Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Manchester Art Gallery – The First Cut

I visited several galleries and exhibitions during the week in Paris and I’m not sure when I’m going to get them all written up in here.  It will happen, eventually.  But I’m going to leapfrog the French experience (!) and go straight to a mention of an exhibition that I saw at Manchester Art Gallery on Sunday.  It’s called The First Cut
and features the work of around 30 artists on an overall theme of paper.  It was beautiful, fascinating, inspiring and just downright good.  I strongly recommend a visit.
It’s hard to pick out ‘favourites’; the work was all so creative and inspiring.  Log-Bin Chen uses woodworking tools to carve busts and figures from stacks of old books e.g. obsolete New York telephone directories. This article gives you an idea - here. Peter Callesen, conversely, creates remarkable art from single sheets of A4 paper, for example, look at these. Manabu Hangai had created a wonderful forest and Rob Ryan's work is well-known and instantly recognisable.  I find what Georgia Russell does with books absolutely breathtaking – try this for starters - The Story of Art – but there are dozens more. And I strongly recommend anyone reading this blog to look at a film called ‘Going West’, on this site http://www.andersenm.com/. I could go on!

It has really made me think about future photographic projects.  The ways in which these artists have taken simple materials and transformed them into something ‘else’, something with another life, another meaning; often a new existence that has some sort of relationship to their previous form, but almost transported to another dimension.  After completing Assignment Two, I had referred to a possible exploration of conceptual still life images.  Now I’m thinking about materials, everyday objects, combined, transposed ...!

OK – I did say it was an inspiring exhibition!  It will be back to my Paris Photo images shortly – but I don’t think the impact of this visit is going to go away.