Design Manchester's 10 x 10: Blink and you'll miss it

Polly Checkland Harding

Works by ten local artists come to Manchester’s Federation house for four days only – pop in to get a flavour of bigger things to come…

Design Manchester 10 x 10 is an artist showcase for the full, extended Design Manchester festival – a taster, if you will, of the projects and talents that will be on show in October. Coming to Castlefield Gallery‘s pop-up art space Federation House for four days only, the 10 x 10 exhibition puts collaborative work from local artists and designers in the spotlight. Unusual artistic partnerships have given rise to highly imaginative works, such as a fictional “School of Imagination” prospectus from illustrator Jane Bowyer and Textbook Studio. The outcome is two laser-etched slate “Maxifestos,” a bespoke, handmade and hard-backed Manifesto, as well as 100 pocket-sized “Minifestos”.

The 10 x 10 exhibition puts collaborative work from local artists and designers in the spotlight

The works, then, are creative, humorous and highly Manchester-centric. Brendan Dawes’s Sonic Sculptures – brightly coloured, 3-dimensional representations of sound – are a code-generated response to the music of The Smiths, Inspiral Carpets and Joy Division. Artist Micah Purnell, whose provocative billboards dotted the city’s streets earlier this year, has collaborated with three other artists, authors and speakers to produce specially written quotes that explore the effect of visual noise on our imaginations. It’s a potted overview of Manchester’s home-grown talent, and a great way of building excitement for a mixed-media festival that celebrates creativity, collaboration and inclusivity.

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