PREVIEW: Thumbs Up

23 January 2020 / 18:00

We are delighted to welcome you to join us for the preview of our new exhibition, Thumbs Up. We will be hosting an evening event to celebrate the opening and we would encourage anyone who is interested to learn more about this exhibition to attend.

23 January 2020

Artists: Michael Beard, Frances Disley, Harry Meadley, and Leslie Thompson

Castlefield Gallery and Venture Arts present Thumbs Up. The gallery will be reimagined by the artists
as a place of research and learning, conversation and exchange. The exhibition considers how
different modes of display in a contemporary art gallery condition the way audiences interact with
the work. Responding to the physical spaces of the gallery the artists have developed the scale,
materials, and methods of their work. The artists’ responses have been shaped by an ongoing
dialogue with the creative teams at Castlefield Gallery and Venture Arts to interrogate the gallery as
their host. Working closely with the University of Salford has also expanded the project to
incorporate expert advice on topics including; botany, energy efficiency, psychology, and

The audience will activate the space and encounter works in new and unexpected ways. The artists
have been working alongside each other to draw out corresponding themes in their work such as
connections in popular culture, travel, movement, and use of colour. These meeting points will
shape way the work interacts in the gallery, creating a welcoming and enveloping intervention in the
depths of winter.

Thumbs Up marks the latest development in a partnership between Castlefield Gallery and Venture
Arts. One strand of the collaboration, alongside the Whitworth, was recognised by the 2019
Manchester Culture Awards winning the award for Inspiring Innovation. Both organisations are
deeply invested in offering sustainable residency and professional development opportunities for
early-career and learning-disabled artists in the North, and committed to improving inclusion and
accessibility in the arts. Following the exhibition a selection of work developed by each of the artists
will enter into the permanent collection of the University of Salford Art Collection.

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Commissioned by

     University of Salford Art Collection   

with special thanks to Castlefield Gallery Commissioning Patrons

Curated and produced by


Supported by