A new summer show of work by twelve studio artists from one of Manchester’s leading visual art organisations, Venture Arts. Pieces on display include photography, installation, ceramics, textiles, illustration and print.
George Parker Conway
Venture Arts supports learning disabled and neurodivergent artists to play an active role in the cultural sector.
Family Friendly exhibition, suitable for all ages.
Part of PHM’s co-curated programme of activity exploring the history of disabled people’s rights and activism.
Liam Ashworth’s photography is where the exhibition, Until It Looks Like This, takes its name from. In the work featured in the exhibition you will see his love of food represented digitally as part of an installation piece.
Dominic Bennett works across photography, textiles and ceramics; which is how he brings his ‘Weasel Army’ to life, elements of which you will see in the exhibition. In 2018 he was named ‘Young Creative of the Year’ at The Manchester Culture Awards.
Josh Brown is a photographer and printmaker whose love of film shines through his work; Batman, Jaws and Harry Potter are amongst the references he draws upon in his collection of posters showing in the exhibition.
James Desser has exhibited in many different venues across Manchester, sharing his work in a number of mediums. For this exhibition it is some of his photography pieces that are being showcased, with a series of nature based images that were captured in 2021.
Amy Ellison’s work has expanded into painting, collage, drawing, printing and textiles, but it is her first love – photography – that is on display in this exhibition. Amy’s work has previously toured Tate Liverpool, Artlink Hull and The Whitworth, with Grundy Art Gallery having acquired a piece of Amy’s work for their main collection in 2020. Popular culture and nature are her main creative focus, as these pieces reveal.
Louise Hewitt demonstrates her love of literature, in particular the writing of Beatrix Potter and Roald Dahl, in her ceramic pieces. These are also themes that she carries through the artist workshops that she runs. Louise is also a keen writer and publishes a regular arts blog for Venture Arts.
Sally Hirst takes inspiration from everything and everyone in her life and her work is particularly led by responses to climate change and animals. The Sensory Quilt that appears in the exhibition was created for her visually impaired foster sister. A talented poet, Sally was commissioned to write a poem about the exhibition, which is also on display.
Justin Lees often features himself in his work, and you’ll be greeted by his own larger than life cartoon in his installation that takes over one corner of the gallery space. Quirky, colourful and wonderfully imaginative, it’s not surprising that the animations of Pixar and Aardman are a huge influence in Justin’s work.
Joe Mills echoes his nature based research in his work, which spans textiles, print, light and movement. In 2022 Joe took his performance piece, FLORA VICTORIOUS, to the Venice Biennale. His work is joyous and vividly colourful and in this exhibition he is showing the Awesome Rainbow Sunshine Grooving Moving People banner, which he collaborated on with artist Daisy McClay at Manchester School of Art. It conveys the happiness that he feels in the hope that it will delight all those that see it.
Michael Nash works across various disciplines, but it is his digital illustrations that are the focus for this exhibition and these include some recognisable faces, with both Barack Obama and Boris Johnson making appearances.
George Parker-Conway’s work is influenced by history and politics, so it is very at home at People’s History Museum. A portrait of Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928) represents the suffragettes’ story and takes its place alongside the Gaskell family. Both Emmeline Pankhurst and Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) lived in Manchester and have left their mark on the city.
Emlyn Scott fills his life with creativity from art to music, and his work explores his passion for animals and disability activism. As part of the Venture Arts studio his focus is on ceramics and painting, which you will see in the exhibition alongside a series of powerful issues based illustrations.
Check out this video featuring interviews with Venture Arts artists who have work showing in the Until It Looks Like This exhibition. The video was created by Tahira, Fern and Kaylan – students on a six week Content Creator Course with the Factory; part of Manchester International Festival (MIF).