Friends Meeting House
(Bootle Street Entrance)
6 Mount Street
Tue, Wed, Fri
Closed Mon, Sun
Also open by appointment
Artland Gallery - Manchester’s newest art gallery, opens on October 6th with a stunning exhibition of photographs from leading Manchester photographer Jan Chlebik.
’Manchester and New York’ (InDirect review, Manchester Confidential review, Redeye review) is a series of images from both cities. Jan, who has lived in Manchester since his early school days says: “I’ve been here so long I feel I’ve earned the right to make my own statement about Manchester, in visual terms. I love taking photographs in Manchester, the familiarity works very well. When I think of the photographers I most admire, like the ones who shot New York in those iconic black and white images of the 1940’s — these were people who really knew their city. This is what I want to reflect in this exhibition — to explore the complexities, similarities and differences between both places.”
While Jan has been in a number of group exhibitions, notably with the painter Liam Spencer, and for many years at the annual exhibition at the Rogue Studios in Piccadilly where he has a base — this is his first solo exhibition. Artland Director James Walmsley says: “I have admired Jan’s work for many years, and when I started to put things in place for this new gallery I couldn’t think of a better artist to open with. Jan’s work is both beautiful and intelligent. It has tremendous integrity, and this exhibition has a truly international feel, as well as having its essential roots in Manchester. This is just what I want for Artland and for our future work here.”
Jan, who has been a working professional photographer for 24 years, has won several awards — including from the Association of Photographers and the Roses Design Awards. His ’Photographs of Manchester’ was published in 2006, and he has contributed to several other seminal Manchester publications. He has also shot a number of major national campaigns for big brand names which have taken him all over the world; and also enjoyed a long association with North Manchester Regeneration, where his unique style helped to transform the image of the area.
Meanwhile the Artland Gallery itself is a highly individual project. Housed in the basement of the Friend’s Meeting House on Mount Street in Manchester city centre, it is a setting in which many unusual artistic and radical projects have been born, and it makes excellent use if a relatively small space. Director James Walmsley has taken a lead on several international arts projects. He facilitated the major ’Visions of Zimbabwe’ (Guardian review) exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery in 2005; and curated ’Fragile State’ (catalogue, Guardian review, Metro review), the first ever British showing of contemporary Kosovan art, at Stockport Art Gallery in 2007. He continues to work with artists from all over the world and is currently developing a groundbreaking exhibition with artists from Bosnia, Serbia and Kosova, which is likely to be a world first.
In an incredible coup, Artland Gallery has recently had confirmation from New York Times photographer Christoph Bangert that he will exhibit at the gallery next February. This will be the first time that his powerful and controversial “Iraq -The Space Between” has been shown in the UK. Bangert is one of the few Western photographers who has stayed the distance in Iraq, and this collection is a dramatic and moving testament to his time there, as well as to the danger he faced to make the work. The exhibition ’ …records the distance Bangert travelled as a civilian between worlds committed to destruction in the name of freedom. ” Artland Gallery will be holding a series of accompanying lectures and discussions.
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