Must Visit Art & Culture Spots In Manchester
FINE ART CONSULTANT, RUTH DAVIES TALKS ABOUT MANCHESTER’S ART & CULTURE SCENE AND REVEALS HER MUST VISIT PLACES AND EVENTS
Ruth Davies has been a University Senior Lecturer in Art History for more than 25 years. Today, Ruth has her own fine art consultancy company Elastic Space, providing a personal art buying service for individuals and businesses. Ruth began working with Stock Exchange Hotel in 2018 after being asked to curate a collection of art for the boutique property, one that connected guests with the heritage of the former Stock Exchange.
Here, Ruth talks about what she loves about Manchester’s art and culture scene, and shares her top five destinations, as well as must attend events.
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT MANCHESTER’S CULTURE
Manchester is thriving culturally. I have always felt that the city knows and presents its cultural heritage really well. Our galleries and museums celebrate everything from classical masters, our campaigns for social justice, our love of football, and our relationship with industry and technology. We are ever ready to celebrate our achievements and foster the importance of creative thinking from our grass roots arts centres, to world stage universities.
Manchester attracts artists from an international stage while still supporting and nurturing home-grown talent. You have to cultivate your artists if you want them to shine and I love the way that we welcome and support artists of all disciplines here and give them the platforms to excel.
THE MANCHESTER CULTURE SCENE IS EVER CHANGING
I think all great cities continually evolve, Manchester is such a city of invention and reinvention and we thrive on change. We have built and rebuilt both our city and our cultural institutions and adapted to new spaces with each move. In 2007 we saw the inception of The Manchester International Festival. This had a really positive impact on the city, and we saw exceptional collaborative work by artists such as Björk, Jeremy Deller, Maxine Peake, Zaha Hadid Architects, Damon Albarn and Marina Abramović. Events such as MIF leave a print on the city that isn’t easily forgotten.
MY TOP FIVE CULTURAL DESTINATIONS IN MANCHESTER
THE WHITWORTH ART GALLERY
Its international exhibition programme and its wonderful collection of Hogarth’s etchings which are as funny and relevant now as they were in the 18th century
THE ROYAL NORTHERN COLLEGE OF MUSIC.
Here you can listen to world class emerging performances by international musicians, through to the BBC Philharmonic. They have weekly free lunchtime concerts that offer a taste of new talent, these are great if you feel like sampling something new
THE JOHN RYLANDS LIBRARY.
This is simply a beautiful Neo-Gothic building, a not to be missed experience to sit, read or just spend some time taking in the atmosphere
Manchester’s home of international cinema, theatre, fine art and dance. Home has now captured the hearts of the arts crowd in the city. It brings international touring companies to Manchester and gives a bolt of thrilling experiences across all art platforms
Manchester is a city that you need to experience and walk around. Its mixture of Neo-Gothic, Victorian and contemporary architecture makes it rich and culturally complex. This past year curating for Stock Exchange Hotel I have loved walking through the city in the mornings. One of my favourite routes is from Victoria station, taking in The Royal Exchange building on Cross Street, then turning right into St Anne’s Square, from here through the three arcades that traverse the streets and bring you to The Hidden Gem Church… this church is truly beautiful
MY TOP FOUR, NOT TO BE MISSED EVENTS
11th to 22nd November at various locations
If you love contemporary design you need to go to this. One of my design heroes, Paula Scher, is taking part this year so I’ll be there to hear her discuss her work in New York at Pentagram. Check out the Design Manchester website to see the schedule for exhibitions, workshops, talks, movies and some very good parties too.
TRIBE – STILL I RISE
19th November at The Lowry Theatre
Victoria Fox’s seminal raw dance is definitely worth seeing, it’s stunning, pounding and energetic.
DEREK JARMAN: PROTEST
2nd April – 31 August at The Manchester Art Gallery
This is an important exhibition for Manchester. Derek Jarman is one of the most influential figures in 20th century British culture. Jarman’s work is visceral and impassioned working across paint, film, writing and set-design. I think this will be emotional and celebratory and I would not miss it.
JUDITH BARRY: SOMETHING IN MIND EXHIBITION
Spring 2020 at Home
Judith’s Barry’s installation show at Home next year will be big. Judith was a pioneering artist on the New York scene in the 1980s and 90s and her visuals are complex and immersive.