Last week I took a trip to Manchester to see some exhibitions; First off I walked down Oxford Road to get to the Whitworth Art Gallery to see Art_Textiles.
"Our Freedom Can't Wait" & "I Did Not Join the Struggle to be Poor' by Lawrence Lemaoana
Faith Wilding's 'Crocheted Environment' or (Womb Room)
It was okay with a few stand out pieces but lots of more interesting contemporary artists who work with textiles were missing like Sheila Hicks & Tim Davies or Kai Chan & Rebecca Medel
Next I popped into the Manchester Museum to see 'Gifts for the Gods: Animal Mummies Revealed' an exhibition of animal mummies: mainly crocodiles, ibis, hawks and cats. The main Egyptian part of the Manchester Museum is always good to see (even if it's always crowded) they used to have an unwrapped mummy in its own dark room and the energy of it along with its simple display always used to make my spine tingle (I think it's been changed now though). It's such a key to another world where these animals were revered enough to be preserved and taken care of in the after life & to think they have survived all this time, it's absolutely incredible.
I then went to the Manchester Art Gallery where I wanted to see the reopening of the craft gallery; seeing as it had been closed for over a year you would've thought that something major would've changed but no, it looks like the same cases and a lot of the same objects were just trans-placed into the Modern Japanese Design exhibition. But it was still a great display: I love these unusual architectural jewellery pieces by Mariko Sumioka.
I also loved the playfulness of the inverted handle jug & the comfy/sexy rose chair along with beautiful sculptural paper lights by Issey Miyake.
"We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates...Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty" - Junichiro Tanizaki
'Hunacturing' by Lore Langendries (photo from Manchester Evening News)
& Silhouette Cameos by Tore Svensson (photo from Tore Svensson)
There was also beautiful black jewellery in their 'Black on Black' jewellery exhibition. Black used to be saved to be worn while in mourning, while now these contemporary makers limited palette allows them to focus on blacks melancholic & sinister properties to make beautiful meaningful works focusing on touch & nature, Lore Langendries uses Springbuck hide & leather to make tactile hairy brooches. While Tore Svensson remakes Victorian cameo brooches into ghostly silhouettes full of character.
As it's nearly Chinese New Year there was lots of Chinese Lanterns hanging in the trees looking beautifully festive in the bare trees against the grey winter sky.
Next to see in Manchester is 'Freedom or Death? The Women's Suffrage Movement' at the John Rylands Library and 'Fashion & Freedom' at Manchester Art Gallery