Archive for manchester

Pre Raphaelite Delights that last longer than 15 minutes with Lashings of Ginger Beer,

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, BOOKS! DEAR READER I READ IT, DESIGN, exhibitions, HISTORY, LIVING IN THE PAST: NOSTALGIA with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2011 by echostains

It’s been ages since I last posted (the longest yet) but I hope to make amends today by writing a longer post – a kind of round-up of posts I should have written.

Enid Blyton

The 11th August was popular children’s writer Enid Blyton’s birthday (11 August 1897 – 28 November 1968).  Here’s a  a link to another post I wrote about this author over on my Bookstains.  Eileen A Soper illustrated every one of 21   Famous Five books. 

five-have-a-wonderful-time

Eileen A Soper (b. 1905 – 1990 Hertfordshire UK)was an illustrator , print maker and a watercolourist.  She had her first exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1921 at the age of 15, making her the youngest artist ever to exhibit.  Two of her etchings were bought by Queen Mary. 

 

 

 

Her work has great nostalgic appeal and is as attractive today to adults as it was a source of delight to them when they were  children.  A gallery of this artist’s work can be found here

 

 

 

 

 

Eileen Sitting in a chair watercolour 1923

Other artists birthdays include Andy Warhol whose birthday I celebrated a while back with this post which featured one a page of my altered book  (this book is still ongoing… complete with artist research)

Andy Warhol-Self-Portrait-1986

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work by Ford Madox Brown

News of an exciting exhibition is coming to Manchester City Gallery (Saturday 24 September 2011 – Sunday 29 January 2012)  A major exhibition of Pre Raphaelite artist Ford Maddox Brown will go on show.  Over 140 paintings by the artist, including his Manchester Town Hall murals (which I have seen) will be exhibited.  The work will be divided into different themes and periods of  the artist’s life including his radical change of direction artistically.  Ford Madox Brown is particularly well-known for his narrative paintings which relate to life in the Victorian age and I think that viewing the paintings collectively will  give the viewer a clearer idea of how radical the Pre Raphaelites really were.  The 12 paintings, known as The Manchester murals depict life in the city in the Victorian age – a must for any Mancunian interested in their city.  The exhibition which will also include a rediscovered painting by the artist.  The painting The Seraph’s Watch  could prove to be a crowd puller.  Here’s a tantalising detail from it below.

Eileen A Soper Gallery (images from there)

Heather’s Blyton pages (all the book images can be found here too)

Manchester City Art Gallery 

The Enid Blyton Society

Andy Warhol image and art history here

More about Ford Madox Brown (and Work image) here

Seraph’s Watch image and an interesting article about this exhibition and Victorian art in general here

Exhibition: David Hancock ‘Time to Pretend’

Posted in ART, exhibitions with tags , , , , , , on March 5, 2011 by echostains

Mikey as link, Pencil crayons on paper

David Hancock explores the space between physicality and psychological space using a  hyper-realist technique.  His exhibition Time to Pretend (The Hub, Manchester 3rd – 18th March 2011) elevates the ordinary to the  decidedly extraordinary.   Gaming and urban folklore are fused together in these intricate drawings.  This  realism was made even more extraordinary by the actual presence of his subjects (his friends) wandering round the exhibition on opening night, making their likenesses in these portaits all the more startling!

Daryl as Tifa Lockhart pencil crayon on paper

The work is escapist – yet it plays with reality –  a moment in time.  The artist  uses photographic images which he then translates into a narrative via little pixel like brushstrokes (or in this work, pencil crayon on paper).  The results are disconcerting – as the Gamers are simultaneously revealed, yet hide behind these roles, providing the viewer with flashes of revelation which are tantalising.

miriam as Lolita Pencil Crayon on paper

Hancock documents escapism in our youth subculture and whilst also referencing utopian vision.  The reality and unreality of these are what the artist plays with.  Escapism through computer gaming and role-playing meets utopia and in the Gaming portraits the individual is attached by an umbilical cord to their controller.  Hancock calls these works double portraits as in a sense he is simultaneously showing the two worlds of their personalities as they immerse their selves in their Game playing and their character roles. The work, though contemporary has its roots in Romanticism and the  utopian visions held by Ruskin, Morris and the Pre-Raphaelite.  The characters take on special powers, hints of which are shown in the portraits as they fly through time to become the hero’s of the now.  An interesting and thought-provoking exhibition by Hancock.  I shall look forward to seeing his other larger scale work.  To really appreciate these images please go to the artist website where larger versions of these works, including many others can be seen. 

David Hancock website here 

Images from  here and  here

More details of this exhibition here

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:)

PPS

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!

Jane Eyre’s beginnings

Posted in BRONTE BITES with tags , , , on July 30, 2010 by echostains

 
 

 

Anyone who has read Gaskill’s Life of Charlotte Bronte will know that Charlotte accompanied her father Patrick Bronte to Manchester when he underwent a successful cataract operation.  Mr Wilson a famous oculist recommended comfortable lodgings which were ran by a former servant of his.

The Salutation

The lodging house has long gone, but the street remains.  The Salutation pub stands facing where the Charlotte and her father stayed.  A blue plaque stares out blankly onto where according to the information Charlotte began her most famous novel Jane Eyre.  This is an excerpt from a letter Charlotte wrote describing her Manchester lodging;-

August 21st, 1846: –

“I just scribble a line to you to let you know where I am, in order that you may write to me here, for it seems to me that a letter from you would relieve me from the feeling of strangeness I have in this big town. Papa and I came here on Wednesday; we saw Mr. Wilson, the oculist, the same day; he pronounced papa’s eyes quite ready for an operation, and has fixed next Monday for the performance of it. Think of us on that day! We got into our lodgings yesterday. I think we shall be comfortable; at least our rooms are very good, but there is no mistress of the house (she is very ill, and gone out into the country), and I am somewhat puzzled in managing about provisions; we board ourselves. I find myself excessively ignorant. I can’t tell what to order in the way of meat. For ourselves I could contrive, papa’s diet is so very simple; but there will be a nurse coming in a day or two, and I am afraid of not having things good enough for her. Papa requires nothing, you know, but plain beef and mutton, tea and bread and butter; but a nurse will probably expect to live much better; give me some hints if you can. Mr. Wilson says we shall have to stay here for a month at least. I wonder how Emily and Anne will get on at home with Branwell. They, too, will have their troubles. What would I not give to have you here! One is forced, step by step, to get experience in the world; but the learning is so disagreeable. One cheerful feature in the business is, that Mr. Wilson thinks most favourably of the case.”

 

What must that street have looked like then?  Oh to go back in time to August 21st 1846 and see Charlotte coming and going from 83 Mount Pleasant Boundary Street!  I, like most people perhaps, always assumed that Jane Eyre was written at the Parsonage in Haworth, but this appears not to be the case.  According to this information, the novel was started at the above address.  Where once stood Mount Pleasant 73 – 93 the back part of the Municipal School of Art stands.

 
 

title page of Jane Eyre

A few days later, she writes thus: “Papa is still lying in bed, in a dark room, with his eyes bandaged. No inflammation ensued, but still it appears the greatest care, perfect quiet, and utter privation of light are necessary to ensure a good result from the operation. He is very patient, but, of course, depressed and weary. He was allowed to try his sight for the first time yesterday. He could see dimly. Mr. Wilson seemed perfectly satisfied, and said all was right. I have had bad nights from the toothache since I came to Manchester.”

Excerpts of Elizabeth Gaskill’s Life of Charlotte Bronte from this site Thanks!

Currer Bell image here

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget to tune into the Arts Web Show  Just Click the Echostains Blog Spotlight to read my interview with the Aspects

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.

details

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!

Out on the Town with a Hundred Sewing Machines!

Posted in HOME, OUT AND ABOUT MANCHESTER with tags , , , on November 26, 2009 by echostains

party time at selfridges

I had to go to town today.  Raining of course.  There’s a few Christmas decorations up, but it doesn’t feel anything like Christmas.  Some nice window dsiplays though.  My favorite is always Selfridges , they always have something flamboyant!

sheer decadence at selfridges

Not great pics but you get the idea, lots of drama, silver women hanging from chandeliers – the usual, lol! 

all sewing machines at Allsaints

Another shop, called Allsaints had the most amazing window display I’ve seen in a long while.  Hundreds (and I mean hundreds) of sewing machines in the window.  At first I thought they must have got them from a factory, but only some had motors fitted onto them, plus they weren’t all Singer either, some were German.  I wonder where they got them all? and I wonder what they will do with them all afterwards?

Happy Habitat

This one is Habitat, I think.  I couldn’t resist it. looking all Christmasy and welcoming!

selfridges detail

Small Place that is Big on Character! Mr Thomas’s Chop House

Posted in Architecture, DESIGN, LIVING IN THE PAST: NOSTALGIA, OUT AND ABOUT MANCHESTER, PAST PLACES with tags , , , on November 1, 2009 by echostains

Mr Thomas's Chop House

We went for a meal in Mr Thomas’s Chop House, Manchester the other night.  I’ve  passed this place many times, even went in for a drink once, but I’ve never eaten in there.  The pub/restaurant size is deceptive.  The 1867 building is a long and narrow, giving the impression of a tiny bar at the front.  The restaurant goes on and on though…..

inside the restaurant

This place still enjoys a busy  atmosphere and still retains it’s original Victorian decorative arches and tiles.   Although it looks miniscule from the outside, it is actually  licensed for up to 175 people !  The building was originally a  Georgian townhouse of slender shape and has the distinction of being one of the first buildings in Manchester to have a  cast iron frame.

Mr Thomas himself

The food is good too!  It’s pub grub of course, but the presentation and the thought that has gone into the menu is wonderful.  The preparation time  for their famous Brown Onion Soup is 36 hours!  But don’t worry you won’t have to wait that long, lol!  We will go again, maybe try Mr Sam’s Chop House (nearby).  By the way, it does serve chops too!

Mr Thomas’s Chop House is situated at 52 Cross Street Manchester

HERE is the website

Of course it’s not all drinking and eating you know!  We do take in an exhibition from time to time.  Read my review of ‘Angels of Anarchy’ at Manchester City Art Gallery HERE