‘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


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


Pitching to Manchester City Council and City Co.

The three design festival teams presented and pitched to reps from Manchester City Council regeneration team, City Co and tutors from the Manchester School of Art. We did a good 25 minute presentation followed by Q&As and apart from some audio issues with our videos it went well. We received very good feedback from the panel.


Slides from our powerpoint presentation:

Umbrella Design Festival Promo Film

A University project made to pitch a design festival concept to the Manchester City Council. The film showcases the areas that were chosen to hold the festival, whilst the orange umbrella leads the viewer through the city and to these spaces.

We have collaborated under one ‘Umbrella’, which coincidentally became the concept for our festival.

Our Umbrella Design Festival stands for:
– Branching out
– Connecting People
– Sheltering Manchester

This exhibition shows our journey of ideas exploring ‘Umbrella’

‘Umbrella’ is a design festival hoping to take place across 5 days in June 2014. It will be an outdoor festival aiming to be made up of 21 designed pop-up spaces across Manchester, holding content such as fashion, film, music, 3D design, photography and artists exhibitions.

One of the main emphases of ‘Umbrella’ is to contribute to the regeneration of Ancoats. We aim to bring colours, attractive culture and imaginative design ideas into the area.

Design Festival Discussions: Bench 9th April

Emerging festival themes to explore so far:





Process and experience rather than product.

Craft and the handmade as important elements of this, ideas of sustainability and recycling.

Evolving and making the festival – festival as process – emergent design.

Time invested in the process of making.

Communities of experience and engagement – for example through workshops or events that engage people in activities.

Engagement and interaction as key aims.

Material experience


Associations with mobile phone, mobile lifestyles, movability, motility, hanging mobiles….

Modular/portable/collapsible spaces/architecture, how this might enable events to move around the city.

How modular structures might be more sustainable because theyʼre reusable, easy to transport, adaptable.

The mobile might enable movement out from the city to communities on the fringes, how this might engage a broader audience, how it taps into local experiences of the city.

Pop-up spaces such as markets and how market stalls could be used to promote experiences rather than as a stall for selling products.

Possibilities for an anti-commercial/anti-commodity approach.

Communication of the ephemeral process.


ʻWasting timeʼ through doing/making/activity that might have no direct purpose or use other than the experience itself.

How this might link to ideas of slowness. Slow design; slow spaces. (Slow movement, slow food). Low stimulus spaces. ‘Chill Bubbles’

Also how ʻwasteʼ taps into ideas of sustainability and reuse, how we define wasted time? Who decides when time is well spent.

Waste as material.

No_use, uselessness .

Frameworks for discussion of the themes:





Thinking about venues – historical, disused, abandoned, overlooked, badly designed.

ʻRe-generationʼ – what does this mean? Is it defined purely in economic terms or does it have other meanings that might tie into time: generation as ageing, growth – natural/artificial.

Community regeneration, inspiring people to be involved.

Gardening/urban landscape, the greening of spaces, rooftops.

Lost spaces such as the River Medlock hidden beneath the city, ties to industrial heritage.

Manchester as a ʻspaceʼ, what defines it?

ʻEmptyʼ space as a rich space, how this might tap into ideas of slowness and quietness as values to explore. “Manchester Zen”.

The unexpected and the unknown, elements of surprise – do you participate and engage?


Using the handmade to engage people in process, how this might tie into timescale – for example, does the festival have to take place in a short timeframe or can it have longevity? How people might get involved in learning and/or sharing their skills through workshops, events, discussion.

Bringing people together through collective actions – these might also involve shared experiences such as eating, social events.

Ephemeral materials – the use of ʻthingsʼ/materials that might disappear, decompose, merge with their surroundings.


Not simply marketing in terms of commercial branding but focused more on communication and audience participation and engagement.

Involving wide communities of people, particularly at the local level.

How the festival evolves and might ʻbrandʼ itself as it unfolds.

Documentation as a key element of the process – animation/video/audio/online/viral streams/social networking, etc.