how I’m feeling at the time of painting. My work is a reflection of my inherent nature to create, play and explore all aspects of the human experience.
A teacher of Fine Art for over 30 years, I am now a full time painter. Inspired by my many travels, I initially work from direct observation, developing ideas, often into a series of work. Colour, light, pattern and rhythms are my trademark.
Jane Fairhurst works in series and research is an important part of her practice, the themes and subject matter are dynamic and subject to change, as new connections surface across the body of the work.
I am an artist based in Altrincham, working in oils and mixed media. My main inspiration is the landscape, both urban and rural. I love to observe, interpret and record my surroundings. I find inspiration and beauty in the everyday – the brake lights of cars on Princess Parkway, the reflections in a flooded building site, graffiti glimpsed between buildings. What matters to me is light, colour and the feelings evoked by the world around me.
While some of my work may have stories behind them, I am without a political or social agenda as an artist. My works are created using traditional Japanese embroidery techniques using silk thread on kimono or obi silk, with the words or our late Master in mind – “The hands are the exit of the spirit”. For me it is enough to create a thing of beauty which brings joy to me in its creation, and to others in its viewing.
My Life is an innovative charity that connects people with complex needs, special educational needs and learning disabilities to their community. This piece called ‘Colourful Journey’ was created by four members supported by myself as their tutor. We wanted to produce a piece that reflected the vitality and passion of our members using colour, shape and texture. It’s an abstract expressionist piece, acrylic on deep edge canvas. The art work was inspired by our surroundings at My-Life, based at an equestrian centre, the surrounding countryside and the beautiful flowers grown in our green houses. It was created using brushes, sticks and sponges with the aim of allowing the members’ to use their creative skills and dexterity along with expressing themselves freely despite their personal and physical challenges. My Life offers a wide range of meaningful person-centred activities for all ages and abilities. We like to focus on what matters to the individual and to help them live a full and varied life. Activities like Creative Arts allow our members to develop new skills, build confidence and push them to achieve their best. We produce a variety of works, experimenting with different art mediums and materials. This piece enabled members to work together to fulfil a common goal. We’re all extremely proud of the beautiful piece they created together! The piece was created by Michael Atherton (featured in photo), Lucy Nightingal, Michael Agemon and Abbie Etchells. If the work is sold the money will be put back into the My Life charity to continue to provide life changing opportunities for our members.
I am a surreal figurative painter originally from NZ and currently based in South Manchester. My work is full of narrative and delves into the light and dark of life. My main source of inspiration is the queer community who I am passionate about representing in the art world.
My work comprises of a series of urban 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 either as an etching or Lino Print.
I am morally bound to accept my disadvantages as the price I pay for being.
Inspiration comes from my travels and more latterly my local walks. My first love is landscape but I also love painting natural forms, particularly fruit and vegetables.
Colour and the relationships between colours excite me and I’m also interested in the effects of light, naturally occurring patterns and texture, and interesting forms and I try to use a limited range of colours within a painting to achieve harmony. Often a painting will be based around complementary colours. Increasingly I have been using soft pastels, I enjoy their immediacy, tactile nature and the way I can layer colours.
Karen Louise Prince
I have a love of nature and all things botanical. The changing environment as we embrace the different seasons. The natural world is not only an inspiration to me but a source of material.
I incorporate leaf prints into my paintings, capturing their fleeting fragile presence forever in a visual form. A vivid time capsule.
I identify as a contemporary sculptor choosing to explore the importance of materiality through the theme of industrialism. I predominantly create sculptures using the non-traditional material backer rod – a polyethylene material used as an insulator on construction/building sites.
My work is centred around ideas, thoughts and sensory reactions when exploring different environments and how I can manipulate a range of industrial materials to create a conversation within a new setting. Through my work, I explore form, weight and tension and breaking points of materials usually used on industrial sites or in construction. I believe in creating my sculptures solely by hand to emphasise the idea of manual labour in the industry trade. As a female Northern working-class artist, it is important for me to explore my heritage through the reproduction of industry in an artistic aesthetic manner.
Throughout my practice, I have gained interest in researching materials and removing them from their supposed domain, manipulating them by hand and installing them in a new environment to create investigations around the purpose and how it can adapt and react to a new industrial setting. I enjoy monitoring my artistic development through photographic and sketched documentation, adding this to my installations to further explore the connection between both the 2nd and 3rd Dimensions. Throughout the development of my artistic practice, I will continue to research and focus on creating site-specific installations exploring materiality, industry, and the working-class nature through manual and laboured sculpture.
Katie Shepherd is an artist and designer, based in Sale, South Manchester. She paints small-scale landscape and still life paintings. The acrylic on board pieces are semi-abstract in nature and range in subject matter from blousy florals to linear landscapes. Her paintings are stylized, intuitive responses, full of colourful flourishes and expressive mark making.
My work is abstract in style . Created to provoke a unique response and narrative for each individual viewer. The work is produced organically without a specific vision of the finished piece. The inspiration comes from a myriad of sources . Some visual, some not. Colour and form are generally the most distinguishing feature in my work.
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.
Amateur artist based in Ancoats. Working primarily in acrylics across canvas and cardboard, I utilise a mixture of figurative and more traditional techniques to represent and explore local topics/events, mythology and folklore, and the landscape of the region.
The pieces submitted are:
Grindsbrook Clough – A challenging hiking trail and river in the Peak District
Ruck – A figurative painting of the Manchester Village Spartans LGBT Rugby Team
Look for the Helpers – A figurative painting of the Manchester Arena Bombing in 2017, title drawn from the common request to focus on the empathy and bravery of those who helped
I’m Just Resting My Eyes – A painting based on an early 90s photo of my sleeping grandfather at Christmas
Red – A figurative and atmospheric painting of the Red Riding Hood tail
My art practice is driven by experimentation, exploration and a persistent toying with control versus chaos in search of visual balance and meaning. I enjoy using a diversity of materials including cold wax, acrylic and found materials to produce complex layered paintings which juxtapose mark making and flat areas of colour embodying memories of the landscape or abstracted form. I have exhibited widely across the UK including Ferens Art Gallery, Tarpey Gallery and the Royal West of England Academy of Art.
I am a Scottish contemporary artist, painting predominantly in acrylics. I use brushes, palette knives, and acrylic paint and ink. When working from photos or sketches, I often have a clear plan of where the painting is going, but at other times, I enjoy just exploring where the painting process takes me, occasionally experiencing those delightful ‘happy accidents’. Having lived in south Manchester for many years now, I am inspired by the beautiful seascapes of Anglesey. Visits there, together with sketches, photographs and memories of both the west and east coast of Scotland give me inspiration for my paintings.
I contrast opposites like ugliness and beauty, life and death, harsh and tender. I create experimental drawings with the volume turned up to the max.
My art deals with abandoned, stark and neglected secret places – I wander round these places alone, drawing and painting, capturing the real and abstract. The colours I use are bold and unnatural. It is an emotional response to the natural world. I have overdone the images, underdone the images, improvised, and layered the colours inside out. I strive to break free of the conventional. My drawings are my handwriting. And the subject matter is unspoilt. A fleeting nature at its best…
It’s all about the journey, and each of my walks in nature have been documented through these sketches. I realise that my choice of subject matter is saying more about me as an artist through the process of observation and selection. Subconsciously, I have focused on glimpses of a changing world. And then some…
I create my work to try and keep the imagination alive that I had as a child, that we seem to lose as an adult. I am inspired by computer games and movies. I want my work to have a sense of humour and a sense of fun to it.
I am a Manchester based artist working from the shed/ studio I built in my garden. I am particularly inspired by the properties of copper as a creative medium. Using a variety of chemical and heat treatments that I have developed over the last few years I am able to alter the texture and colour of copper. Whilst I can guide the metal to respond in certain ways each piece will also be affected by other factors such as temperature and humidity. The result is an exciting culmination of my involvement and nurture and the copper’s own nature.
I graduated in Fine Art (B.A Hons) at Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1989. I currently have a painting studio in Stockport and teach art and design at Trafford College.
My paintings explore rhythm, repetition, pattern and colour in the landscape. I am particularly interested in the juxtaposition of one colour next to, or over, another and investigating the threshold between abstraction and representation. The paintings are a non-literal representation of a number of visual and emotional experiences of the landscape in response to both photographs, drawings and memory.
My work documents my interest in the natural world as seasons and colours in the landscape change, and the various stages of its life cycle, as plants die and regrow. My paintings are currently based on different plants dying and the change in state. Overpainting and drawing into the painting allows the work to keep changing and the image to emerge. Drawing and mark making is an important part of the process and many of the initial marks are visible.
Mary Naylor was born in Salford, England 1988. She Studied Graphic Design at Liverpool John Moores & is a self taught painter.
In 2019 she left Manchester for South America with the desire to teach English. The thriving graffiti culture of Colombia & welcoming nature of the people squashed that idea like a grape. Instead she joined local artists on murals & community projects. It was this experience that reignited a passion for community & collaborative work in public spaces.
On her return she became a full time freelance artist & an associate member of Ebor Studio Group she began to work closely with the other residents on various public art pieces & online workshops.
Digital prints, Screen printed T-shirts, Large acrylic paintings, Commissioned portraits, Animations & Fabric pieces.
Her work has been exhibited throughout Manchester for close to a decade, the most recent paintings being shown at https://www.okla.co.uk/
You can find more paintings permanently on display at Yakumama & The Jane Eyre
In my work I focus on humans; I explore the multidimensionality of human nature. I am interested in the perception of the world by individuals; their consciousness, their emotions, sexuality, alienation in society, loneliness.
I use the language of abstraction. Through the abstract form of my work, I allow the viewer, who is an observer and commentator, to develop his own interpretation. I appreciate its different shades, and I believe that each of them (interpretations) is accurate and true. I believe that the abstract form is the closest to poetry. I treat my artworks as visual poems, ready for contemplation and with multi-dimensional meaning.
The “Banners” series was created using discarded advertising banners. I gave them a second artistic life. “Banners” show characters set in specific, different time-spaces with their own emotions or problems to be solved.
I am a visual artist based in Manchester. I am mainly interested in the urban environment, in particular the North of England, though I don’t limit myself solely to this subject. I paint my experience honestly and unpretentiously, sometimes taking a romantic view of city life and at others portraying the melancholy and isolation of the city, or documenting the ever changing skyline.
I completed a degree in Illustration at MMU and specialised in watercolour painting. I then did a PGCE and decided to go into teaching, which I have done alongside being an artist throughout my career. I have always produced and sold my own work.
Over the years my work has changed but I have always been inspired by my local environment, that being Manchester.
I work with a variety of materials and techniques which include oil paints, collage and photography and have become quite well known locally for my very recognisable style of working. I am interested in local people and often add them to my work, which has changed over the years from capturing people unknowingly, to them asking to be added to a painting. I enjoy observing my local surrounding and finding the beauty in the mundane. Using a variety of materials and processes on one piece of work allows me to experiment with techniques and explore various outcomes.
I have also recently collaborated with a friend to start a company called ‘printedgoat’, which specialises in bespoke giclee prints, producing images digitally. After working together to build the initial website we are now working on growing an increasing client base, which is increasing through social media platforms.
Over the years I have worked with a local magazine called ‘Altrincham Today’ to produce several of their front covers and from that my prints and paintings can now be found in many local establishments in and around Altrincham.
I have three children of my own and before the pandemic I made the decision to finish teaching in schools as it became too difficult with the inflexible hours.
I exhibit work locally and have recently displayed work at Into the Wild and Inch Arts.
I will be exhibiting in February 2022 at The Gallery Next Door in Didsbury alongside 5 other artists.
I’m a hobby-ist oil painter who is based in Ancoats. I’ve been painting for around three years now and The Professor is my second fully finished piece. I love realism in all forms but in particular portraits. I did this portrait in lockdown, it took me around a year of weekend painting around my full time job in recruitment. A little labour of love painting all those wrinkles. I don’t know who he is, but I like to think he’s a distinguished professor of some kind!
Moving to the UK attracted Nehal to its multicultural society and the complexity of Manchester. This made her aware of her own cultural influences even more. She is primarily concerned with Muslim communities and their relationships between these individuals and their environment going about their daily lives. Exploring the issues which she has faced trying to fuse her Pakistani Muslim identity into the British contemporary society. She celebrates being an independent woman through the perspective of her Pakistani heritage. With a fascination with crafts and its tradition techniques, Nehal’s work is a fusion of her roots with an attraction for the rich British culture through colour and hand painted decorated surfaces.
Nerissa Cargill Thompson
Nerissa Cargill Thompson originally trained in Theatre Design but through her community arts practice, interest in fibre art grew and a desire to develop personal artwork leading to an MA in Textile Practice at Manchester School of Art 2016-18. Her work investigates change over time, not just eroding or decaying but new layers of growth, giving juxtapositions of structure and colour. She explores climate crisis and the permanence of disposables through mixed media sculptures combining her unique recycled textiles that mimic moss and lichen with concrete cast in discarded plastic packaging and litter. Her sculptures invite us to consider the plastic 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.
After taking early retirement I realized my ambition to take art courses and studied for a UAL Diploma in Art and Design at Manchester College, for the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at MMU and for an HNC in Contemporary Art Practice (with Rachael Addis). Before the start of the pandemic I was working at Hot Bed Press in Salford after having completed the three-year Printmaker Course.
Until the studio was forced to close I was producing prints from carved and etched lino plates. I first cut and etch a design using caustic soda before adding and removing layers of ink using a variety of implements. This can create an impression of transparency and depth when the plate is subsequently printed on an etching press. The plates can be printed repeatedly but the technique results in each print being unique.
In 2019 I exhibited several of my prints at an exhibition in Sale and in the summer of that year eighteen of my prints were included in an exhibition at the R.K. Burt Gallery in London. I have also had a selection of prints included in the ‘By Hand’ showcase at the Salford Museum and Art Gallery and one of my lino prints, entitled Entanglement, was selected for the Manchester Open Exhibition 2020 at Home.
Lockdown prevented me continuing my printing practice at Hot Bed Press but led me to develop a new method of image making which did not require a press. By carving designs in black mountboard and removing sections of the surface layer I found I could produce crisp, geometric images. I then developed the technique further by stippling areas of the design using 0.25mm Rotring technical drawing pens with black and white ink. The stippling technique can create the impression of transparent, superimposed and overlapping geometric forms. I explored Constructivism while studying at MMU and feel the compositions I create are reminiscent of that approach. Two of my works, entitled Pendulum and Balance, are currently on display in the Manchester Open Exhibition 2022 at Home and both have been sold.
Nina van Heeckeren van Kell
V H V K runs a ceramic studio in Hope Mill, Central Manchester. Spending most of her time creating in her quirky studio, she specialises in ceramic design and sculpture.
V H V K’s art aspires to capture the true nature of self, with organic forms representing spontaneity and growth. They seek to inspire introspection and self-reflection through intimate depictions of womanhood.
With clay being a traditional medium, V H V K enjoys pushing its boundaries and playing with its potential. Often Inspired by her childhood in Switzerland, her sculptures represent the landscapes of her imagination.
I am an emerging artist, currently studying in my final year of the Fine art program at the University of Salford. My current practice focuses predominantly on painting, however, my practice tends to be a mixture of different techniques and media, combining sculpting, printmaking, photo collage, textiles and animation work as well. My work is inspired by artists including Rembrandt, Justin Mortimer, Adrian Ghenie and Ai Weiwei .I am interested in both figurative and abstract images and draw inspiration from a wide range of source materials, personal photographs, film frames, archival images, and art history. Deconstructing photography gives me an impulse and sharpens my sense of perception and attention, how spontaneously folded collages become equivalent, and sees the duality of this phenomenon, turning it into a personal view of the picture. The paintings of a piece are often varied, mixed with contemporary scenes such as portraits, home spaces, or social media. The universe is the result of the interaction of world forces of order and chaos, divine and demonic, male and female principles. These reflections on the human condition provide a deeper search, trying to explain and eliminate the root cause of all suffering, that is, good and evil, so-called human conditions. Competitive, selfish and aggressive behaviour of people carries a gap between consciousness, roles and relationships, and they, of course, are somehow connected with the fact “what have we lost?” “Why are we in the Internet space?” I look for faces, expressions and relationships between “people on the web” to tell a story. I don’t always know what the story is, but I trust my instinct. Key themes are freedom, consciousness, the brain. Sometimes they are riddled with threats, losses, or questions about roles. Going through the pictures I find in the raw data that are astounding, I try not to ask why I am attracted to something, and just work with it to understand. The photographs I found amazed me after being slightly manipulated in Photoshop with their mysterious faces or shapes that I use in my paintings. They tell stories about a certain role of a person, unknowable, complex, deep. This can be explained by the transformation and degradation of the image when the language itself is reproduced with codes and designations. When I assign an image and translate it to painting, it is also an iteration. The image is another channel on this line. Another layer in the history of the painting. Translation is my imaginary brain; an image is an album of thoughts. My paintings mainly focus on human connections and expressions in different environments. How vividly it is possible to develop a colour dialogue, where the work is eloquently discussed with the viewer, exclusively with the help of colour associations, describes the laws of the world, the human psyche, social and political cataclysms, through the features of artistic techniques. The basis of my practice is the search for a non-standard perception of colour as an organic constant. This is what determines the complexity of the interpretation of colour phenomena, the subjectivity of interpretations, the polarity of which is complemented by the absence of a developed method for analysing colour on an artistic canvas. The work invites the public to contribute to it, which can mean so much to so many people, leaving the public the opportunity to project their thoughts onto them. and ideas. My constant search for interesting and different forms so that I can project my own ideas and feelings onto them. My irresistible desire to look for where the key positions of the game are only superficially affected, where composition, colour, and the idea of negative space and isolation are used to create. Far from the homeland of Russia with its national isolation, I was a slave of thought, I saw a person “on the other side”, where there is no definite narrowness of ideological and thematic assessments. The new “extraterrestrial side” presupposes not just an appeal to the unconscious level of perception, but, above all, a joint creative dialogue. Where the viewer finishes the picture, completes and coordinates the completeness of the drawing and colour, he cuts into it immeasurably brighter, stronger, organically grows into it. In truth, where it flashes, it grows in the mind of the addressee. Despite or of coincidence in my life, I am a multinational citizen – Russian, Iranian, English artist living in Manchester.
Was awarded first place by Howard Charitable life classes in 2020and won Scholarships in2021.
Olivia K.A is a painter interested in the unique experience of everyday life. Zooming in on a micro-level to examine the context, surroundings and relationships occupying her immediate environment, she combines memory with imagination to communicate a playful and colourful version of her everyday encounters. Questions concerning subjectivity, identity, space, and the mundane are therefore central to the thinking behind her work.
Olivia Leake is a Wirral based artist currently living and studying in Manchester. Her specialty is realism oil painting with a focus on portraiture. She loves all things romantic and ornate, often pulling inspiration from the old masters to inform her artistic practice. She is particularly interested in the portrayal of women and nature throughout art history and its links to femininity and sexuality.
I am a printmaker living and working in Manchester. I have a studio and workshop at home and am a member of Hotbed Press in Salford.
I have found that ‘a sense of place’ is where I always begin, and my work is about the environments in which I live and the places I choose to visit. The recorded narrative is often abstracted and then reconstructed.
I have recently made the decision to focus on a new direction as a custodian of many inherited objects which is leading me down new roads of exploration and am excited as to where this will lead. Progress so far in this project is leading to much contemplation, so finished works are developing slowly.
My general approach to printmaking is experimental, intuitive and ordered all at the same time. I draw directly onto a plate to create and build up marks using adopted print processes etching, dry point, carborundum, mono-print and more recently introducing elements of collage and chine colle.
The first two images I have submitted (previously not exhibited) for this open call are later works from a series of prints that started during the lockdown. My research for this series of mono-prints is based on the observations and experiences walking around a place called Panjim in Goa. The layers of colour, composition of shapes and the linear structures are from the memories I stored away from this place. Working with colour gave contrasting solace in darker times.
The two smaller prints are from early developments in new work, examination of fragments of old ledgers and my father’s labelling on the inherited objects. These initial studies are from a series of four different plates overprinted in different combinations.
These paintings are part of a long running series that tell oblique stories centred on childhood games, routines, situations and pastimes. The innocence of such activities can take on a multi dimensional and sinister reading that I’m exploiting given that my view of the world settles naturally into this state. Toys, pets, clothing, domestic activity and food are all props to suggest that childhood is not necessarily such a place of simplicity.
Rachael is a contemporary painter based at Rogue Artists’ studios in Manchester. Her practice is fundamentally a mark making process in which she creates abstract landscapes by applying a multitude of painted layers and patterns to the surface of canvas and paper.
Her formative years, spent between the Lake District and Asia had an important inspiration on the process, colours and aesthetic of her work. Throughout this time, Zen Buddhism imprinted itself as an influence on her distinctive mark making process. Also heavily influenced by 1950’s abstract expressionism painters, the philosophies from these cultures and movements began to mould and shape her style and attitude to the painted surface.
Rachael’s current paintings seek to establish a contemplative and meditative aspect both for the viewer and for herself. She uses unconventional processes to create her paintings, abandoning paintbrushes for found and recycled materials such as discarded fragments of toys.
Rachael’s paintings have a deep connection to the beauty within our environment and are often reminiscent of geographic landscapes. Rachael has found she has a human connection with the act of painting and through the movement of repetition creates a visual poetry within the works, often subconsciously.
Following her degree in Fine art, Rachael completed the three year postgraduate programme at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. She is a re-emerging artist, following a break from painting she began to paint seriously again in 2018.
As well as exhibiting UK wide, selling her paintings nationally and internationally, her work has been accepted into several exhibitions. This includes the Jackson’s Open Painting Prize 2021, Ing Discerning Eye, Visual art Open and the Art Gemini Prize 2021 in which she won the People’s choice award. Rachael was a featured artist in the BBC documentary about the Royal Academy summer exhibition 2020. Rachael is delighted to have recently won the accolade of “Manc of the Year” with the Manchester based arts organisation Cotton on Manchester.
Alongside painting, Rachael is a lecturer in Fine art.
Rachel Barber is an artist and printmaker. Her work explores the natural environment.She is constantly trying to capture something of the atmosphere she encounters. In this recent body of work she is exploring mono and screen printing in layers , sometimes using metal leaf and inks to reflect light movement and form.
Ramon Omolaja Adeyemi
Making the fleeting moments still through the strokes of brush and colour.
Rowan is a hand embroidery artist based in Manchester. Her pieces weave together personal memory, mythology and literary fragments to create contemporary embroidered art. In Rowan’s work, traditional techniques, inherited thread and reclaimed fabrics are at once celebrated and subverted to explore the presence, absence and residues of human existence.
I am a multidisciplinary visual artist in the depths of exploring my own identity, mental health and the expectations forcing themselves down on me by myself and society.
The generation of my ideas focuses primarily on my first hand recordings of the ups, the downs, the excitement and the drudgery of everyday life. The monotonous acts of the everyday absolutely fascinate me and have become the catalyst to many of my recent and most powerful artworks.
My ideas are realized through many different mediums, beginning as photographs and drawings and becoming prints and paintings which can appear on a variety of scales and surfaces, such as Barbie and Russian dolls, all of which further enrich and deepen the examination of self.
My practice is currently centered around the concept of the “Technofossil”; objects manufactured specifically for human use, to facilitate or enhance contemporary existence, and having outlasted their useful function, are thoughtlessly discarded into the environment.
Like fossils, these objects will become embedded in currently forming geological strata leaving traces of themselves. Geologists have already used these objects to propose a name for our era, calling it the “Anthropocene” (trans. the human epoch).
In the process of making the work I am able to decontextualize these objects and subvert their function by casting; reproducing sections in clay, then applying them to the surface of my hand-built forms.
The sculptures themselves are an amalgamation of the familiar and unfamiliar.
Once produced, my ceramic creations become petrified (an anticipation of our story told in rock), a vision or premonition serving as a message to a future beyond our knowledge. Inert objects in the environment; impermeable, persistent, permanent, outliving me to tell a story of our failed relationship with our Earth. A warning of a post-apocalyptic world where, through human activity, life on earth has vanished and all that remains are enigmatic ghostly traces of our long-gone ‘civilisation’.
Shaun Azrak is a visual artist and music producer. Gifted with synesthesia, Shaun is known for creating visual representations of sound and music.
This specialism has seen him work with numerous well-respected record labels to date. In 2020, he co-founded Grey Meta, a record label that blurs the boundaries of auditory and visual art. The label is home to experimentation and innovation in electronic music and the interpretative visual art it inspires him to create.
Shaun is also focused on painting murals, using urban spaces to experiment with abstract knots and landscapes, taking inspiration from the ancient Celtic knotwork of his native Scotland. His knots are broken in places and unbalanced, influenced by the technologically-driven times in which we live. He calls this style “Celtic Futurism”.
I machine and hand stitch fabric scraps, yarns and thread to create suggestions of landscapes
Stefanie Trow is a British artist who studied Visual Arts at Salford University, graduating in 2004. She now lives and works in Manchester, UK.
Trow is a painter driven by her fascination of the natural world, human experience and materiality of paint.
She creates multi-layered paintings that 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.
Intense bold colours are pulled and scraped across the canvas, creating an expressive language of their own. Trow’s brushwork gives way to movement. The paint just about holds onto the image, creating an ebb and flow of reality, 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.
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 art 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’m at the start of my new career in a 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 at the heart 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. It has a presence, unchanging, calm, reflective like a friend.
I also 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 have painted for as long as I remember, but took it up professionally full time 10 years ago.
My work is largely about places and landscapes, urban and rural. The places I choose to paint often have nostalgic meaning for me, as I aim to reconnect to a place I have once known or occupied. Or favourite places that I like to visit.
Urban scenes tend to reflect my current life in Manchester. Walking around the city I often feel amazed and curious about the architecture and infrastructure; it’s heritage and manufacturing history. I think about how my own ancestors fitted into this industrial landscape. Being a bit of family history nerd inspires me to create local artwork! Painting them helps me to connect to my roots here in the big city.
Some of my work has an aspect of photo-realism using traditional painting techniques, if I want to paint what I see to a point, but also how the place feels. The soft chalky warmth of terracotta Manchester bricks, or the hard, cold, glinting granite of an Aberdonian wall. Water reflections intrigue me, and I enjoy observing the different surface textures on a lake or canal.
Other works are more abstract or expressive as I prefer to experiment with more than one style. I am also influenced by printed artwork – although I have not printed before, I often work in block colours, which resemble screen print, focussing purely on the balance of colour in a landscape or scene.
Tracey Hollis Rowe
I am a contemporary landscape/wild places artist from Greater Manchester
My compositions are from memory using expressive gestural marks to build layers, texture, negative space and form. Intuitive mark making using paints and mediums that are then manipulated with various tools until an image before emerges.
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.
Out Of The Blue – The haunting beauty of the moors, is a place for solitude, somewhere to restore calm, to help clear the darkness from your mind and clear your thoughts. A place to awaken your soul
Our planet is warming at a record rate and with profiting energy giants burning fossil fuels and drilling for more natural oil and gas, there’s no cooling down. We’re witnessing our ice caps and glaciers melting before our eyes. The tides are high and continue to rise.
Using recycled plastic bags and acrylic wool made of polymer microfibres, High Tide is a weaving that represents ice melting into waves. Measuring 100cm in height, the size of the artwork signifies the projected sea level rise by the year 2100.
As a textile artist amongst other disciplines, my work focusses on demonstrating the threatening impact of climate change through visually appealing and tactile work, often using recycled and synthetic man-made materials.
I am fascinated by the ways in which form and structure make textiles ‘speak’ or take on an animate or anthropomorphic form. The language of stitches, texture and print has always felt instinctive and transmissible to me. Now, I hope it inhabits the artworks I make.
My multi-disciplinary studio – Roby Workshop – began in June 2021 and my first solo exhibition of over 20 works ran for 6 weeks at Arc, in Stockport Hat Museum, in early 2022. I split my time between making art and making practical products. This split allows me to create flow between techniques which work for art and those which elevate product design. Both inform the other and are constantly evolving. I use a great deal of waste and recycled materials and though this provides an environmental benefit, my main area of interest is in the transformation. I grew up in a Brutalist concrete new town and am well versed in the intersection between cheap materials, ordered beauty and cold horror. So the challenge of making something austere, calm and pleasing out of a scratchy peach 1980s wool makes perfect sense to me.
Most of my works to date have been print-and-stitch pieces made by screen printing onto wool before adding sewn elements, sharp slashes and cut-outs. I use fibrous, old blankets as they provide a wonderful contrast between the inked and un-inked areas, rather than traditional (and flatter) silks or cottons. Lately I have been developing new painted textiles which hold cut shapes and take on a more sculptural form; increasingly in brutal, monochromatic palettes.