Manchester Art Gallery

Goals: Jo Roberts

Jo Roberts reveals the hidden quirks of Manchester’s two football clubs through drawing and writing, reflecting and observing.

Manchester Art Gallery
Saturday 20 October 2007–Sunday 13 January 2008


Inspired by Celia Fiennes (1662–1741) who journeyed through England on horseback and came to Manchester in 1688, for this collection Jo Roberts acted as a contemporary reporter coming to the city.

Working at Manchester City and Manchester United Football Clubs, Roberts interviewed a selection of people about their goals in life from players to grounds men, cleaners to ticket sellers, finding the human stories behind the game. Her findings were published in the Manchester Evening News in the run up to her exhibition opening.

Artist biography

Jo Roberts is an established British artist. A few years ago she started using the word ‘Commentariographer,’ a word last used in 1576, to describe her artistic role:

“Someone who writes, mediates, ponders, portrays or records. One who comments on current events and produces an expository treatise.”

She says, “I am interested in the minutiae of everyday life and highlighting the specific. I am curious and inquisitive about people, places, things and their interaction with one another. I believe in the artist as a catalyst; an agent for change, often in a subtle way. I journey, investigating and recording the things I discover. I am endlessly fascinated by my life journey and use whatever media is appropriate to describe my findings.”

Exhibition Partners

This project was developed in partnership with Manchester City Football Club,  Manchester Evening News, the Professional Footballers’ Association and Manchester United Football Club.