This is my Arts Event review for my Silver Arts Award. In March 2020, I went to the Manchester Open Exhibition 2020 at HOME Manchester with my homeschooled art group. This exhibition was HOME’s first major open-entry show welcoming everyone, whether they were famous artists or not. HOME Manchester is a centre for contemporary art, theatre and film. It’s in the heart of central Manchester, making it easy to visit.
As we entered the building, I could tell the place would be so exciting. Although we were slightly early, it didn’t matter as there was a cafe where we indulged in delicious cinnamon rolls and hot drinks that made the waiting worthwhile.
At the gallery entrance, a lovely lady was there to welcome all visitors with a smile on her face. We were offered a very beneficial information booklet and a catalogue of all the art pieces. I felt the gallery staff provided excellent customer service because they were helpful.
We started by exploring the gallery together, then I started drifting into my own world exploring and focusing on the specific pieces that I liked the most. My teacher gave us pencils to sketch so I drew a few of my favourite artwork.
There was plenty of textile art, which was terrific because my art group did embroidery hoops to prepare for our Arts Challenge and we plan on going to a silk painting workshop too. I didn’t see any specific Batik art, which was a shame because that is my Arts Challenge but I got loads of ideas that I could use.
The first artwork that I found very interesting and tried to copy was Number 230, named, “Derelict Police Headquarters, Bury” by Ged King. It was a pastel drawing of a nearly empty neighbourhood showing only a woman with a child in a pram. The woman was looking at a huge building under construction site, behind tall metal fences surrounding it. The brick houses lining down the street reminded me of my own street. This unique piece intrigued me, and even though it was very simple and not like many other big art pieces at the exhibition, it was very impactful as it created an emotional attachment.
Number 374, titled “cactus party” by Alan Evans was another fascinating one. It was a gorgeous pop art piece with plenty of colourful cactuses being displayed on a bright orange background, and it was almost my height! The colours, the way each cactus is individually detailed with their own personality, brightened up the whole exhibition.
After carefully looking at all the artwork in the gallery, I was inspired to look more into architectural based art, as I saw many outstanding paintings of landscapes, buildings and bridges. I even tried sketching one using the same pastel technique which didn’t look too bad.
There weren’t many things that disliked but it was quite weird seeing all the nudity, but acknowledge that it is a form of art to many, so I moved on to what I find fascinating leaving behind what I found displeasing.
The placing of numbers was a bit confusing because they were all close together, this meant I couldn't match it in the catalogue to get more information. I would request this tiny inconvenience to be looked in to for improvements.
This experience has made me realise that there is way more to art than meets the eye. Before seeing so many extraordinary artwork at the exhibition, I never knew that a piece of barbed wire could make its way on to a canvas and stand out beautifully as art. Or someone could take a photo of their washing hung to dry and call it art.
In my opinion, the Manchester Open Exhibition was beautifully planned and projected. I hope they do another one next year. I would definitely recommend a visit to HOME Manchester, especially those interested in acquiring Art Awards as there are lots to see and write about.