Friday 27 – Sunday 29 October 2017

Vane is pleased to be participating in the tenth edition of The Manchester Contemporary. This year’s presentation includes both artists represented by the gallery and from neighbouring initiatives, Ampersand Inventions, The Fashion Lab, Incubate Experimental Printmaking, and Praxis Gallery, based in Commercial Union House, home to the largest concentration of artists and creative organisations in Newcastle upon Tyne. Artists showing are Ben Applegarth, Nick Christie, Jonpaul Kirvan, Melanie Kyles, Jock Mooney, Jennifer O’Neill, and Narbi Price.

Ben Applegarth (born 1990, County Durham, lives in Newcastle upon Tyne) is concerned with evolving geometrical structures, a fascination with mathematical patterns and the literal and figurative role of perspective. In his screenprint, metari (2017), from the Latin, to measure, Applegarth superimposes a series of overlapping dodecahedrons onto the natural, delicately beautiful surface of a Birdseye Maple veneer in a fusion of his passions for woodwork, design and optical phenomena.

Nick Christie (born 1985, London, lives in Newcastle upon Tyne) records the subtle, liminal marks and gestures made during the processes of drawing and printmaking by the whirls and tracks of the artist’s smeared fingerprints. In his monoprint, Flare 1 (2016), and Untitled cynotype (2017), Christie shows respectively the image of a planet and a reclining nude in an homage to the creative act of making itself.

Jonpaul Kirvan (born 1975, Newcastle upon Tyne, lives in Newcastle upon Tyne) explores the nature of mapping, both in terms of physical cartography and psychological or emotional mapping. In his etching, Apollo 11 (2017), Kirvan has taken the flight plan from the first manned landing on the Moon and rendered it as if it were an ancient parchment, covered in the arcane symbols of some lost civilisation.

Melanie Kyles (born 1990, Newcastle upon Tyne, lives in Gateshead) takes what are usually regarded as gender-specific materials, such as fabrics and crystal to subvert notions of economy and practicality traditionally associated with the ‘decorative’ arts. A Golden Thread (2017) is titled after a painting by the Pre-Raphaelite, John Melhuish Strudwick, illustrating the Greek myth of the Moirai, three sisters responsible for the thread of birth, life and death, otherwise known as the ‘thread of fate’. Using golden thread specific to goldwork, an embroidery technique traditionally used to communicate rank and status amongst the military and royalty, Kyles has worked in an intuitive fashion to bind together two entwined branches of hazel, traditionally symbolising wisdom, knowledge, fertility and divination.

Jock Mooney (born 1982, Edinburgh, lives in London) constructs a world populated by grotesque characters, weird animals, and morphed plants, as in his drawing, The Curse of the UHT Guacamole Snowman (2014). In his screenprint, Brexit Cat (2017), Mooney presents an image inspired by folk art, classical mythology and manga comics. A cartoon-like black cat is shown expelling from both ends, but these expulsions are magically transformed into pink and white flowers as if spilling from a cornucopia.

Jennifer O’Neill (born 1994, Newcastle upon Tyne, lives in Newcastle upon Tyne) works in installation art, with an interest in our collective mental health as a society and our need for instant cures in the form of physical consumables. Millenni-Med (2017) is a reaction to the predicted dystopian futures of the ‘screen generation’. Bright, colourful cures are ready to fix every mental and emotional quandary that social media and the digital age we live in has burdened us with. She highlights the blurred boundaries between medicine and consumerism, with products that border onto being almost believable as social media bleeds into the zeitgeist.

Narbi Price (born 1979, Hartlepool, lives in Newcastle upon Tyne) journeys to specific places that have witnessed a range of events – variously historical, famous, personal or forgotten. In Untitled Lamp Painting (Room 253) (2017), an old-fashioned wall lamp illuminates an hotel room number and the edge of a door. Behind the image is the story of crime writer Agatha Christie’s dramatic eleven-day disappearance in 1926. Untitled Flowers Painting (KB for Ettrick) (2017) shows the site of the Kard Bar, a hub of alternative culture in Newcastle, destroyed by fire in December 2015, killing the owner.

The Manchester Contemporary is dedicated to bringing together the most exciting, up and coming galleries and artists from across the UK to Manchester. Launched in 2008, The Manchester Contemporary is committed to encouraging and developing a market for critically engaged contemporary art in the region. It provides an opportunity for audiences to access high calibre contemporary art by exhibiting international artists alongside those that are new and emerging.

Friday: Preview 5-9pm
Saturday: 10am-6pm
Sunday: 10am-5pm

Manchester Central Convention Complex
Windmill Street
M2 3GX

For more information go to