Tenure as Visual Art Programme Manager: May 2011 – present
Lost Is Found
Sat 14 Jan 2012 – Sun 19 Feb 2012
Lost is Found is a group show of work from nine artists based in the North of England. The exhibited works find beauty in the redundant and discarded, explore past lives and find new stories in transformations and fleeting identities. Displacement of identity, relics of childhood, secret desires, fragments of memory and traces of history are brought to life through sculpture, photography, installation and drawing.
Curated and developed by the Creative Stars, 19 talented young people from the Greater Manchester region.
Samantha Donnelly: Contour States
Sat 28 Jan 2012 – Sun 25 Mar 2012
Contour States is the first major UK public solo show by British artist Samantha Donnelly. With a strong interest in the images presented in today’s media that continue to idealise and objectify the human form, the exhibition features new work that explores representations of female identity in photography, TV, film and advertisements. Underpinned by references to art history and popular culture, Donnelly’s distinctive work is concerned with the powerful effects of media imagery on the individual, and in particular with how the portrayal of women in the media shapes and defines them. She combines traditional media with disparate everyday objects and images from magazines and film, to create fragmented collages and sculptural assemblages.
Presented in partnership with Ceri Hand Gallery
Sat 14 Apr 2012 – Tue 5 Jun 2012
A unique group show of new and recent contemporary art that explores and rethinks modern Arab identity. Subversion features work from eleven emerging and established artists who use autobiographical narratives combining fiction, popular culture and subversive parody to express the divisions they face as they perform multiple roles in a society which is frequently represented to the outside world in a contorted and mediated manner. Spanning an array of techniques including installation, video, photography and sculpture, the work illustrates fragments of the distorted imagination that often preoccupies the Arab world.
Curators: Omar Kholeif
Stanya Kahn: It’s Cool, I’m Good
Sat 23 Jun 2012 – Sun 16 Sep 2012
The first UK solo show of LA-based artist Stanya Kahn features recent video work, drawings and a brand new commission. Absurd, poignant and darkly comic, Kahn’s videos create intimate portraits of compelling subjects as they struggle for articulation or mere survival despite setbacks, trauma and destabilised senses of self. The observations, mundane interactions and edgy jokes of Kahn’s characters suggest a deeper consciousness of social alienation, power and agency. A new commission, Who Do You Think You Are, further develops themes of trauma and recovery, and explores the elliptical concept of success. The film, which premiered at this exhibition, features a self-styled self-help guru whose relentlessly optimistic monologue thinly conceals her own vulnerability.
Curated by Henriette Huldisch and Sarah Perks.
David Shrigley: HOW ARE YOU FEELING?
Sat 6 Oct 2012 – Sun 6 Jan 2013
HOW ARE YOU FEELING? features a range of drawings, paintings, sculpture and never-seen-before live performance by acclaimed artist David Shrigley, who was subsequently shortlisted for The Turner Prize (2013). Taking you on a skewed, cathartic journey through the clever, amusing and raw world of David Shrigley, ‘How Are You Feeling?’ is a familiar phrase often used in self-help, psychiatry and the diagnosis of psychosis. For this exhibition, Shrigley offered you art-therapy to help you cope with “an increasingly crazy and poorly signposted world”. Many of the works in the show invited audience participation in order to complete them: take time out and relax on one of the sculptural beds provided in each gallery; contribute your own sketches to the wall of life-drawings using Shrigley’s naked humanoid figure as your model; or download a script from our website to act out a new Shrigley penned play. Finding humour in the bizarre and inconsequential with immediate and attainable appeal, his work often asks questions about the nature of contemporary art and its audience.
Curator: Mike Chavez-Dawson