Maurice Carlin: First… Next… Then… Finally…

8 February 2013 — 17 February 2013

Castlefield Gallery is pleased to present its second Launch Pad project, First… Next… Then… Finally… a solo exhibition by emerging artist Maurice Carlin. Selected through open submission by a panel including Bryan Biggs, Director of the Bluecoat, Carlin’s exhibition will feature new work exploring the medium of print, publishing and performance often produced within the public realm. Launch Pad offers a prestigious opportunity to CG Associate members to use the gallery as a test bed for the production, display and consumption of contemporary art.

After completing an art foundation course in 2007, Carlin actively stepped out of the formal education system by co-founding Islington Mill Art Academy, a peer-led experiment into alternative forms of artist education, recently featured in Frieze, A N and Corridor 8 magazines. Respectively Carlin’s practice has developed from a unique context within the vibrant independent art and music scenes in Manchester.

“I often site the production of my work in the public domain, which becomes for me a form of ‘publishing’, drawing attention to the underneath and overlooked elements within the day to day world that largely go unnoticed. My practice explores spaces of transition, a stage where one thing has yet to become another. ‘Crisis’ as described by the writer Umberto Eco[1] is a productive “moment of transition in which something that held before doesn’t hold any longer and there is not yet something new”.

Major works in the exhibition will include Corrupted Images – analogue relief prints of surfaces referencing the first print/publishing techniques developed in ancient China – produced on a busy high street in Manchester which served as a temporary studio. Blue (Sleep Mode) a collaboration with renowned artist David Medalla, depicts Medalla wandering through the streets of Salford at night with a mobile projector, illuminating details of the walls and surfaces of the city. In Screenscans, glitch snippets of television programmes are collected on a handheld digital document scanner. These captured moments of day to day broadcasting are outputted as large, filmic, storyboard like prints, both suggesting and distorting narratives.

Carlin’s work has a beguiling simplicity and directness, often belying a complex web of ideas, explored through a variety of media and approaches. An openness to the possibilities within an arts practice is evident in his work, something almost certainly arising from the independence and freedom of a non University education.

Castlefield Gallery has commissioned an essay by Philip Auslander to coincide with the exhibition.  Auslander is a Professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He teaches in the areas of performance studies, media studies, and music. His books include Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture and Performing Glam Rock: Gender and Theatricality in Popular Music. He has reviewed art exhibitions for ArtForum International, Art Voices, and other publications and has written catalog essays for exhibitions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Austria, Switzerland, and Norway. He is the editor of The Art Section: An Online Journal of Art and Cultural Commentary (

Artist’s Biography:

Carlin (b. 1974, Donegal, Rep of Ireland) lives and works in Manchester. His work has recently been included in the exhibitions Blanco Blanco, La Escocesa, Barcelona, 2012; Self Publisher and Other Works, Banner Repeater, London 2011; How to Stay Awake, MCP, Antwerp 2011; Other Forms of Life (with Bik van der Pol), AND Festival, various locations 2010 and Beyond the Dustheaps, Dickens House Museum, London 2010.

Following this show Maurice will be researching ‘the ancient birth of DIY publishing’ in March 2013 during a 5 week artist residency in Beijing, which will feed into an ambitious 1 month long performance print installation in July coinciding with the Manchester International Festival. With further shows in San Diego and NYC later in the year, 2013 looks to be a prolific year for Carlin.

In 2007, he co-founded Islington Mill Art Academy, a free self organised art school. The Academy exists to experiment with what an education in art can be, where it can take place and how it can be paid for. Since its inception the school has undertaken residencies at the Merzbarn Cumbria, Transmission Glasgow and Westgermany Berlin. It has contributed to articles for publications such as Frieze and Art Monthly and presented at events and debates on the state of arts education at Arnolfini Bristol, ICA London and JMU Liverpool.

Launch Pads are short exhibitions or performances that punctuate Castlefield Gallery’s main exhibition programme providing artists and curators with the opportunity to use the gallery as a test bed for the production, display and consumption of contemporary art. Launch Pads will feature emerging talent selected from CG Associate members’ submissions (three times a year) and from the MA and BA art courses at Manchester School of Art (once a year). For more information about becoming a CG Associate member visit the Associates page.

Preview: Thurs 7 Feb, 6-8pm – All welcome

The preview of First… Next… Then… Finally… is kindly supported by Islington Mill.

Islington Mill Logo

[1] Umberto Eco and Stuart Hall: In conversation as published in The Listener, May 1985.