Cornerhouse visitor figures reach a new high

Visitor figures released this week show that in 2010/11 Cornerhouse, Manchester’s centre for contemporary visual art and independent film, welcomed 93,237 visitors to its contemporary visual arts exhibitions, the highest number for 15 years. This is an increase of 21% on 2009/10 and is more than double the figure achieved in 2008/09. Overall visitor figures for the venue were also up more than 14% to 512,711.

The Cornerhouse team credits this success to a unique approach to working with audiences, artists and curators. Sarah Perks, Director of Programme and Engagement, said: “We’ve developed a truly collaborative way of working, opening up Cornerhouse to local and international artists, curators, young people, creative professionals and universities. It’s helped us to produce an inventive and innovative programme of critically acclaimed exhibitions and events that consistently engage, inspire and inform.”

Visitors enjoyed eight free exhibitions, including the first comprehensive UK exhibition of new and recent contemporary art from Iraq; Unrealised Potential, which included proposals from artists and celebrities such as David Shrigley and Harry Hill; Unspooling: Artists & Cinema, a celebration of art and film featuring 19 international artists; Marxism Today, an ongoing collaboration with Turner Prize nominated artist Phil Collins and the hugely popular The People You’re Not, produced and curated in partnership with young people, local artists and local art fans.

Dave Moutrey, Director of Cornerhouse added: “2010/11 was a great year for us. Our challenge, and the challenge for many arts organisations across the UK, is to build on this success in the current economic climate. We’re already working hard to achieve even more with much less as the significant arts funding cuts start to bite. Our successful curatorial approach gives us a great advantage, and we’re well placed to build on our success and continue to achieve higher audience figures, increase our earned income and expand on our successful creative collaborations.’’

Cornerhouse has a packed exhibition programme planned for the year ahead, including New Cartographies, a timely exploration of Algeria’s turbulent relationship with the West, group exhibition Constellations, featuring acclaimed artist Katie Patterson, playful pop-kitsch and ephemera from Magda Archer in Crazy Mad and a major exhibition of work by leading Pakistani artist Rashid Rana.

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