Culture Diary w/c 11-11-2019


Our pick of this week’s arts, design, film and music events from around the North of England and the rest of the UK – and loads of it’s free!

Monday – Design Manchester: Made in Manchester 5.30pm @ Manchester Central Library – FREE

Part of the Open To Business festival, this in conversation is one for music heads and graphic design fans both, as Malcolm Garrett sits down with Martyn Walsh. Garrett, now founder and Artistic Director of Design Manchester, made his name in the 1980s, creating album covers for bands such as Buzzcocks and Duran Duran; Walsh, meanwhile, is an erstwhile member of the Inspiral Carpets and currently serves as the Business and Intellectual Property Centre’s Creative Industries Guru in Residence. Expect walks down memory lane and up to the minute advice for creatives.

Tuesday – Opening: Steve McQueen: Year 3 @ Tate Britain, London – FREE

These days better known by many as director of films such as Widows, 12 Years a Slave and Shame, Steve McQueen’s breakthrough into the popular consciousness was as a visual artist. He returns to that milieu this week with a project capturing tens of thousands of Year 3 pupils. Drawn from state primaries, independent schools, faith schools, special schools, pupil referral units and home-educated pupils, McQueen has said: “There’s an urgency to reflect on who we are and our future […] to have a visual reflection on the people who make this city [London] work. I think it’s important and, in some ways, urgent.”

Wednesday – Wings of Desire 5.30pm @ FACT Liverpool – £8

A pair of angels – Damiel (Bruno Ganz) and Cassiel (Otto Sander) – invisibly observe, comfort and surreptitiously suggest the presence of something ‘more’ to us, Earth’s mere mortals, in Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire. The 1987 film, an almost instant classic, gives us cause to appreciate lives lived – the big, medium and small serendipities, miracles and unknowns that inject colour, making them what they are. It was, unwisely, remade a little over a decade later (starring Nic Cage and Meg Ryan). Take this opportunity to see the original as intended, on the big screen.

Exhibition Opening: Over Ground Uneven: Charlie Franklin 5pm @ Vane, Newcastle Upon Tyne – FREE

New works by Charlie Franklin, who many of you may have seen in last year’s John Moores Painting Prize. The exhibition’s title, Over Ground Uneven, refers to the artist’s research and experience of landscape: ‘how structures within it can become anchors to determine our sense of place’. Combining painting and sculpture to produce a kind of blurring of the two, Franklin says “I have spent time reconsidering how my work can act as landmarks or signposts within the territory of the gallery space. By experimenting with new patination techniques and processes, unforeseen impressions are revealed.”


Design Manchester: Stealing Sheep: ‘Big Wows’ Video Series Premiere 6.30pm @ Everyman Cinema, Manchester – £12.80

When Stealing Sheep released their third album, Big Wows, earlier this year, they teamed up with animator Emily Garner (A.K.A Pastel Castle), who created a series of complementary videos, which premieres tonight at Everyman Cinema Manchester. For a bit of insight into what to expect (at least visually), Garner has said: “All of the videos have been built digitally frame-by-frame at my home animation studio in Leeds. I tend to consume a lot of sugar and chocolate while working…” Promising ‘tamagotchi pets, cyber fairies, super heroes and Zelda inspired avatars’, even before you get on to karaoke from the band, this should be nothing if not entertaining.

Thursday – The Female Gaze: An In Conversation with Carolyn Mendelsohn and Casey Orr 11am @ Tate Liverpool – FREE

For many years, the only gaze you heard of was that belonging to the male. Today’s in conversation between photographers Carolyn Mendelsohn and Casey Orr explores its opposite. Each is on hand to discuss their respective long-term portrait projects, Being Inbetween and Saturday Girl, which explore the lives and identities of young women across the country. Interrogating identity, womanhood, hopes and fears, and our relationship to the self, this is a great opp to check out the photography of Mendelsohn and Orr prior to their publication by Bluecoat Press next year.   

X marks the spot, but for what

Exhibition Opening: Methods of Observing: Saoirse Lewis 6pm @ CASS ART, Manchester – FREE

Earlier this year, we featured Short Supply, a duo intent on making opportunities for themselves and others in the art world post-graduation. Their co-curated show, MADE IT, dangled the carrot of a solo exhibition for a selected artist down the line. They opted for sculptor and Manchester School of Art grad Saoirse Lewis, and have said in their curator notes for Methods of Observing: “[Lewis’] work is playful yet considered, it is concerned with the material properties of objects and media and is decidedly contemporary. More so than this however, her practice shows a dedication to enquiry which prompted our interest in her from the start.”

Friday – Exhibition Opening: JEW. Photographs by John Offenbach @ the Jewish Museum, London – FREE

As the blurb for this exhibition tells us, in November 1938, an exhibition entitled The Eternal Jew opened in Munich promoting the Nazi stereotypes of Jews through photographs. For contemporary photographer John Offenbach, “A large part of the project was to re-own that word – it shouldn’t be seen as an insult.” Inspired in part by the twentieth century project of August Sander, Offenbach has sought to depict individuals that together present a cross section of people – from Spy, to Refuse Collector and Nobel Laureate. “Each sitter is a normal person with a normal face, and I wanted to celebrate this normalcy. The ordinary is extraordinary and deserves our attention”, says Offenbach.


Saturday – Kate Pankhurst: Fantastically Great Women Who Worked Wonders 12pm @ Storyhouse, Chester – £8

If the name sounds familiar, that’s because illustrator and author Kate Pankhurst is a descendant of Suffragette, Emmeline. Fittingly, her book Fantastically Great Women Who Worked Wonders, celebrates the pioneers who today serve as examples and inspirations for those who came in their wake. Including ‘scientists, doctors, athletes, hot-air balloonists and more,’ join Pankhurst as she illuminates the journeys of these trailblazing women. Expect drawing and dressing up.

Sunday – Resist: Stories of Uprising 1pm @ Writeidea Festival, London – FREE

For those unfamiliar with the Comma Press format, the publisher deftly pairs experts in their field with fiction writers, challenging authors to produce stories that could plausibly have happened. In this case, those stories take place in key moments of British protest and have been informed by historians, crowd scientists and activists. Join contributors Luan Goldie, Nikita Lalwani and Uschi Gatward (a former winner of the Writeidea Short Story Prize) who are on hand to discuss this timely publication.

Saboteur 1pm @ Home, Manchester – £7.50

Some may quibble at the inclusion of a film directed by Hitchcock – long considered a misogynist – to be included as part of HOME Manchester’s Celebrating Women in Global Cinema strand. Perhaps worth revisiting on that point alone, this noirish 1942 spy thriller sees aircraft factory worker Barry Kane accused of collaborating with the Nazis after his plant’s firebombing. A relatively low key entry in the Hitch canon, Saboteur is still worth our attention; and while it’ll win few prizes for any obvious feminism, it does feature a strong showing from Priscilla Lane opposite Robert Cummings’ Kane.

Mike Pinnington

Images from top: Stealing Sheep, Big Wows, released by Heavenly Recordings, April 2019. Image © Emily Garner (A.K.A Pastel Castle). In-Between series © Carolyn Mendelsohn. Saoirse Lewis for Short Supply exhibition MADE IT: X Marks the Spot, but for what? 2019. Saboteur, 1942, Alfred Hitchcock

Posted on 11/11/2019 by thedoublenegative