‘The Making of Him’ – Degree Show entry: Holden Gallery

My Interactive Arts degree show is an installation with a soft sculpture and a video. The soft sculpture is made from multiple photocopies of school reports, shredded and stuffed in nylon netting. The whole sculpture is 10 meters long, and in this iteration 6 meters from floor to hanging wire. Reports and Rituals, the video, contextualises the piece through a ritual shredding and voice-over of friends and current tutors reading out my old school reports.


‘The Making of Him’ (Holden Gallery installation view)

I received the Manchester Academy of Fine Art, Ian Thompson Award for Three Dimensional Art & Design.


IA14 Degree Show Holden Gallery panorama

IA14 Degree Show Holden Gallery panorama

Positive Review in Creative Review


Tattoo Scans: ‘What We Cannot See From Here’ Exhibition

‘What We Cannot See From Here’, exhibition, Link Gallery, MMU. Curated by John Lynch.

Tattoo scans, printed onto 30x30cm acrylic sheet, presented on medical x-ray light box.

Exhibition BLOG

what we cannot poster


My exhibition statement:
A tattoo is (statement)what we cannot see preview 3 Tattoo Scan Light Box Link Gallery what we cannot see preview What we cannot see preview 1Slideshow of group exhibition:

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Exhibitor list:WWCSFH exhibitor list

Open Studio / Federation House NAS Official Opening

My Open Studio was part of the official launch of Castlefield Gallery’s New Art Spaces at Federation House on Thursday 13 March from 6-9pm.

4-500 visitors came for this vibrant opening. Lot’s of helpful comments and conversations with artists, friends and guests. People seemed to pick up on the dream-like quality of my work. ‘Magical’ was a word that came up. More critical artists asked about my reasons for using shredded paper and further implications of the work. I appreciated the spectrum of comments.

Castlefield Gallery’s New Art Spaces (NAS) is an initiative to create dynamic project spaces for artists, artist collectives and artists development agencies. Making use of temporary vacant retail, office and light industrial units, NAS provides opportunities for emerging creatives to incubate their practices, produce work and showcase new art to local communities. Currently CG runs New Art Spaces in Leigh, Widnes, Salford and city centre Manchester.

Great to see your beautiful work earlier this evening Roger. 
Best of luck,
Fran Toms (Lead Cultural Development officer Manchester City Council)

Installation view

Installation view



'Mother & Child'

‘Mother & Child’

(Photo by John Lynch)

(Photo by John Lynch)

Speeches at 6:30pm on the 6th floor by:
Maria Balshaw
(Director Whitworth and Manchester Art Galleries, and Manchester City Council’s Strategic Lead for Culture)
Alison Clark-Jenkins
(Director Combined Arts and North for Arts Council England)
Martyn Hulme
(Managing Director Co-operative Estates The Co-operative Group)

Address: Federation Building, Manchester, Corner of Federation St and Balloon St

Exhibitions and open studios were on all 8 floors:
Lower Ground floor MARS / Upper Ground floor Curated Place, CSV, DIY Art School, and Lauren Sagar & Sharon Campbell / 1St floor Mark Devereux Projects / 2nd floor Greg May, Molly Smyth, Saoirse Higgins, Julie Del’Hopital, Holly Rowan Hesson & Lisa Denyer, and TEA / 3rd floor Filmonik / 4th floor Roger Bygott, and Charma Force & Rafael Perez (guest exhibition) / 5th floor Sam Meech, Kathryn Miller, Darren Nixon, Huw Wahl, James Bloomfield, and Pool Arts / 6th floor TOAST

Body Stories Video

Here is the edited video documentation of the Body Stories installation and performance, which I worked on as a three week collaborative residency last November.

Gerry Turvey: Dance, director, choreography.

Roger Bygott: Visual Artist, installation

June Gersten-Roberts: Video

Vanessa Grasse: Choreographic director

Daniel Weaver: Sound and music composition

Further Shreds Open Studio

Well, this Open Studio went really well. I lost count of how many came, but the adjacent ‘Serendipity’ show must have pulled in over 100 people, so lots of people drifted in as well as my invited guests. Friends and visitors included: Cary Young, Mark Kennard (of Bureau), Nicola Ellis,  Dave Griffiths, Annie Harrison, and Annie Carpenter.

Arnie Pollock made this short video doc of me describing my installation:

Further Shreds: Open Studio

Feedback from last Open Studio was great, positive, and with good suggestions for further developments. So this next Open Studio will showcase developments since then.

Roger Bygott Open Studio. Ongoing work with shredded paper, installation and atmosphere.

4th Floor Federation House, Federation St / Balloon St, Manchester M60 0AF

To coincide with Salford Visual Arts 2nd years’ Exhibition – ‘Serendipity’ Private viewing: Friday 7th February 2014, 6 – 9 PM. Also on 4th floor.

And also on the 6th floor CACTUS ON TOUR @Toast Manchester: (Joanne Masding, Lil Atkinson, Rafal Topolewski, Charlie Godet Thomas, Ryan Gander). Opening Fri, Feb 7, 6pm.

Great chance to see what is going on at Fed House!

Programme for Open Studio

Programme for Open Studio

Further Shreds screenshot 2

Programme for open Studio

Facebook invite: https://t.co/jPM4bNjx0b

Body Stories: Huddersfield Art Gallery Residency

I have just completed a three week collaborative residency with Gerry Turvey at Huddersfield Art Gallery.

Gerry Turvey: Dance, director, choreography.

Roger Bygott: Visual Artist, installation

June Gersten-Roberts: Video, installation

Vanessa Grasse: Choreographic director

Daniel Weaver: Sound and music composition

Gerry Turvey is a dance artist, who works in art galleries; she uses visual art as a starting point for movement and choreography. Her work and workshops have spanned over 30 years and have been seen in galleries in Leeds and Manchester as well as Iziko South Africa and The Hepworth Wakefield. She has shown work in Huddersfield Art Gallery since 1987.

Archive interview with Gerry Turvey and Ruth Gamble

Slide Show Documentation

The following slide show videos show three aspects of the residency: Development, Public Workshops and Performance. I will post video footage of the performance when it is edited. The sounds in the slide shows are all compositions by Daniel Weaver. The compositions were used as part of the sound installation and also for the final performances. There were three performances in the gallery, all fully booked (with 25-28 people attending each show).

Notes on the work

Through the threading and weaving of different art forms the artists used the personal and physical journey of Gerry Turvey’s life as the initial point to map her stories acknowledging how injury and physical trauma has brought about change in her life.

The concept of mapping and framing is a strong element of the installation, and of the performative work. The use of glass and window frames creates a sense of outlining and enclosing and develops a sense of strength as well as vulnerability. Written histories of the personal and the public are seen hanging in the space on luggage labels that celebrate the stories and lives of the many people that have added to the work. The use of film as part of the installation allows the viewer to witness images that could not be performed live. It gives closer scrutiny of physicality developing for a deeper and more intimate relationship for the audience. The film uses ideas of mapping, framing and layering, contextualising the theme and concepts. The final choreography was performed in the installation.

 Visitors to the gallery were invited to witness the rehearsal process, talk to the artists and explore the installation. In addition we invited people to add their own body stories to the work by writing a memory on a luggage label. Visitors could listen to Gerry talking about her work with Huddersfield gallery since 1987, and see the images on a monitor in the gallery.

The project has been developed over a two year period as artist residencies at the MillSpace in Leeds in 2012, and as part of the Space, Time, Tools, Advice scheme at IOU theatre space Halifax during August 2013.

As visual and installation artist for the work I loved working collaboratively and found the cross-over of disciplines really satisfying.

For further information about the creative process of the Body Stories project please visit the blog where there is information, images and film footage.


Bodystories: Elements of the Installation

Two adjacent gallery spaces at Huddersfield Art Gallery. With central sliding doors between the two.

Luggage labels with Gerry Turvey and public’s Bodystories written on them.

Rasterized images of a) the luggage labels, b) still images of Gerry’s body from Gersten-Robert’s video. Mounted on A4 foam mount and hung with red thread.

Red thread. Blood, veins etc.

A3 Tissue prints from still images of Gerry’s body from June Gersten-Robert’s video.

Rolls of tracing paper: for drawing onto with chalk and pastel. Then projected onto. Hung in twos or threes on different planes with slight overlaps.

Old frames of various sizes. As part of installation and as objects for dance interaction.

Videos: developed by Gerry Turvey and June Gersten-Roberts at Armley Mill residency, Leeds.

Dance: choreography developed by Gerry Turvey and directed by Vanessa Grasse.

Music composed by Daniel Weaver. Four channel audio installation in each room.

TV/DVD player with headphones for showing of video archive and Gerry Turvey audio interview with Ruth Gamble. 10 minute video/slideshow on loop.

Table for a) extra luggage labels with invite for public to write own body story and place in installation, b) pens, c) comments book, d) further information.

A1 wall mounted exhibition information board.

Some personal evaluation points 

(I will post a fuller collective evaluation later)

What worked

The final installation and performances worked. I think we worked towards an aesthetic and artistic conclusion whereby the dance and the installation elements (visual and audio) were coherently balanced. The three performances were fully booked (I assume the promotion and advertising worked). The public feedback was positive.

The primary idea was to create a performance mapping Gerry’s body stories over some 30 years of dance. I think we succeeded in doing that.

The two gallery spaces worked as linked, yet contrasting, spaces.

The video projections onto tracing paper rolls worked well.

The aesthetic of red thread and black and white prints worked well and was commented on in the feedback.

The rasters and tissue prints worked. (The tissue prints were in demand by the end of the show!).

The body stories luggage labels worked (both as an installation element and in terms of public participation). People did write body stories and read them. They were also successful in terms of engaging the public in dialogue.

Both the open and the HOOT workshops were successful and enjoyed by the participants

The artist’s talk/presentation was successful.

The most successful things

The collaborative process.

The final performances.

Seeing the piece develop over the period of the residency.

What was difficult/could have been better

Working with the limits of gallery lighting.

Limited technical support (in terms of time).

I think the archive slide show imagery could have been better edited as it had too much of the IOU residency. The information on the audio interview could have been better matched to the visuals. Maybe we didn’t need such a large screen ; a smaller wall mounted one might have been better?

The attendance for the performances was great but, I felt, a bit crowded. Could we have done more performances with fewer audience each time?

What we learned in the project

The collaborative process was productive, lively, and mutually beneficial in terms of learning.

Cross-disciplinary practice is very valuable.

There is a public interest in installation/dance.

Successive residencies (Armley, IOU then HAG) are really valuable. We built on the IOU residency and developed it considerably at Huddersfield Art Gallery. There is a sense that we could still develop the piece. This is also to do with learning about site specific modification and development. The original elements of the piece develop new relationships, meanings and layers as the project moves forward.

If Not Here Where: Fletcher Moss Art Gallery

I created some outdoor work for the contemporary art group show at Fletcher Moss Art Gallery, Didsbury Parsonage. The show ran from 7th -21st July 2013 and had a good attendance throughout.

At the previous Fletcher Moss Art Gallery Show I created two giant nests which remained in the garden until this show. I had intended to remove them, yet to keep them for another project. As I was wrapping the nests in shrink-wrap I realised that they were becoming giant cocoons and that they could be hung in the trees.

The title of the show inspired me to reflect on death. When we die, where do we go? If not here (as a ghost, a spirit, a rotting body) where (heaven, reborn, nowhere)? I created a laser cut slate headstone and made a grave with a mirror. I place to reflect in our mortality and to open conversation about a frequently avoided subject matter. The gardeners helped me find a suitable spot under an old yew tree. Suitable, as yew trees are common in graveyards. The installation stimulated a lot of interest and discussion. The fletcher moss garden staff agreed to keep the installation for an indefinite period of time.

A companion piece (‘If not here 2’) was constructed from a dog cage, a mirror and another laser etched slate. Where is the dog? The presence of a lost pet?

For more information on the show and the other artists see the Fletcher Moss Art Gallery Blog

Facebook event page

John Lynch: Curator’s statement:

As the Manchester International Festival descends upon the city centre, in the leafy suburbs of Didsbury a smaller but no less significant event unfolds. ‘If Not Here Where’, is a contemporary art exhibition with a difference. In the walled garden of Didsbury Parsonage, perhaps Manchester’s best kept secret, a Garden Party in conjunction with Didsbury Parsonage Trust and Friends of Fletcher Moss Park and Parsonage Gardens, launches the event on July 7th. If Not Here…Where else would you wish to be? Art celebrating life. Join us on the day and intermittently throughout the exhibition (see www.fletchermossartgallery.wordpress.com for details), artists shall be telling time traveling stories, making magical flowers, and time honored face painting. An event with the community, with all communities, young or old firmly in mind.

Within Didsbury Parsonages Victorian interior the exhibition acquires a different hue. If Not Here Where, takes a more considered view of contemporary life. Artists question what makes us who we are. Jae Maries ‘Drifting Away’, contemplation on her father as he drifted into dementia. Gemma Lacey work considers the ephemeral nature of being and Natasha Lolljee pursues the heart and mind, a reflection of how we exist, renewal and regeneration. It is not our memory alone that makes us who we are.

Join us, meander through the spread eagle archway, and enter the delightful walled garden. Spend some time quietly contemplating these works, or exchange views with our artists who will be resident throughout the exhibition and always happy to chat. If Not Here Where else would you rather be?

Fletcher Moss Art Gallery
Didsbury Parsonage
Didsbury Parsonage Trust,
Stenner Lane,
M20 2RQ


If Not Here Where: Fletcher Moss Art Gallery

Group Show at Didsbury Parsonage coming up:

If Not Here Where Flyer


Statement for show:

My work is installation based, site specific interventions, and assemblages of objects related to place. I am aiming to use familiar objects to point at a place possibly felt and yet just beyond knowing.

For this Didsbury Parsonage Show I am responding to the theme ‘If not here….’ in terms of death and absence. When we die, where are we? Where do people think or feel we go? What is left after loss?
As an artist in residence for the exhibition, and in the four days prior to the exhibition, I will be creating work ready for the opening and also ongoing interventions during the run of the show.

Unit X – Blue Sky Thinking Exhibit

A sweep through the Unit X Blue Sky Thinking exhibition…..

A collection of work from the Manchester School of Art- Unit X: Design Festival Project.

Blue Sky Thinking is the product of Manchester School or Art (MMU)’s Unit X project at the Bench Self Made Gallery. The exhibition showcases their plans for the ultimate Manchester Design Week festival.

The students use innovative and unexpected media and materials to plan the concept demonstrated via the models, audio, film and textile samples on show.

Delving into the local community to find out what the people of Manchester would like to see in a design festival on their doorstep. Students filmed and recorded interviews with residents and businesses creating the great video and audio footage collated in the gallery.

Plans include a proposed footbridge to connect Ancoats to the Northern Quarter, a night festival to run in conjunction with daytime events and community workshops. Models of pop-up structures to be built to house events at the festival will also feature. Throughout April and May Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University, have taken over the Bench Self Made Gallery with their Unit X Design Festival, as one of its external studios.

The evolving backdrop of exhibitions, music and events that have been running at the Bench Self Made Gallery alongside the project have encouraged students to focus on experimental ways of thinking and working, which can clearly be seen in the outcomes of the project.