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Manchester Trip

November 21, 2010

18 – 19.11.2010

A group made up of all three years from Illustration went to Manchester. Primarily to see Intuition, the “Outsider Art”exhibition, artworks created outside of formal art training, at the Whitworth Art Gallery. Not only is the gallery itself stocked with fine works, I particularly enjoyed the Turner watercolour exhibition, but it’s café was stocked with some of the finest tea I’ve ever tasted. We also received some of the best directions I have ever been given in an art gallery, or anywhere for that matter. On asking where the Outsider exhibition was we were directed “through the forest and up the stairs” . . . Lewis Carroll would have been proud (see the photographs below for an explanation). The exhibition was interesting and in one sense very illustrative, most pieces being produced with whatever materials and equipment that was available to the artists such as ball point pen, cardboard and cloth. My personal favourite was “Napoleon and His Daughters” by Sava Sekulic (1902-1989) [household paint and pencil on board, 1975]:

We stayed in the YHA on Potato Wharf, which was modern and clean with good facilities but the buffet meal they charged us £9 per head for in the evening was not really worth £9 per head. In it’s defence I did feel full after my second dessert however. Breakfast on the other hand was more worthwhile and I felt well set for the day ahead after that. Particularly after the night out we’d had although I admit to being rather a lightweight as I skipped away early to make sure I was less of a zombie the next day.

The next day I spent at the Imperial War Museum North which was exceptional both for it’s architecture and it’s content. The exhibition hall itself, with the presentations that are projected onto every wall of the structure and surround the audience with deep resonating sound, was very impressive. The exhibitions of wartime artefacts, memorabilia, personal stories and sound recordings was mixed well with pieces of art, both large and small in scale, including front line illustration, large scale oil paintings and an impressive contemporary sculpture by Gerry Judah at the entrance to the main exhibition hall.

The last part of the day I spent in Chetham’s Library. The oldest public library in the world opened in 1653. It was suitably and delightfully smelly, a mixture of old leather and dust with a hint of old peoples home. The shelves of the library stacked with ancient leather-bound works along with a small selection of pieces from the libraries extensive collection and a reading room frequented by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels made the library an inspirational place to spend a few hours.

Here are some of the photographs I took during the trip:

And here are a few drawings I made whilst on the trip:

Some First Year Illustration students drawing in the Whitworth Gallery

Some school children watching a presentation at the Imperial War Museum North

Overall I very much enjoyed the very worthwhile Manchester trip and I must say that of course two days is nowhere near enough to take in Manchester in the way it deserves. I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw of the city and will most certainly attempt a further visit in the future. Times grip on our minuscule lives does not allow one near enough of itself to absorb the experiences travel to places other than ones own locality, that enrich one’s existence way beyond any measurable level, can bring. (How can you tell I wrote this Post whilst downing a bottle of fine Australian Merlot?).

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One Comment leave one →
  1. nadia treverton permalink
    December 9, 2010 11:43 pm

    so agree with your view of manchester. i feel i’ve only scratched the surface of this city and hope to return to explore some more. the war museum is very moving and a piece of sculpture in itself! cheers nadia

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