Manchester Art Gallery

Making Conversation

Making Conversation is an open access group which – before the Covid 19 restrictions – encouraged members of the public to visit the gallery, look at art, explore ideas and make something in response!

Making Conversation fosters a friendly community and we are keen to keep that going while the gallery doors are temporarily closed.

The session is put together by a team of local artists; Niki Colclough, Naomi Kendrick and Helen Newman and we invite you to join in this month’s workshop. If you make something in response to this month’s inspiration and would like to share it, please take a photograph of what you create and email it to nicola.colclough@manchester.gov.uk

If it is received before Tuesday 12th May, we’ll include it in our monthly round-up of responses.

Activity

This month we have three artworks for you to respond to, should you wish! You may feel like responding to one or all three, its up to you.

This activity has three simple steps:

1. Spend time with the artworks

2. Think about what they mean to you

3. Make something in response ( See below for details )

Please don’t feel pressure to make anything precious, there is no right or wrong here, just enjoy the artworks and the process of playing with materials. We look forward to seeing what you have been up to!

Artworks

Me in Sea by Gwen Hardie 1962

Read more about this work.

Pulse Index by Rafael Lozano Hemmer 2010

Read more about this work.

Portrait of The Artist As The Painter Raphael by Wyndham Lewis 1921

Read more about this work.

First of all, just notice your first impressions of the artwork, do you like it, does it remind you of anything, does it make you feel a certain way, do you have questions about it?

Spending time with the Artwork

Grab a cuppa and a biscuit, sit comfortably and allow yourself to spend time with each artwork (follow the links and click on the image to see a larger version) You might want to write down notes about what you notice, but you don’t have to.

First of all, just notice your first impressions of the artwork, do you like it, does it remind you of anything, does it make you feel a certain way, do you have questions about it?

Then, take your time to notice the following aspects of the artwork, one by one

Composition – What shapes make up the artwork, how much space is around them…

Colours – you could try focusing on one colour at a time for example noticing all the different shades of blue, and then all the different shades of pink.

Light and Shadow – scan the artwork looking first for all the brightest parts, and then explore all the areas of shadow

Texture – Notice the different textures in the artwork, soft, shiny, scratchy, smooth…

First of all, just notice your first impressions of the artwork, do you like it, does it remind you of anything, does it make you feel a certain way, do you have questions about it?

Let your mind wander

What might the story of this artwork be? Why do you think the artist has created this and what might they be trying to say? (it doesn’t matter if you don’t think you know this!) Does the artwork relate to you and your life in anyway?

Start making

What you make is entirely your choice, follow your imagination ?….Think back to the artwork and how you felt about it and start to play with the materials.

Here are a few suggested materials you could use from around the house to make with:

Cardboard tubes, biro, pencil, string, rubber band, tape, scissors, wrapping paper, camera/smartphone, old fabric/clothes, wool things from the garden/pot plants and of course anything else you might want to use….

A few reminders of some different kinds of making that you could try: Poems, letters, drawings, costumes, photography, collages, rubbings, prints, sculptures…

Enjoy!

And don’t forget to share your work with Niki if you’d like it included in next month’s Making Conversation newsletter.