Paint­ing the scene

Au­tumn’s arty oc­ca­sions

Cheshire Life - - Inside - WORDS: Janet Reeder

Artists and crafts­peo­ple from all over the world will be head­ing into cen­tral Manch­ester for a cul­tural bo­nanza that al­lows hun­dreds of ta­lented peo­ple to show­case their work.

The Great North­ern Con­tem­po­rary Craft Fair and the Manch­ester Art Fair are in­ter­na­tional in scope but they also give a plat­form to renowned artists who live on the doorstep.

This year, 12 de­signer-mak­ers from Cheshire have been se­lected for the award-win­ning Great North­ern Con­tem­po­rary Craft Fair. They are among more than 150 of the UK’S most ta­lented de­signer-mak­ers spe­cially se­lected by a panel of ex­perts.

They in­clude Re­becca Law­ley Sil­ver, an aptly-named sil­ver­smith from Stock­port, milliner Emma Fozard, also from Stock­port, Pos­ner and Pos­ner, a Sand­bach­based mother-daugh­ter duo mak­ing hand printed and crafted tex­tiles, Lucy Elis­a­beth, a sculp­tural il­lus­tra­tor from Al­trin­cham, Jo Bull Jew­ellery and Lau­ren; two ce­ram­i­cists, Ann Davis Ce­ram­ics and Tone

Von Krogh Ce­ram­ics and Rachel Cooke, a mixed me­dia artist.

Also rep­re­sent­ing the re­gion is Ma­rina Bau­guil whose oth­er­worldly porce­lain sculp­tures won her the Ceram­i­cist of the Year ti­tle at the show three years ago. Orig­i­nally from France, Ma­rina moved to Chea­dle Hulme 10 years ago. She trained as a sculp­tor at Fal­mouth but found her­self drawn to ce­ram­ics, work­ing with tu­tor Adrian Nokes.

‘A friend of mine’s fa­ther had a house in Sale and in the base­ment he had a big kiln which couldn’t be moved so he asked if I’d be in­ter­ested,’ says Ma­rina. ‘He ended up giv­ing me two rooms in the cel­lar of his house, so I started mak­ing there.’ Now Ma­rina has a work space in a util­ity room at her home where she cre­ates her ec­cen­tric fig­ures and masks.

‘I call them spir­its be­cause they seem to rep­re­sent an essence of some­thing. The fig­ures are a mix of hu­man and an­i­mal,’ she re­veals.

‘The Ja­panese have a new ther­apy called Shin Rin Yoku which is ba­si­cally na­ture’s fix. They prac­tice some­thing called for­est bathing, where they im­merse them­selves in na­ture and al­low na­ture to do its thing, help you to re­lax, be mind­ful and present and it is this as­pect of the re­la­tion­ship which we can’t see but which na­ture is do­ing with us which ap­peals to me.

‘My work is quite specif­i­cally in­flu­enced by the Ja­panese. The Ja­panese see lit­tle gods in ev­ery­thing, so that was a start­ing point for the work I do now.’

Ma­rina missed last year’s fair be­cause of fam­ily com­mit­ments but says she is de­lighted to re­turn for 2018.

‘When I first went in 2015, I met a lot of peo­ple and I al­ways keep my eye on what they are do­ing.’

The eleventh show will fea­ture artist talks and demon­stra­tions as well as a reg­u­lar and im­por­tant fea­ture of the fair, the ‘Great North­ern Grad­u­ates’ show­case. This fea­tures the best new ta­lent to emerge from the UK’S cre­ative cour­ses. These mak­ers truly are ‘the ones to watch’.

Ann-marie Franey who founded the GNCCF with An­gela Mann says: ‘Vis­i­tors can ex­pect a stim­u­lat­ing day out in an un­usual set­ting, with in­ter­est­ing and beau­ti­ful work from new and estab­lished mak­ers. In­ter­est in con­tem­po­rary craft grows year-on-year and we’re ex­cited to be part of this, fly­ing the flag for North­ern craft.’

“The Ja­panese see lit­tle gods in ev­ery­thing, so that was a start­ing point for the work I do now”

Fly­ing the flag for artists is the Manch­ester Art Fair which this year changed its name from the Manch­ester Buy Art Fair. There are more artists than ever tak­ing part in the Manch­ester Cen­tral Con­ven­tion Com­plex event from Oc­to­ber 12th-14th. It cel­e­brates its 10th an­niver­sary and the fact that more than £4m of work has been snapped up dur­ing the last decade with 125 ex­hibitors show­ing thou­sands of works from more than 600 artists.

One of those is Lou Phillips, a Som­er­set artist who moved to Alderley Edge last year - all be­cause of her art­work.

‘In April 2016, dur­ing a chal­leng­ing pe­riod in my life, I re­dis­cov­ered my cre­ativ­ity by open­ing a box of choco­late and con­fec­tionery foils I’d been sav­ing for around 15 years. I started pro­duc­ing my first three art­works, Josephine, Au­drey and Vic­to­ria. To show­case my work I de­cided to ap­ply to some art fairs.

‘I was pleased to be ac­cepted into Buy Art Fair in Manch­ester. I was very ap­pre­hen­sive about the fair, es­pe­cially be­cause it was my first art show, first time up north, first time in Manch­ester. And I’d man­aged to break the glass in my large fea­ture piece of art­work, while load­ing.

‘On ar­rival in Manch­ester, I was greeted with north­ern warmth. Ev­ery­one was help­ful and I got the glass re­placed. Not only was my art­work well re­ceived, it a great ex­pe­ri­ence, which led me not only to sales and be­ing com­mis­sioned, but also to new friends, in­clud­ing fel­low Manch­ester based artist Ian Rayer-smith and my now boyfriend, Wayne, who is the rea­son I re­lo­cated to Cheshire last year.

‘Hav­ing spent the sum­mer with my two young chil­dren, I am now look­ing for­ward to ex­hibit­ing my con­tem­po­rary col­lage work, once again, at Buy Art Fair.’

The am­bi­tion is to cre­ate Manch­ester’s big­gest week­end of arts and cul­ture en­com­pass­ing ex­hi­bi­tions, spe­cial events and of­fers at cul­tural in­sti­tu­tions and the city’s lead­ing food and drink op­er­a­tors.

Fair direc­tor So­phie Helm says: ‘We are re­ally ex­cited to be bring­ing 120 UK and in­ter­na­tional gal­leries to Manch­ester and if you ap­pre­ci­ate art, de­sign and in­te­ri­ors there will be thou­sands of paint­ings, sculp­tures, prints and pho­to­graphs to choose from. The fair is an op­por­tu­nity to meet artists, talk about col­lect­ing with gal­leries, take part in a work­shop or just en­joy a lunch and glass of wine sur­rounded by won­der­ful art.’ The Great North­ern Con­tem­po­rary Craft Fair is at Up­per Camp­field Mar­ket, Manch­ester, from Oc­to­ber 11th to Oc­to­ber 14th great­north­ern­events.co.uk Manch­ester Art Fair is at Manch­ester Cen­tral Con­ven­tion Com­plex from Oc­to­ber 12th to 14th manch­ester­art­fair. co.uk

“The fair is an op­por­tu­nity to meet artists, talk about col­lect­ing with gal­leries, take part in a work­shop or just en­joy a lunch and glass of wine sur­rounded by won­der­ful art”

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