We wanted to take this opportunity to share some of our exhibition-related publications with you again, for free. Although we are not able to host visitors, it could be that there was something you missed, or would like to revisit, we have been producing online catalogues to help improve the accessibility of our work and ensure that they can be easily circulated far and wide.
The first suggestion dates back to Autumn 2019 when Castlefield Gallery celebrated its 35-year anniversary with a survey show of British sculpture, curated in collaboration with art historian Clare O’Dowd and curator John Plowman of Beacon Bureau. ‘No Particular Place to Go?’ marked a significant showcase of Castlefield Gallery’s rich history of engagement with British sculpture, and a revival of our archive of work. The exhibition included works exhibited during the gallery’s early years by the renowned British sculptors Sir Anthony Caro and Henry Moore. It also redisplayed works by artists James Ackerley, Nicola Ellis, Ana Genovés, Lee Grandjean, Charles Hewlings, Hilary Jack, Stephanie James, Stephen Lewis, Jeff Lowe, Michael Lyons, Jill Randall, Veronica Ryan and Laura White, who had all previously participated in exhibitions at the gallery across its 35 years. The concept for the exhibition was inspired by Caro’s Table Pieces and focused on small-scale sculptural objects, often created within artists’ studios to experiment and explore ideas, materials, forms, process. Sculptor Charles Hewlings was commissioned to work with Manchester-based artist James Ackerley to develop a site-specific sculptural structure to house and display the works. This commission extended throughout the gallery spaces to offer a ‘particular place to go’.
The catalogue includes an essay by sculptor Michael Lyons, who also wrote the initial catalogue essay for the Caro Table Sculptures exhibition at Castlefield Gallery in 1984. Lyon’s account of Caro’s working methods formed an important element of the inspiration for ‘No Particular Place to Go?’ Apart from the Caro and Moore works loaned for this exhibition, each participating artist exhibited a sculpture dating back to a time when they had exhibited sculptural work at Castlefield Gallery, accompanied by a more recent work.
The catalogue includes contributions from Director Helen Weiwora, Curators Matthew Pendergast, Clare O’Dowd and John Plowman, as well as contributions from all of the artists still living, about their involvement with the exhibition.
Another recent exhibition which inspired a publication was the exhibition Undoing hosted between March and May 2019, including the work of artists James Ackerley, Nazgol Ansarinia, Tom Dale, Connor + Darby, Malcolm Fraser, MAP Studio, Manchester School of Architecture, Abigail Reynolds, Larissa Sansour, Adrien Tirtiaux, and Sarah Westphal. It included photography, models, sculpture and films devised by artists and architects. ‘UnDoing’ marked a collaboration between Manchester School of Architecture, curator Tom Emery, and Castlefield Gallery that explored how buildings, places and artefacts are repurposed, reinterpreted and remembered. The exhibition was also co-curated with Sally Stone, Reader in Architecture and Senior Lecturer, Laura Sanderson. The exhibition built on their research into what can sometimes be a conflicted relationship between the past and present in architecture.
The following publication includes a selection of essays by Tom Emery, Sally Stone, Laura Sanderson and Matthew Pendergast, that was published as a catalogue to accompany the exhibition.
The final catalogue selected for this retrospective relates back to an exhibition by Ruth Barker and Hannah Leighton-Boyce from March and April 2018.
Both artists work with a practice that involves embedding themselves within a local community and undertaking research to help develop the subsequent work. Castlefield Gallery supported Ruth Barker (Glasgow) and Hannah Leighton-Boyce (Manchester) to undertake extended residencies to assist them with their creative process. Leighton-Boyce travelled to the Glasgow Women’s Library, and Barker spent time in Salford with the University of Salford and University of Salford Art Collection. The artists exchanged many ideas, thoughts and stories during their collaboration. The new works previewed at Castlefield Gallery before subsequently touring to Glasgow Women’s Library and being acquired by the University of Salford Art Collection.
The exhibition inspired a number of creative responses from artists and writers, including this publication of poems written by Jackie Kay CBE, the poet, playwright and novelist. Kay also performed a live recitation of her work at the preview in Glasgow.
Poet Jazmin Linklater also wrote a poem in response to the exhibition, that was published in Poetry Wales. The Castlefield Gallery exhibition also inspired a publication of selected writing by Jo Garbutt.
Photo: Hilary Jack, Turquoise Bag in a Tree, 2016