We are delighted to announce the finalists of this year’s Manchester Open Awards 2024. The selection panel have nominated 20 artists for the Manchester Open 2024 Awards.
The winners of all the awards, including The People’s Choice Award, will be announced on 4 March.
The awards are as follows:
• HOME: Granada Foundation Gallery Solo Exhibition
• Castlefield Gallery: Artist Professional Development Award 1
• Castlefield Gallery: Artist Professional Development Award 2
• Castlefield Gallery: Artist Professional Development Award 3
• The People’s Choice Award
The finalists for this year are:
HOME: Granada Foundation Gallery Solo Exhibition
Jamie Kirk’s work explores the interaction between hard edged shapes and loose, gestural action, to convey uncertain depth, texture and disciplined excess. By allowing certain aspects to spontaneously dictate themselves, pockets of expressive mark making float among suggestions of familiar imagery in an imagined space of turbulence.
Here at last
We are used to seeing the ethereal mother and child, not the caesarean scars, placentas, blood, and the overwhelming real emotions. This is Savannah’s freebirth, her previous baby was stillborn, the baby crash landed “like an asteroid”, into her partner’s hands…and cried, just like she’d asked him to for the last 9 months.
Mikesian Studios is an Art & Design duo from Manchester. With a background in Graphic Design, they changed direction to pursue a more self-sufficient practice, that took the principles of Visual Communication and placed that directly into accessible art formats. Their practice centres around language, with a distinct focus on tonality and wordplay.
Deshna Shaar explores how dyslexia, play, and societal dynamics intersect. Central to her work is the ‘Twilight Language’ – a script she designed by fusing Hindi, English, and Gujarati. She anonymises and translates written accounts, creating a therapeutic method to preserve memory whilst establishing a coded archive of uncovered postcolonial, generational and migrational complexities.
Packs a Punch
Fleur Yearsley, MFA graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art (2017 Gwen John Scholarship). To The Moon and Back featured in the John Moores Painting Prize 2020. Yearsley’s paintings delve into memory, humour and unfolding narratives, drawing on pop culture references to establish a relatable, empathetic connection with viewers.
Castlefield Gallery: Artist Professional Development Award 1
James Bullimore RCA has an interdisciplinary practice which explores the authenticity of his OCD. Paintings are immediately made after durational performances from memory: to make the space of the page, the real space of the performance. The physical tool of production is not just in his hands, but in the kinetics of his entire body.
Nerissa Cargill Thompson
Message in a Bottle: Family Pack
Nerissa Cargill Thompson creates textile wall art and mixed-media sculptures that explore juxtapositions of texture and colour, particularly where nature meets manmade. She blends and embroiders recycled fabrics to produce her signature textiles and highlights environmental issues by casting these with concrete in waste packaging to form future fossils.
A daily attempt to stay grounded #1
Naomi Harwin is influenced by sensory design, architectural scenography, play, and aims to foster moments of connectivity and shared experience.
which night was that again?
Maria Jackson’s practice explores the slippery and breakable qualities of memory. She works across different mediums including free motion sewing. Exploring the edges and relationship between two and three dimensions with symbols and motifs, she attempts to tell small narratives around moments of reflection and recollection.
4 garments – plastiglomerate
Adele Jordan focuses environmental and economic damage undertaken by fast fashion and its reliance on oil, which now accounts for 69% of all textile output. Connecting the fields of material science, geology and economics, her practise raises awareness and potential solutions to address these pressing issues.
Castlefield Gallery: Artist Professional Development Award 2
Dream home (wet)
Matthew Bamber creates work using imagery amassed from personal and public archives, exploring themes of memory and trauma, greed and power, queerness and identity. Recent group exhibitions include Castlefield Gallery; “(Un)Defining Queer” at The Whitworth; A.P.T Gallery, London, and P7 Gallery, Berlin.
Untitled (Throwing Sculpture)
Maisie Pritchard’s practice is concerned with the juncture between artistic production and design, and how they crossover to generate functional and interactive sculpture or design objects. She enjoys working collaboratively with the public to make playful, useful artworks through public workshops that incorporate teaching, sharing and exchanging creative skills and making processes.
A Visceral Longing
Kay Shah is a British-Pakistani artist from Manchester with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from the Manchester School of Art. Exploring themes of distance, isolation, and cultural identity, they investigate liminality as a response to sociocultural and interpersonal relationships within the landscape of contemporary society.
Scars Never Fade
Ngozi Ugochukwu works in photography, filmmaking and performance. Her work has been exhibited at Disability Arts Online, DaDa Fest Liverpool; Manchester Open 2020 and 2022, HOME. In 2023, Ngozi’s work was featured as part of The Welcome at Aviva Studios in the exhibition Inside Out: This is Manchester, celebrating the faces that make up Manchester with over 200 black and white portraits.
Freya Wysocki’s practice embodies a playful and energetic sensibility, constructing camp, queer realities through textiles and sculpture. Their work encourages viewers to foster connections with each other by evoking a sense of tenderness and familiarity. In a chaotic and increasingly digitised world, thier work provides a way to connect to something tangible.
Castlefield Gallery: Artist Professional Development Award 3
Elaine Fisher is drawn to edges and between spaces, following where curiosity leads her. In her piece for Manchester Open 2024 she walked the contours of Anne’s cleavage, taking a dip in the ocean and recovering the precious cargo hidden in her cavernous corrugations.
Amy Gough is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in moving image and painting. She self-publishes zines alongside her practice. Her work is concerned with questions around how we deal with gaps in knowledge, often explored through a lens of absurd humour.
The Exploding Threat
Rowland Hill works site specifically, creating environments that sit between performance and installation. She makes decorative and exuberant collages in 2D and video form. The Exploding Threat is part of an ongoing series of works with found imagery that allow her to intensely reencounter small details from art she loves.
Amrit Randhawa is an artist and designer based in Manchester. Working primarily with typography and image-making under the moniker, Taxi Cab Industries. Randhawa’s outputs often re-contextualise ordinary language and everyday symbols — rooted in the misunderstandings that can arise from the limitations of communication.
Rites I & II
Jude Wainwright’s work uses rituals as an impetus. A Manchester based artist, her paintings explore repetition and habit: the empowerment and sense of control they create, alongside their capacity to teach and enable growth. Drawn from dreams and flashes of thought, she uses self-portraiture to reconnect with herself.
The People’s Choice Award is voted for by you, the visitor! Please head over to one of our Manchester Open 2024 volunteers or invigilators to vote for your 3 favourite works.
The artist and artwork that receives the most votes will win. DEADLINE TO VOTE: WED 28 FEB, 20:00.
Image lead credit: Jude Wainwright, Rites I & II