On the eve of the Manchester Open Artist Launch Weekend (Fri 21 – Sun 23 Jan), we’re excited to announce the finalists for the Manchester Open Awards 2022.
All five winners will receive a tailored artist development package managed by Castlefield Gallery and HOME to help guide and invest in their practice. In total, over £10,000 of prize funding will be distributed to local creative talent, with one artist receiving a solo exhibition at HOME in our Granada Foundation Galleries. The final award, The People’s Choice Award will be voted by the public.
It’s an honour to have been asked to be part of the Manchester Open judging panel again. Submissions for the 2022 exhibition evidence the wealth of artistic and creative talent in the city and city region. The finalists shortlisted for the Manchester Open Awards this year further demonstrate a high level of creative skills and artistic promise. We are looking forward to working with the 2022 winners after they are announced later in the year! – Helen Wewiora, Director and Artistic Director, Castlefield Gallery
The nominated artists have been broken down into five sub-categories to judge the final shortlist on, based on the strength of differing styles of work submitted during the entry process.
These awards are as follows:
• Granada Foundation Gallery Exhibition
• Castlefield Gallery: Artist Professional Development Award 1
• Castlefield Gallery: Artist Professional Development Award 2
• Castlefield Gallery: Artist Professional Development Award: Aged 50+
• People’s Choice Award
This year’s awards have been designed and constructed by Manchester Open 2020 People’s Choice Award winner George Fell. The award statues are small architectural geometric forms inspired by the aesthetics of the HOME building. Click here to read more about this.
The following 20 artists are shortlisted for one of four Manchester Open Awards. The criteria were decided by our selection panel, following over 2,000 submissions. A further award – the People’s Prize – is chosen by visitors to the exhibition.
Granada Foundation Gallery Exhibition
Nicole is an Irish Photographer based in Manchester whose practice is largely based around lived experiences and her relationship to place, migration and theories of identity. The development of her work usually starts with a methodical process of researching archived material and found imagery relating to key themes around displacement, and the movement of people across borders.
Portrait of a Woman
Gwen Evans strives to create images that are familiar yet alien at the same time and combines classical painterly language with contemporary imagery to create tension in the work. ‘Portrait of a Woman’ is inspired by profile portraits and miniatures from the fifteenth century during the Italian renaissance, often commissioned after marriage or given as gifts of intimate remembrance of loved ones. Gwen has showcased work throughout the UK. Notable exhibits include The Senate Welsh Assembly Building, Cardiff; The Manchester Contemporary and The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle.
cal is an eighteen-year-old photographer from Manchester who focuses on cityscapes in twilight, with the hope of conveying a sense of loneliness and melancholy in his work.
Covid During Lockdown
Rahima is an artist based at Venture Arts in Manchester. Rahima works across textiles, illustration, animation and print and was part of the Venture Arts Cultural Enrichment Programme at HOME in 2020. She has previously exhibited at The Lowry and is currently focusing on mixed media work.
Skinner Series #1
Tara Collette is an artist based in Salford who works predominantly with textiles and glass. She has specialised in banner making for the past four years; some featuring bold, provocative commentary on social issues, others which are free from tact and purely for personal amusement. The banner presented is the first of a series of five, inspired by the lyrics of Mike Skinner. Banners are often used for protests, usually featuring serious sentiments and painful truths provoking strong emotions. Here, Tara explores the opposite with a humorous and relatable quote that would perhaps never be used in a protest.
Castlefield Gallery: Artist Professional Development Award 1
Gherdai Hassell is a multidisciplinary contemporary artist, whose work investigates memory and nostalgia to create unexpected narratives surrounding identity. Drawing on an Afrofuturist perspective, her work typically centers on the Black female body, simultaneously existing within realms of past, present, and future. Her multimedia work reimagines relationships with the body as avatar, social space and the invisible world.
Rybeczko (Róża & Dylan) and Róża & Phantom
Alicja Mrozowska is an artist and painter from Poland. After graduating from the University of Salford, Alicja exhibited her first series of paintings at HOME, commissioned for PUSH Festival in 2019. Alicja’s work explores how our identity evolves, the reality of migration and the ways in which surroundings and relationships impact us. Oil paint and paper are at the core of her practice.
Substation, Chlorophyll Print using an Ivy Leaf, 2021
Thomas Larkin is an Artist originally from Skelmersdale who studied photography at Manchester School of Art. His work explores notions of ephemerality, tactility and sustainability through alternative photographic processes.
In ‘Substation’ he has exploited the natural process of photosynthesis as a way of encouraging an ivy leaf to produce an image. Photosynthesis is a process of light energy converting to chemical energy. This is paralleled in the subject matter, an electrical substation – an artificial form of energy transfer.
He currently works out of Bankley Studios in Levenshulme.
Iain is interested in how stories are retold and re-imagined, and how the retelling alters and embellishes the original even as it seeks to render it vital and alive once again for a new audience.
The Great Escape
Through the autobiographical nature of her work, Amy explores themes of ‘invisible’ disability, dreams, heritage and escapism; seeking to engage the viewer in the realities of life as a female and working-class artist. Amy is a self-taught painter, and is fascinated with the role of the self-taught artist within contemporary art. She is influenced by Surrealism and is enrolled on a PhD at the Manchester School of Art, where she is using her painting practice to explore contemporary manifestations of the movement.
Castlefield Gallery: Artist Professional Development Award 2
Annabelle Richmond-Wright’s politically charged sculptural and installation-based practice revolves around the phenomena of the human condition. Annabelle will begin with an idea inspired by the observations and encounters of life and utilises materials or found objects based on the materiality and contextual language it speaks. Her latest work seeks to explore the disharmony between human consciousness and the sociopolitical concerns of capitalism and digital technologies.
Loading and Princess Diana
Robin’s practice celebrates the objects, experiences and fascinations that have helped shape his personality and outlook on the world. Recreating items from the digital realm in physical reality, increasing the scale of familiar household products and replaying experiences from his youth, Robin brings a slice of humour into what he views as a catalogue of his existence.
I tried and failed to collect up all your tears and I tried and failed to collect up all your tears (cont.)
I tried and failed to collect up all your tears and I tried and failed to collect up all your tears (cont.)
Maria is a Manchester-based artist originating from Liverpool and has just completed a Fine Art and Art History degree at Manchester School of Art. Maria’s work oscillates between a range of media to explore themes of fragility, and the weaving, unravelling and collection of memories; mainly exploring the impossible task of trying to hold onto the fleeting. Maria is interested in creating small narratives that can be interpreted freely by the viewer. These ideas culminate in a series of symbols that playfully attempt to create a dialogue between the imagined and the real.
Born to Run
Hathaikan is a sculptural artist based in Manchester, creating works by recycling discarded furniture into whimsical creatures reacting to their salvage from landfill. Hathaikan elevates the chair’s intrinsic existence by exploring its position between form, function, and the body. Her playful approach opposes art made from new materials, motivating people to similarly be inspired by what already exists in the world. Hathaikan studied at the University of Leeds and has exhibited in: Leeds, Sheffield, York, London.
Petrônio da Costa
Petrônio da Costa is an artist originally from Aliança-Pernambuco, northeast Brazil, and now lives in Manchester, UK. His artwork is influenced by the fascinating world of Maracatu-Rural, a performance genre that originated in his province. It is normally seen during the annual carnival and is a truly enchanting sight. In particular, Petrônio’s artwork concentrates on “Gola do caboclo de lança” (vest of the guardian).
Castlefield Gallery: Artist Professional Development Award – 50+
Oceans Apart no.20 (thin ice skating)
Nan was born in Manchester and is a practicing artist working in painting and installation. She has exhibited her work in regional exhibitions, most recently a solo exhibition at the World of Glass in St Helens. Nan is a correspondent student of the Turps Banana school of painting in London and attended the Islington Mill Art Academy and Hot Bed Press Complete printmaking courses in 2018. She works from her studio at Goyt Mill in Marple, Stockport.
Jon is a Manchester based artist, gardener, forager, and sourdough baker. His work has been concerned with people and place explored through a variety of media and processes. Jon’s current fascination is microbiology, and more specifically the Human Microbiome – the largely invisible, complex and essential ecosystem of microbes living in and on the body. Microbe Muybridge explores the integration of microbes and person as ‘place’ – a living, walking ecosystem.
Barbara is a freelance designer working in the animation, theatre and TV industry. Communicating through drawing and painting is an obsession for Barbara.
‘The Jockey’ Morris Man
Working primarily with oils, Linda Edwards’s work varies from local Saddleworth landscapes and traditions to portraits and abstract work. Linda was heavily influenced by the great masters, Constable, Rembrandt, Brueghel, Salvador Dali and Salford born artist L.S. Lowry. Observing how each artist uses their medium to capture colour and light was truly exhilarating and has impacted on her creative journey. Linda enjoys using rich colours bringing the canvas alive with vibrant colour, and texture. The ‘Jockey’ Morris Man depicts one of Saddleworth’s traditions in all its colourful glory
iconstruction 5 (kinetic)
David is a Manchester based sculptor in various media including light. A creator and maker most of his life, he considers himself a true artist only since discovering his visual voice in recent years. Largely taught by experience until undertaking BA and MA studies since 2016, David’s current work re-envisions and reinterprets iconographic aesthetics in forms relevant to the present age. David has exhibited in many group shows and has recently held two solo exhibitions.
Special thanks to the Manchester Open Panel: Bren O’Callaghan, Anne-Louise Kershaw, Short Supply, Jessica El Mal, Venessa Scott, Kate Vokes and Helen Weiwora.
Find out more about the Manchester Open 2022 exhibition and our events programme by clicking here.