Manchester Open programme off to a flying start

Posted on 11 August 2020

After the successful launch of HOME’s Manchester Open Exhibition in 2019, Castlefield Gallery has been busy shaping the Manchester Open Exhibition Artist Awards programme – development support for the five winning Manchester Open Artist Awardees, commissioned by HOME. Entries to the Manchester Open were submitted from across the Greater Manchester City Region.

The five artist award winners and their winning categories are:

  • John Carney (Sculpture, Materiality and Form)
  • Jai Chuhan (bOlder award)
  • George Fell (People’s Choice
  • Karol Kochanowski (Granada Foundation award)
  • Catherine Lansdale (Drawing and Illustration)

Each awardee accesses a group programme of support designed to enhance their practice and careers, as well as a bursary and tailored individual development activities.

The programme went live in lockdown and to date the group have been participating in online sessions covering everything from pricing and selling your work to approaching galleries and communicating about your work.

John Carney and Jai Chuhan are engaging in mentoring sessions with ‘Artist Mentor’ Ceri Hand. George Fell is being mentored by Ryan Gander and undertaking studio visits with Nicola Ellis and Hilary Jack, as well as training in TIG welding. Karol Kochanowski’s award is focussed on producing work for his forthcoming Granada Gallery exhibition and Catherine Lansdale has commenced her programme with a studio visit from Rachel Goodyear whilst also using some of her bursary to cover six months’ studio rent. Each artist also receives individual 1-2-1 sessions with our gallery director Helen Wewiora and curator Matthew Pendergast as well as artist coaching sessions.

Jai Chuhan is an Indian-born British artist. Her paintings have been exhibited internationally including in Italy, Sweden, Belgium, China, Singapore and in the UK including at Tate Liverpool; Barbican, London; Ikon, Birmingham; Pitshanger Manor, London; HOME, Manchester and Gallery Oldham for Asia Triennial Manchester 2018. Her paintings are in collections including Arts Council Collection; Victoria Gallery & Museum, Liverpool; Cartwright Hall, Bradford; Grosvenor Museum, Chester; Tate Archive.

John Carney produces work that investigates the power and social agency that material things possess, to address the contention surrounding material things and their immaterial antipodes – the mental and social forms that objects produce, prompt or instigate. This has led him most recently to study the phenomenon of fetishism.

George Fell is a musician and a sculptor who works primarily in sheet steel. He is inspired by observing the people he sees in the urban environment that he lives in and by the natural world. He makes his sculptures by hand using cold forging techniques and welding. He is fascinated by the process of bringing metal to life.

Karol Kochanowski is a multidisciplinary artist working mainly with oil paint. Born in Poland, he currently lives and works in Manchester, based in Wellington Studios. In 2013 he graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in Fine Art (BA) and also won the Ken Billany Prize. His works have been exhibited internationally, included London, New York, Berlin, Raleigh (North Carolina) and Manchester.

Catherine Lansdale is an art teacher and artist living in Bury. Her background is teaching art to children aged from 4 to 18, but now she teaches art to adult beginners in art stores, community groups and art galleries across Manchester and Lancashire.

The Manchester Open Exhibition Artist Awards programme forms part of our commitment to artist development, and to artists working at all career stages. Our dedicated artist development programmes include: Caslefield Gallery Associates; bOlder; the University of Salford and University of Salford Art Collection’s Salford Scholars co-managed by Castlefield Gallery; Manchester School of Art Mentees; Creative Industries Trafford (CIT) Castlefield Gallery Crits; partnership programmes with a-n; FRAMEWORK; Venture Arts partnership.