Manchester Art Gallery has commissioned students from Manchester College and Xaverian College to develop creative responses to Matthew Darbyshire’s current show An Exhibition for Modern Living. The selected works will be displayed in an exhibition entitled Lifecycled, which will be taking place at Manchester Art Gallery between 5-7 January 2016.
To give a basis of inspiration, the students were invited to take part in a series of workshops and talks at the gallery with Manchester based established artists and designers, Andrea Zapp, Claire Norcross, design group Ferrious and culminating with an ‘in conversation’ event with Matthew Darbyshire. The varied nature of the works produced by these selected professionals and their individual areas of interest ensures a broad spectrum of ideas can be explored by the students.
Staff from the gallery visited both colleges during the past two weeks and as expected there is an incredibly varied high level of ideas and work being produced. The breadth of ideas and spirit of exploration by the students into ways to respond to Matthew Darbyshire’s exhibition has been amazing to see. Ideas around landfill wastage, social class, multiculturalism, consumerism, adornment, language and the role of advertising, were just some of the narratives visible in the vibrant studio spaces. It was confirmation of some very creative minds at work.
It was clear when visiting and discussing with the students how beneficial and inspirational the workshops had been. This contact with artists and designers in a ‘real world’ environment helped to show how a single brief can be explored in many different ways, and, as mentioned, judging by the worksheets and exploratory ideas on show this has clearly translated.
Narrowing this strong varied work down to a core selection for the final show will undoubtedly be incredibly difficult due to the high standard being achieved by the students currently. Lifecycled is going to be an inventive exhibition and inspiring platform for Manchester’s future creative’s.