A group of women from across the North of England have come together to form an artistic collective and have put on their first show based in the creative hub that is Manchester’s Northern Quarter.
I’ll put my hands up to confess that I missed the launch on 26 March as I was schmoozing at an event in Coronation Street (sucks to be me, I know), but this is top of my list to dash to in the coming weeks. It combines some of my favourite things: cool women + art + hipster cafes + people-that-like-all-of-the-above-and-live-in-the-same-place-I-do.
The open exhibition features a variety of work including ceramics, painting, drawing, and photography, so what’s not to love?
The collective began meeting at Nexus Art Café in Dale Street in October, and have been working on pieces for the show since then. The artwork will remain in the cafe until 1 June and many of the pieces are available to buy.
The collective has 19 members; some are professional artists, but others have full time jobs outside the arts world, so props to them for making the time to create all of this stuff.
Although apparently their cultural origins are diverse, all the women now live in the north of England, and identify as Northern women.
I’m curious to see whether this ‘northern-ness’ is identifiable across the exhibition as a general aesthetic. Is it possible for the grey skies, the indomitable spirit of its inhabitants, and the industrial heritage of the North West to seep into the art of a group of almost 20 women in some subtle but consistent way? Or is that as patronising a thought as expecting their work to be based around the same themes simply because they’re all women?
I’ve pretty much defined the focus of a future review blog; now I must take the not-so-winding road to the Northern Quarter to find out the answer, and I suggest you do the same.