Friday, 20 September 2013

An Arty Day in Manchester

I absolutely love to mooch around Art Galleries at the weekend, unfortunately in sunny North Wales we are sadly short of such places. So bored of the monotony I headed off to Manchester for the night to visit my fave gallery there – The Manchester Art Gallery (
The gallery houses over 25,000 pieces of artwork dating back as far as the 16th Century. I’m more of a Modern Art girl myself and while I can appreciate the skill involved in these paintings I tend to bypass the fine art in favour of the modern.


The Manchester Art Gallery never lets me down. There are always a couple of brilliant visiting exhibitions to peruse. One of these was ‘The Tallest of Tales’ by Alison Erika Forde, a collection of painting’s and installations inspired by fairy tales. My favourite was the fairytale house with a dainty doll lamp inside (picture below).

I also absolutely adore the surrealist ‘The Living Tree’ by Marion Adams. She placed unrelated objects with the painting to create a perculiar realtionship and play with scale in a surrealist manner.

Even my five-year-old son Riley seemed to be enjoying the gallery and it’s exhibit’s but the best was yet to come with the ‘Do It’ exhibition. Situated on the third floor it is an evolving exhibition created from a series of instructions written by artists. An eclectic mix of things for you to do at the gallery and at home, the instructions range from the active to the absurd to the philosophical.


Initiated by curator Hans Ulrich Obrist with artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier 20 years ago, do it has been enacted in 50 different places, making it the widest-reaching and longest running ‘exhibition in progress’ ever to occur.

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, and in homage to the original idea, this new exhibition premieres 70 brand new instructions. It brings together artists from the first do it experiments with a new generation of contemporary artists from Ai Weiwei and Adrian Piper to Tracey Emin and Richard Wentworth.


The exhibition is both inspiring and fun. Two of my favourites were Lygia Pape’s 2002 ‘Good Blood’ (above) and Yoko Ono’s ‘Wishing Tree’ (below). ‘Good Blood’ is an installation that instructs you to seat two people on the chairs provided and give each a blood red ice cube to hold. The first cube to melt will signify who is the good blood.


Yoko Ono’s ‘Wishing Tree’ is one of my favourites. I have seen it previously in the sculpture garden at the Guggenheim in Venice and love that it shares individuals secret wishes with the world, signifying happiness and hope.


I particularly liked the wish above which brought a huge smile to my face!

After around 2 hours in the gallery we unfortunately had to leave to seek out Dinosaur’s in The Manchester Museum (Riley’s request) but I could have spent longer here and cannot reccommend it highly enough for anyone who appreciates art. Families are more than catered for and kids will love the interative ‘Do It’ exhibition so catch it while you can (ending Sunday 22nd September). And remember to donate some pennies before you leave as the gallery is free and I’m sure we all want to keep it that way!

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