Thursday, 15 December 2011

Follow the white rabbit to the Tate Liverpool...

Since their original publication in 1865, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass have had an unprecedented influence on the visual arts. Charles Dodgson, working under the pseudonym, Lewis Carroll, created a kind of dream world that can be appreciated by both children and adults alike. Exploring themes of the uncanny, unexpected, irrational, absurd and fantastical, the story of Alice is one that we all know and love. Tate Liverpool’s current show, Alice in Wonderland, offers visitors everything from original manuscripts, sketches, photographs and memorabilia, to both traditional and contemporary painting, sculpture, and video responses to the Alice adventures. The pieces on show in this exhibit explore various ideas such as the temporary nature of time, the precariousness of childhood, the impact of the written word upon visual culture and issues of identity. As a collective, these works highlight the more sophisticated themes which, even as children’s books, the Alice stories still present.

Read the rest of my review at

Monday, 28 November 2011

Under That Cloud

The Icelandic ash cloud of 2010 brought many parts of the world to a halt, and showed international societies just how fragile our technological networks really are. Despite unbelievably advanced machinery and the ease of travel in our modern world, nature usually always wins. For those stranded in foreign destinations across the globe, the easy option may have been to panic, and spend what was essentially an extended holiday just trying to find a way home. The new exhibition Under That Cloud at Manchester Art Gallery showcases work from 18 international artists, all of which were stranded in Mexico City during the air travel standstill. Fascinatingly, they have all chosen jewellery as a way to manifest their responses to the crisis, as well as their experiences of Mexico and its culture.
Under That Cloud continues at Manchester Art Gallery until Sunday 15th April 2012

Friday, 25 November 2011

'Everything Is Happening At Once'

‘Everything Is Happening At Once’ at The Cornerhouse, Manchester, is the first solo UK exhibition by Asian artist Rashid Rana. Rana’s work explores how physical realities and social practises affect our culture and identity. He is also particularly interested in the contrasts we find in everyday life. This interest manifests itself in the exploration of both two dimensional and three dimensional fields found in the artist’s pieces. Rana uses a mixture of both micro and macro images in his work, which surrounds the idea of whole vs. fragment that many of the pieces in this exhibition embody. He uses the theme of abstraction as the core of his artwork, however his techniques are not abstract.
‘Everything Is Happening At Once’ continues at Manchester’s Cornerhouse until 18th December

Friday, 11 November 2011

Dark Matters at the Whitworth Art Gallery

It is by the ghostly light of Daniel Rozin’s Snow Mirror that one enters Dark Matters at the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester. This haunting new exhibition is an amalgamation of digital installations, paintings, film and a variety of other media, all of which have a dark and mysterious undertone. All the works explore themes of shadows, memory, solitude, loss, mystery and magic, as well as how mechanical and scientific developments are increasingly having an impact on visual culture. What could once only be experienced by a paranormal encounter can now be recreated with technology, however the major pieces within the Dark Matters exhibition still maintain that initial magic and wonder that came with the first optical inventions.

Dark Matters continues at the Whitworth Gallery, Manchester, until 15th January 2012.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Watch this space

for all the goings on in Manchester's galleries large and small, and occasionally further afield. My review of Dark Matters at the Whitworth will be up very soon.