If you had to list just one thing you’re looking forward to this year, what would it be? We ask some of the North’s cultural movers and shakers.
To mark the launch of our Cultural Calendar, we asked some of our favourite people to tell us the one thing they are looking forward to most this year. And first on the list are the Whitworth (and Manchester Art Gallery’s) Maria Balshaw, Tate Liverpool’s Francesco Manacorda and The Grundy’s Richard Parry. Over to them…
Francesco Manacorda: Glasgow International 2014
“This is the first edition of Glasgow International to be curated by the new Artistic Director, Sarah McCrory, and I greatly look forward to see how she will put together a programme that on paper looks both visionary and thought provoking. Alongside the purpose-made festival programme, the institutions in the city also collaborate to create a critical mass of contemporary art of the highest level. I particularly can’t wait to the shows by Sue Tompkins, Charlotte Prodger, Aleksandra Domanovic, Anne Collier and Anthea Hamilton and Nicholas Byrne.” Francesco Manacorda is Artistic Director of Tate Liverpool, and in 2013 was a member of the International Jury for the 55th Exhibition at the Venice Biennale. Read our interview with Francesco on Tate Liverpool’s current exhibition, Art Turning Left.
Maria Balshaw: The Whitworth’s Reopening
“The cultural event I am looking forward to most is the reopening of my beloved Whitworth Art Gallery in Autumn 2014. I have only been waiting for this moment for six years, so it will be a moment of great personal and professional satisfaction, as well as a great cultural occasion for Manchester. The Whitworth has been part of the cultural fabric of Manchester for 125 years. This year will see the gallery embrace its surrounding park, with two new wings enclosing an art garden. We are doubling our exhibition spaces, creating a study centre and learning studio and – my favourite element of all – making a café that extends into the 120 year-old trees that run alongside the new building. Translucent and airy, it will be like sitting in the canopy and will be the loveliest place in the city to have afternoon tea, as the leaves turn and the nights draw in.” Maria Balshaw is Director of the Whitworth Art Gallery and the Manchester City Galleries, and recently took on the role of Strategic Lead for Culture for Manchester City Council. Read our profile interview with Maria.
Richard Parry: Liverpool Biennial 2014
“Over the past year, Liverpool Biennial has gradually been undergoing a rethink at the hands of new Artistic Director, Sally Tallant. Departing from the notion of a single sprawling extravaganza parachuted in every two years, Tallant and her team have expanded the format to function as an ongoing space for considering the ‘Thinking City’ with a year-round programme of events. Sensibly moving its biennial crescendo to take place during the summer rather than the autumn (this year’s Biennial starts in July), the 2014 edition is curated by Mai Abu El Dahab and Anthony Huberman. If it turns out to have a fraction of the energy and intellectual charge of recent events such as the Future City Forum (including a lively debate with Peel Holdings’ Director, Lindsey Ashworth) or last October’s workshop with legendary composer Meredith Monk, we’ll be in for a treat.” Richard Parry is a curator and writer and is currently Curator of the Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool.