Manchester Art Gallery

Creativity against the odds: Art and internment during World War Two

Lecture by Monica Bohm-Duchen

Prompted by the Warth Mills Project currently underway near Manchester, this illustrated lecture will examine the art produced in Warth Mills and other British internment camps in the broader context of art produced in other internment situations, from the Japanese-American camps in the USA to the Nazi POW and concentration camps. Just what is it that makes human beings feel the urge to create in such adverse and inauspicious circumstances?

Monica Bohm-Duchen is a London-based art historian. Her latest book is Art and the Second World War (Lund Humphries, 2013), and her essay The Two World Wars was published in War and Art: A Visual History of Modern Conflict (Reaktion Books, 2017). She is currently organising a nationwide arts festival, planned for 2019, to pay tribute to the contribution made to British culture by refugees from Nazi-dominated Europe.


The event is free, but booking is advised, book at Eventbrite.

This event is part of the Warth Mills Project, a programme of events and activities to tell the story of Britain’s most notorious WWII internment camp: Warth Mills in Bury, Greater Manchester. It is produced by Unity House and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The lecture is produced by Unity House in association with Manchester Art Gallery and Manchester Jewish Museum.

Curator’s talk: Annie Swynnerton

Join exhibition co-curator, Rebecca Milner for a talk on Annie Swynnerton’s retrospective in Gallery 1.

Curator’s talk: Annie Swynnerton

Join exhibition co-curator, Rebecca Milner for a talk on Annie Swynnerton’s retrospective in Gallery 1.

Curator’s talk: Annie Swynnerton

Join exhibition co-curator, Rebecca Milner for a talk on Annie Swynnerton’s retrospective in Gallery 1.

Curator’s talk: Annie Swynnerton

Join exhibition co-curator, Rebecca Milner for a talk on Annie Swynnerton’s retrospective in Gallery 1.


Waqas Khan in conversation

Waqas Khan’s minimalist drawings resemble webs and celestial expanses. Inspired by patterns of biological organic growth and also by the lives and literature of Sufi poets, his work is a meditation on life, togetherness and the universe. His contemplation is made visible in ink on paper and his work invites our contemplation. Using small dashes and minuscule dots, his large-scale, monochromatic works are composed of either red, blue, white or black ink.

Waqas will be visiting Manchester at the end of his show and will be in conversation with curator, Fareda Khan.

Talk and Q&A with Joe Hartley and Sam Buckley

Castlefield Gallery and Manchester Art Gallery invite you to join Manchester-based artist-maker Joe Hartley, and the innovative chef Sam Buckley of Stockport restaurant Where The Light Gets In for a talk & Q&A about their recent visit to South Korea.

In August 2017, as part of the UK-Korea Cultural Season, a group of Korea’s top craftspeople – Living National Treasures (in waiting), as they are known in their home country, or Masters, visited the North West of England as part of a year-long cultural exchange programme called Treasure, between artists and master craftspeople in South Korea and artist / makers in the region.

Whilst exploring Manchester, including Manchester Art Gallery’s collections, and the ‘treasures of Cumbria’, the Korean Masters, Shin Gyung-Kyun, Lim Gae-Hwa and Choe Seon-Hui specialists in black bamboo, pottery (in particular the venerated Moon Vase) and cookery, were introduced to Joe Hartley, Sam Buckley, and Cumbrian furniture-maker and designer Tom Philipson. The artists and makers came together and began a process of exchanging skills and ideas, with an ambition to collaboratively conceive and produce ‘useful’ products that ‘anyone’ can make. Members of the public in Cumbria and Manchester had opportunity to meet, learn, exchange and make alongside the group.

When exploring Manchester Art Gallery’s collections, Master Moon-Vase-maker Shin Gyung-Kyun, was particularly excited by the gallery’s Moon Vase – believing it is particularly special due to its origins and its decorative features which he found to be overwhelming playful.

In November 2017 Sam and Joe traveled together to Busan in South Korea to spend time learning from the Masters, and then onto Gwangju to spend time with emerging contemporary artists based there and associated with artist residency organisation Barim.

Join Joe and Sam at Manchester Art Gallery to hear them reflect on their experience, ask them questions and discover more about Treasure as it will unfold over 2018.

Joe Hartley

Artist-maker Joe Hartley worked as a butcher, a cook and a baker (among other jobs) before studying 3-D Design as a mature student, graduating from Manchester School of Art in 2012. Having started to work with ceramics at the age of ten, his high levels of skill have provided a bedrock for his exploration of clay and other materials. Joe uses objects, and the process of making them, to communicate ideas; the ideas and use dictate the form of what he makes. In 2016 Joe project-managed the building and fitting out of the Pilcrow Pub in Manchester city centre, working with groups from various communities to design and make the fittings for the pubs, in so doing engendering a sense of ownership and belonging. He then co-founded OH OK LTD based around a shared belief that places work better when everybody is involved with building them; OH OK LTD have launched a public fabrication workshop, created large scale public artwork, delivered a number of city centre events, and are overseeing the creation of public events and market space within NOMA.

Sam Buckley

Sam Buckley is chef/proprietor of the Stockport restaurant – Where the Light Gets In. It is here that Sam and the team explore nature and our connection to it through a ‘no choice menu’ often spanning 16 courses. Sam’s food is concerned with bringing the diner closer to the idea that beauty and intimacy are first found in the natural state of the produce itself. Sam studied with renowned chefs Simon Rogan at Enclume and Paul Kitching at Juniper. In between stints in the kitchen time was spent traveling throughout Europe and Asia watching closely how a community engages with their food culture to create strong community links and healthy bodies and minds.


The event is free, but booking is advised. Book now at Eventbrite.

The programme, Treasure, is a collaboration between Castlefield Gallery and Grizedale Arts in Cumbria, supported by the Arts Council Korea and Arts Council England. Castlefield Gallery are delighted to be among the 21 performing and visual arts projects in England and South Korea to receive awards from the joint-fund. The Arts Council England–Arts Council Korea co-investment sits alongside and complements the UK/Korea 2017–18 season, jointly organised by the British Council and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Korea.

BALTIC in the North East of England are leading a consortium of English organisations including Castlefield Gallery, FACT, Grizedale Arts, New Art Exchange, Site Gallery, Spike Island and Wysing Arts Centre that are working with Korean partners and artists to develop an Artists’ Residency Exchange Programme for emerging artists based in the UK and Korea.

Highlights tour

Join one of our brilliant volunteer guides for a tour of the gallery. Find out more about art on display, the building and the history of the gallery. Every guide designs their own tour, so each tour is slightly different depending on the personality and interests of the guide.Tours take place every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Adeela Suleman artist talk

Featured in the South Asia Design Gallery with her spectacular piece, After all it’s someone else who Dies, Adeela Suleman is an artist who responds to death and violence in contemporary Pakistan.

Working with craft makers from a variety of disciplines including metal workers and painters, Adeela Suleman’s work combines exquisite craftsmanship and beauty with the fragility of life and death.

In contemporary Pakistan death surrounds us, nameless, faceless and countless.

Adeela Suleman studied Sculpture at the Indus Valley School of Art and completed a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Karachi.

She is currently the Coordinator of Vasl Artists’ Collective in Karachi, in addition to being Associate Professor and Head of the Fine Art Department at Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture.

Suleman has participated extensively with group and solo exhibitions worldwide, including Phantoms of Asia at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, the 2013 Asian Art Biennial at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art, Hanging Fire – Contemporary Art from Pakistan at The Asia Society, New York; Gallery Rohtas 2, Lahore; Canvas Gallery, Karachi; Aicon Gallery, New York; and, the International Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Bologna, Italy (2008). Reviews and features of work appear in Artforum and the New York Times, among other publications. The artist lives and works in Karachi, Pakistan.


Philosophy café at Thursday lates

The Philosophy café is the perfect opportunity to experience art and discuss a philosophical question, creating a space for people to talk and think together.  Each session starts in the gallery cafe, discussing the topic in small groups.  After this we explore an artwork on display, followed by a group discussion in a gallery space, amongst our world class exhibitions and collections.

No need to book. Just turn up and meet in the cafe bar.

For more information please contact: Ruth Edson:

Tel: 0161 2358877