Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Day trip to Manchester

All about Art!

Last Tuesday, I caught a 6:25am flight to Manchester. Yes, that means I was up at 4am. But can you believe it (I know those of you who live in Ireland can)- one can wake up at 4am and be in Manchester before 7:30am. What's more, that round-trip flight costs less than €20! (Thank you Ryan Air.)

This trip was all about art! One of the things I love most about the course I am currently doing (MFA Art in a Digital World at NCAD) is that we take these impromptu trips to other countries/cities, to traipse around galleries and museums. Sometimes they are college-wide trips, but this trip was specific to our program. So we were a very small group, which allowed for a lot of flexibility.

After landing in Manchester airport, we took the train into the city center. We found a nice little spot for breakfast seeing as no museums or galleries were even open yet. After Breakfast, our first stop:

Manchester Art Gallery

We were here to check out these two exhibitions:

The Imitation Game - "An exhibition by eight international artists who explore the theme of machines and the imitation of life."

Pat Flynn: Half-life of a miracle - "A decade of photography and film by British contemporary artist Pat Flynn from 2005 to 2015 for the most comprehensive survey of his art to date."

I found Pat Flynn's work very interesting, as his "photography" is predominantly digitally generated, as in CG! Next stop:

The Whitworth Gallery

We were here to check out these two exhibitions:

Nico Vasellari - the "haunting installation Bus de la Lum which draws on the arcane powers of the forest and suggests the deep secrets within it."

Ben Rivers: The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers - "16mm film and video installation, five parts, various durations looped; and mixed media."

But I also enjoyed checking out the Tibor Reich retrospective, mid century Wallpaper exhibit and a cool piece in their new acquisitions by Garth Weiser. These two galleries took up the bulk of our morning, so we next headed back across town to seek out:

Lunch: Pacific Restaurant 

According to Wikipedia "Chinatown in Manchester, England is an ethnic enclave in the city centre. It is the second largest Chinatown in the United Kingdom and the third largest in Europe." Seeing as I have not yet found a spot in Dublin for Dim Sum, we decided on a restaurant called Pacific (we liked that it was housed in the "Connaught building.")

The only downside- we dove into our food so fast, that I didn't even get a chance to take a photo. It was SOOOOO good... and it was so reasonable. I could nearly fly over AND eat here, all for less than eating out in Dublin! After lunch, we headed to:

The Center for Chinese Contemporary Art

to see:

Cao Fei: La Town "Cao Fei’s work includes video and digital media that explores the culture and daily life of Chinese citizens born after the Cultural Revolution." We finished up our day of art at:


to see:

AL and AL: Incidents of Travel in the Multiverse  "a visionary new solo exhibition of film, drawing, installation and a live concert hall performance, conceived from AL and AL’s epic sci-fi odyssey. "

A warm cup of tea in the cafe at Home was a welcome respite before taking the train back to Manchester airport and heading home on a 10:30pm flight. A very nourishing day of inspiration and walking ensured I would sleep well that night!

Interesting viewing all around. I decided not to include photos of the art itself because it would just be too many, and I encourage you to go and check them out for yourselves, if interested. These exhibitions will change, but I would highly recommend a similar trip to Manchester anyway, to see what else is on in all of these venues. Easy peasy day trip!

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