Archive for the OUT AND ABOUT MANCHESTER Category

The Ghosts of 2010


Although I have cut down on my  posts from one per day to one every 4 or 5 days in 2010 starting in August, I managed 256 posts.  I hope to improve on this year and continue to build up Bookstains, which is proving popular. This year Echostains celebrated 16 artists birthdays (another area I intend to improve on).  Some earlier categories have gone and I have plans for some new ones.  This year saw the arrival of slide shows and polls.  WordPress is a learning process and I’m still learning:-)

PS This video was completed in 2010 and was supposed to go on New Years day.    I have had to revise it because it was originally over 20 minutes long 😀

About and out in Manchester

Posted in ART, DESIGN, OUT AND ABOUT MANCHESTER with tags , on October 1, 2010 by echostains

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I’ve made this slide show because I was clearing my camera out and found all these pics.  All these places can be seen out and about in Manchester.  Featured sights we saw include the Northern quarter (a very Bohemian, up happening and buzzing part of the City centre), The Deansgate area, bits of artwork from Tib Street, the Keko Moku Bar which makes expensive but out of this world cocktails (try their Zombies and Mohitas if you dare:)  I’ve also put some unusual window displays in there:)


The Mona Lisa Poetry Challenge is still on my other blog Bookstains and open to all!  Just click Mona

PLUS Theres another poem about the enigmatic one!

All Fired up

Posted in DESIGN, OUT AND ABOUT MANCHESTER with tags , , on July 10, 2010 by echostains

Fired Earth - the window to watch

Anyone who has followed my blog will know that I love unusual shop window displays and feature them from time to time.  This one really caught my eye, and I just had to get a few pictures of it.  The shop I refer to is Fired Earth which makes all kinds of wall and floor tiles and paint.  This shop is on John Dalton Street, Manchester.

This still life, shows off a range of paint colours by applying them to an actual painting.  I think it most charming!  Not realistically painted of course (this would defeat the object – it’s a real painting not a photograph) but the composition of easel paint and geraniums bring a breath of Summer to this window display right in the middle of the city centre.

shall I compare thee to a Summers day?

I especially like the way the paintbrush is still stained with paint. 

 Fired Earth make beautiful products which are both stylish and very Arts and Crafts which are timeless yet contemporary.  I think that the window display really shows this and would entice anyone to come inside and look around (which we did).

Out and About Manchester, Goodbye Frank!

Posted in HOME, OUT AND ABOUT MANCHESTER with tags , , , , on July 9, 2010 by echostains

We were at Manchester arena last night, joining the huge turnout for Frank Sidebottom who sadly died recently  aged 54 from cancer.    An estimated 5,000 people turned up to see Franks Fantastic Farewell,  packing the place out and creating a wonderful atmosphere with lots of laughter and a few tears. 

There were short films of Frank interspersed with acts like Badly Drawn Boy (who we missed).  But among the many anecdotes and performances.

Manchester Castlefield last night


I was rather taken with Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer whose mission it is to bring the Queens English into Hip Hop (or Chap Hop as he calls it) with hilarious results!

Read all about last night here

and here

Frank Video from jxmitchell

Mr B Gentleman Rhymer video by sgtrock70

A Witness to a Murder

Posted in HOME, OUT AND ABOUT MANCHESTER with tags , , on May 18, 2010 by echostains

A puzzle for Sherlock Holmes

This post is not about art.   It is about a very odd experience I had the other week.  I think I was a witness to a murder.  Where I work has extensive private grounds.   At the back of the building is a huge lawn.  The time was between 9 and 10 PM and I was attending to some paperwork when I got up to have a bit of a stretch, and happened to glance out of the window.

Outside I saw the most amazing spectacle – the entire lawn was covered in Magpies!  I have never seen so many Magpies in one place at the same time.  At first I thought that they could have been mating, but when I looked more closely they seemed to be in little groups: scuffles were breaking out here and there.

Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Birds' film 1963

They would run together in packs quickly away from their agressors or take  flight.  It was obvious they were in small teams the way they kept togeher when they ran or flew in formation.  I watched this for some time.  They mostly walked, talked chased and one would peck at another.  After a while, I got back to what I was doing.  But when I looked again about half an hour later, the lawn was bare!  I could have kicked myself afterwards – why didn’t I get a picture on my phone?  I don’t know –  it just didn’t occur to me.  I suppose I was just too puzzled and stunned by the spectacle and by the time that it did – they had all disappeared.  Another strange thing was that there were no dead bodies behind, not a scrap of evidence!

I have combed the internet trying to throw some light on this and the nearest I can come up with is that this meeting was territorial – a kind of ‘turf’ war:).  If so, I don’t know who won.  The only thing I know is that it is one of the oddest things I have ever seen, and I do know that among other collective nouns, ‘A murder’ of  Magpies is what I witnessed!

Magpie pic from here, fablulous Sherlock Holmes image here, The Birds here

Out and About Manchester

Posted in ART, OUT AND ABOUT MANCHESTER with tags , , on April 10, 2010 by echostains

decorated building off Tib st

Just a few pictures that we took today when we were out and about Manchester. Some of them are quite abstract, and it would probably help if we had a decent camera.  No matter though, we enjoyed taking them.  Some of them surprised us at how glamorous they look – compared to real thing.  They say the camera never lies…….but I don’t know so much.


On the side of a house in a small street off Tib Street, we were confronted with a very usual mosaic. 

more fragments

It is made of fragmented tiles,    Some of them have  Tib Street related memorabilia on, others writing.  All are very beautiful and rather incongruous!

Manchester wheel

The Manchester wheel spinning around in the darkness.  A lot of cities have these now, and I do wonder why?  The old Manchester Ship canal looks rather glamorous at night.  There is a point on these banks where you can look for miles through the bridges.

mysterious disc

I couldn’t resist this woven ‘disc’ that I saw on wire between two buildings.  No idea why this was, or what linked the buildings apart from the fact that they are apartments.  But I was struck by the abstract quality of the scene.

Gaga Gargoyle

It’s a bit scary walking around the cathedral in the dark.  Lots of strange people lurk, so you have to be quick.  this is a gargoyle taken from an unusual angle – not one of the strange people!

On the Town

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, exhibitions, HOME, OUT AND ABOUT MANCHESTER, SCULPTURE with tags , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2010 by echostains

Manchester Art Gallery

It was National Museum day 1st February.  I followed the Tate Modern London, Tate Liverpool, Dox Prague and Beamish.  But you don’t have to wait for a special day to support museums – you can support them any time and the best way is to actually visit them.  I love popping into the Manchester City Gallery when ever I’m in town.  The last exhibition was ‘Women and Anarchy (women Surrealists) which I wrote about HERE.


The head of Mueck's 'Wild Man'

We went to the Manchester City Art Gallery today.  That is another museum that I follow on Twitter.  There are 3 works being exhibited by Hyper-Realist artist Ron Mueck  (4th Feb – April 10)  Artist’s Rooms and an exhibition called Facing East:  Recent work from China, India and Japan from the Frank Cohen Collection.  Mueck’s ‘Wild Man” is colossal and dominates the room.  the naked model sits down, a wild nervous look upon his face.  this has to be seen to be believed!  Mask 111 also huge, you can see each pore in the skin.  The Spooning couple’ was quite small,  deliberate so the viewer invades this private moment by their close scrutiny.

Following on from the enormous success of 2009, Manchester Art Gallery is one of 21 museums and galleries across the UK showing 25 ARTIST ROOMS displays drawn from the collection created by the dealer and collector, Anthony d’Offay, and acquired by the nation in February 2008.

ARTIST ROOMS on Tour with The Art Fund has been devised to enable this collection held by Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland, to reach and inspire new audiences across the country, particularly young people.

Behind the scene view of Mask 3

More Hyperealist artists HERE
There are some pretty amazing paintings and objects on display in Manchester City Art Gallery, including a very fine collection of Pre Raphaelite paintings and some unbelievable Adolphe Valette paintings and life drawings which I shall be writing about later.
There’s another post I wrote about Ron Mueck with more pics of his work HERE
Follow a museum HERE on Twitter or just…folow a museum!

‘Are you sure that’s why the chicken crossed the road?’

Posted in HOME, OUT AND ABOUT MANCHESTER with tags , , on January 15, 2010 by echostains

this is the type I saw - a Rhode island red perhaps?

I never have a camera when I need it.  Today I didn’t even have my phone on me either.  I was out shopping on the precinct when I saw a gang of lads laughing and pointing.  Walking rather hurredly (it was probably a bit frightened) was a chicken!  Yes, a chicken, well I assumed it was a chicken and not a cockerel.  I just checked – definely a chicken.  It was brown with a red head, very much like the one in this picture.  It was walking past ‘Texas Chicken’ a new eatery which has opened!  Wonderful photo opportunity lost…..  Inside, the customers were tucking in – whilst outside the chicken was making its getaway!  But where did it come from?  Maybe it was someones escaped pet.  Or maybe,  just maybe it had escaped from the ‘Texas Chicken’ kitchens……………….

Texas chicken now in the UK

The other rather odd sight I saw today was a whole group of girls with dolls.   Schoolgirls with pretend baby dolls.  They were standing round being lectured by a teacher as some of the dolls howled (obviously being held incorrectly).  It was strange to see these teenagers who must have been between 12 – 15 years of age with these dolls.  Perhaps it was part of the ciriculem: a lesson. I wonder if the experience altered their opinion about becoming mothers?  They certainly didn’t look enthusiastic about it.   The mind boggles, I wish I had a picture of it boggling to show you…

a Baby think it over doll

More fowls HERE