Creative Futures – Our Alumni

Our Future Creatives project has been taking place for 7 years and we are welcoming our alumni back as they establish themselves as practitioners and creatives in their city. Not only did we want to support the alumni with the skills they will need to deliver workshops and projects to other Future Creatives, we also know it is vital that our current and future students have role models and inspiring stories so they too can picture thriving in the future.

After an application process, Manchester Art Gallery and The Manchester College recruited 5 Future Creative alumni in paid positions to take part in a training programme and evaluation project running from March – July 2023.

The Programme’s aim was to:

  • Offer support for a range of needs of previous students including leaders, innovators, makers and those who are not currently sure what they are.
  • Develop a network that helps build understanding and development, both within the group and with other professionals working in Manchester’s creative industries.
  • Provide opportunities to connect with artistic practice and think about how it can be applied and how to talk about it.
  • Explore how Future Creatives has impacted their lives and learn how to create a better programme for the coming years.
  • Develop a team to work on following years’ Future Creatives programmes.

It included:

  • A series of in-conversations with people already working in Manchester’s Creative Industries, including artists, designers and project managers. These offered insight from those who are working in the sector, from practicalities to health and wellbeing-focused topics.
  • Training at Manchester Art Gallery in how to use artwork to unlock conversations and ideas both personally and with groups of young people.
  • A film making opportunity, providing a buddy system with a skilled film maker, access to industry standard equipment, edit suits and technician time and postproduction support.
  • 1-1 mentoring with a college tutor to develop workshopping skills in their specific artistic area, while giving opportunities to connect with their own practice.

Reimagining the Rutherston Loans Scheme

These films were made by emerging artists, all former participants of Future Creatives – a partnership project between The Manchester College and Manchester Art Gallery and a team of filmmakers from the University of Manchester. They have responded to artworks from the Rutherston Loans Scheme to consider their usefulness today.

Charles Rutherston & The Rutherston Loan Collection

Nehal Amir –  Lifecycled, Future Creatives 2016
Creative Futures 2023 – Alumni 

Dimensions : 75cm x 56cm
Material : earthenware, terracotta, slip, underglaze, glaze

Inspired by the female figures represented in the Rutherford Collection, exhibited at Manchester Art Gallery, Nehal has created a tile piece, which explores womanhood using symbolism, patterns and various craft processes. Connecting Nehal to her past and present, she has used references from Mughal miniature paintings that empower her as a woman living in modern society whilst reflecting on her inner being. The symbols surrounding the female figure helps her to grow and become stronger as she absorbs all that is around her.

Nehal Aamir 2023 FC


Isaac Grubb – Restriction and Release, Future Creatives 2017 
Creative Futures 2023 – Alumnae 


Isaac Grubb is a visual artist whose practice explores the intricacies of the human condition and human experience. Isaac’s work often investigates themes involving emotionality, growth and aspiration, encompassing the mental, physical and spiritual experiences of humans. Captivated by a UN study documenting surprising experiences of flower selling migrants in Turin, Italy, this piece uses flowers as a parallel to the movement of people. It is not just about the physical movement but the mental journey that humans experience; much like flowers bending their heads towards the sun, everyone experiences some sort of journey in their life, perhaps with an idealised destination, as though they are stepping toward the light.