We Face Forward

I’m one of the curators who is working with Maria Balshaw on the exhibition of West African art that’ll open in June 2012. The exhibition’s called We Face Forward and will show at the Whitworth, Manchester Art Gallery, and the Gallery of Costume at Platt Hall. In a few weeks time, I’m off to Bamako in Mali to see the photography biennale there.

Bowes Street, Moss Side

The brick for the obelisk is from terraced houses in the Bowes Street area of Moss Side, near to the old Stagecoach bus shed.  GB Building Solutions supplied the brick, which was them crushed into aggregate by Offerton Sand and Gravel.

Installing the Obelisk

 

 

Photos: Martin Stalker

The Whitworth Park Obelisk

The Whitworth Park Obelisk

On Monday 6 June this new sculpture by Cyprien Gaillard was installed in Whitworth Park. Occupying a plinth that has been empty since the Second World War, the Whitworth Park Obelisk is made from recycled brick from demolished terraced houses in Bowes Street, Moss Side, and concrete from the 1960s flats that were on either side of Bonsall Street in Hulme.

The sculpture wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Councillors Mary Murphy and Alistair Cox, Manchester City Council, GB Building Solutions and Manchester Metropolitan University.

It was made by Stockley (Manchester), Thorp Precast (Staffordshire) and Offerton Sand and Gravel (Stockport).

Photo: Martin Stalker

Final Few Days

The Land Between Us closes on Sunday 23 January, so there are just a few days left to catch the show.

The Whitworth has been very fortunate to be able to purchase the installation by Nikhil Chopra that’s part of the exhibition. Yog Raj Chitrakar: Memory Drawing X is presentation of a walk that Chopra performed from the north to the south of his home city of Mumbai. Photographs of him making the journey, the clothes he wore,  the haversack that he carried on his back, and the vast charcoal drawing on canvas that was in this bag are all on show.

Larissa Sansour & Oreet Ashery In Conversation

After hearing exhibition-inspired poetry from John McAuliffe, the final talk of the day was from Israel born artists Larissa Sansour and Oreet Ashery on their experimental graphic novel The Novel of Nonel and Vovel. In the novel Larissa and Oreet become superheroes, a device which is used to explore day to day life and politics in Palestine.

Oreet on the ideas behind the book “Palestine is a place in which fantasy does not seem so far fetched, for instance I became a weapons instructor at 19 due to military conscription. And so the idea of a superhero book seemed to make sense, we could deconstruct the situation whilst making the politics more accessible.”

Larissa on the links between politics and her art “We make art about what we know, and in our case we have to make art about politics.”

Larissa Sansour’s video work Soup Over Bethlehem (2006) continues to show as part of the exhibition. For more information on Oreet Ashery visit her website.

Romuald Hazoumé in conversation

After a screening of The Genome Chronicles directed by John Akomfrah (formerly of Black Audio Film Collective) we were priviledged to hear one of Africa’s most celebrated contemporary artists Romuald Hazoumé in conversation with Elisabeth Lalouschek of the October Gallery in London.

Romuald detailed the tradition and symbolism in his work, however it was most inspiring to learn about what inspires him to make artwork about his homeland.

“I don’t always know where I am, or where I’m going, but I certainly know where I’m from.

I am always making art for my community, because I know them the best and I want to help them to be more open.”

Explore the Romuald Hazoumé collection at the October Gallery here