Unlock the love

In 2021 visual art students from The Manchester College were asked to consider and share what kind of world they wanted to live in and use creative processes to call for change. They developed their understanding of art as communication and used this to challenge in inventive and creative ways. The gallery’s resources and spaces were available for them to use to help amplify their voice, speak to power and encourage others to think, talk and make.

The Gallery recently acquired Jeremy Deller’s Everybody in The Place: An Incomplete History of Britain 1984-1992. The film helped shape this year’s programme which has focused on imagined futures and who has the power to make change. Ideas of community, the agency of young people, social justice and the power of counterculture, explored in Deller’s work, have proved an ideal catalyst for the students.

On Friday 9th July 2021 over 200 students presented their work at the Gallery where their voices and creativity were shared with their city. Many themes were explored including the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement, the power of creativity in supporting good mental health and a call for wider society to value creativity more. The film below was produced throughout the process, demonstrating the inventiveness and positivity of these creative young people in such extraordinary times.

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Below are a series of films and resources that were developed to help the students think about visual literacy, history and politics, and how these shape how we communicate, exchange ideas, create agency and navigate the world.

Introduction to Future Creatives and 2021 brief – Emma Carroll

Jeremy Deller – Everybody in the place – an incomplete history of Britain 1984–1992 

The themes and ideas explored in this film were the key influence for this brief. It joins the dots between ideas of community, the agency of young people, social justice, urban and rural life, the question of who writes history, and the power of counterculture.

Importantly, Dellers work resonated with current issues raised by Covid-19 – such as inequity, education, politics, and the vital role different cultures have in shaping a healthy society for all. The film is about community – people coming together to socialise but also to make change. The crisis highlighted the basic human need to be together and reinforced the importance of creativity, community and belonging.

Jade Montserrat – Nikita Gill

Curator Nikita Gill introduces the evolving exhibition Constellations of Care and shares insight into how she and Jade programme activity in the space.

Derek Jarman – Fiona Corridan

Curator Fiona Corridon introduces the work of Derek Jarmen, whose exhibition Protest will be at the gallery during 2021.

Grayson Perry Art Club – Fiona Corridon

Curator Fiona introduces the Grayson Perry Art Club exhibition that developed from the TV show.

Student portraits

Student portraits
Student portraits
Student portraits