I was pleased to have my digital drawing accepted for the first Manchester Open art exhibition at Home. In the 80's I had work accepted in the Manchester Academy exhibitions at Manchester Art Gallery , but these exhibitions were ended when the gallery was refurbished. Since then, it has been a shame that there has been no open exhibitions in Manchester.
The fact that there were over two thousand entries, by over a thousand Greater Manchester artists, shows that this type of exhibition has been sorely missed. Just over five hundred works were selected and most were displayed in the large gallery, on the ground floor, with a few of the larger pieces shown on the upper levels.
Arriving early, we decided to eat in the HOME restaurant before the opening at six pm. This proved to be a good idea because the queues eventually stretched around the inside and outside of the building; again showing how popular this event was with the public.
Fortunately, we only had to wait about fifteen minutes before we were allowed in and this gave me time to collect my certificate and a sticker to show I was an accepted artist.
On entering, we had a brief look around before finding my picture, which was situated on the far left wall. Although understandable, due to the large number of exhibits, it was a shame to see how crowded the walls were. There were even gallery helpers guarding floor exhibits, which were displayed in walkways around the gallery!
After posing beside my picture, we moved on to see the rest of the artwork. Every time we looked round, we saw new pieces to interest us.
It was interesting to see the range of artwork, including a full range of figurative and abstract pieces. Notably, on first impression, there were very few landscape paintings. Exhibitions tend to reflect the themes that are popular, as well as the thoughts of the selectors and it appears that this traditional genre is either not highly thought of, as in previous years or maybe I'm being too cynical and it was simply because not many were entered.
I recently read an article by someone who believed that traditional painters of landscapes are the new rebels of the artworld, where unmade beds and pickled sheep are held in high regard. I never really saw myself as a rebel but, hey, I can live with that!
As with all exhibitions I see of this type, some work appealed more than others but as the saying goes; 'There is something for everyone.'
We look forward to going back, when it is less crowded, for another viewing.
Also, I would like to applaud HOME for bringing back an open exhibition for Artists from the Greater Manchester area. Thank you.