Friday, 26 August 2011

Article for The Hare Newspaper.

For the latest issue of The Hare Newspaper, I wrote an article about the artist collective I am a part of; Creative Transit, and their upcoming involvement and exhibition with Blank Media Collective at Blank Space Gallery. You can find out more about The Hare Newspaper here: and Blank Media Collective here: and not forgetting Creative Transit:

Between Thursday 11th August and Sunday 28th August, something exciting will be happening on the Manchester art scene. To be more precise, Blank Media Collective are supporting Creative Transit in an open studio and exhibition time at BLANKSPACE Gallery. On the following pages will be a thorough guide to who Blank Media Collective are and what they do for the arty kind, what and where the BLANKSPACE Gallery is, and who on earth are Creative Transit and what will they be doing with those precious days in August.

Blank Media Collective are big news these days. Behind emerging talent as they take those first unstable steps into the big wide world, they provide a platform for creative minds, from artists to musicians, even writers. They support and nurture the artistes in whichever way appropriate; the curation of exhibitions at their base BLANKSPACE, sorting out those important live music gigs, mentoring, publishing writer’s and artist’s work in their online magazine Blank Pages, sales of artwork and portfolio hosting from their website. They encourage collaborations between the creatives they care for and offer a network of contacts and support for loads of artists, not only in the North West, but in the rest of the UK as well.

The brains behind Blank Media not only develop artists, they are artists. The director and exhibitions curator at Blank Media is photographic artist Mark Devereux. A poet, writer and performer, John Leyland is the co-director of Blank Media and editor of online magazine Blank Pages. And the rest vary from ceramic artist to musician to web designer to film makers and lecturers.

Blank Pages is the online magazine which every month provides the reader with a sampling of the hottest writers, visual artists, and designers, you can even enjoy some aural delight whilst you electronically browse the pages. Their website also provides priceless information on how to write an artist’s statement, CV or proposal and lists the all important contacts for galleries, art collectives, and the people who will happily give you funding and advice.

BLANKSPACE is self-described as a “creative hub, showcasing multi-disciplinary activities, visual arts and sculpture, spoken and written word, live art and performance.” Located at 43 Hulme Street, a very short walk from busy Oxford Road, BLANKSPACE is where all this love and support lives and breathes. This is one super cool gallery space which showcases the best in brand new talent (and modest talent too). You can exhibit here, do a little internship, make use of the studio space and take part in workshops, or simply visit as an art enthusiast member of the public. 

So it turns out that Creative Transit will be using that studio space and exhibiting at BLANKSPACE, thanks to Blank Media Collective. Creative Transit are a group of artists keen to network, exhibit and get as much arty experience and exposure as possible. The artists in question are all from the degree Interactive Arts at Manchester Metropolitan University and came together in search of networking and collaboration. Creative Transit is an anagram of Interactive Arts and allows a diverse collective of individuals to work together despite their differences in practice and media. Practices which include: photography, installation, illustration, moving image, painting, textiles and 3-dimensional sculpture.

The directors leading the collective onward are Lauren Taylor and Rebecca Wild. Lauren is my favourite kind of artist; someone who believes that art is to be enjoyed, whether it expresses a message or just pleases the eye, art exists to positively enrich one’s life. Rebecca’s work is charming and lends a curious attitude the viewer can’t escape from. She mixes contemporary methods with traditional materials to bring to life her own unique images and photographs which exude the most vibrant colours.

Twenty-two eager artists make up Creative Transit and individually have exhibited all over the world from Blackpool to Brooklyn. As well as copious amounts of independent and collective shows, many have experience in the roles of gallery assistants, art handlers and production staff.

The first two collective shows in Manchester were involved in Free For Arts and Creative Transit at the Cavendish. Now the third is the biggest yet. For the first two weeks BLANKSPACE will be an open studio where the artists will work on their exhibiting material. The exhibition name of ‘Chinese Whispers’ comes from the childhood game and the open studio time will reflect the nature of this as the artists respond to one another in a series of ‘whispers’. Consequently this will end in a three day exhibition where the links between each individual’s works will vary dramatically; therefore the piece you view first will connect to the second but differ from the third and the rest. The open studio time is open for the public to see these young artists bounce ideas back and forth between themselves as they create their best work yet. The audience is the ‘listener’ and detective during the studio time and exhibition time; they discover the links connecting work and give feedback and ideas on what they see. The all important preview night is Thursday 25th August 2011, from 6pm-9pm, is free entry and there will be wine and treats to enjoy while you absorb some real good arts. So you have no excuse.

Over the next two pages are introductions to a few of the exhibiting artists.

First up is Sonny Barker. Sonny considers himself a ‘Minimalist Abstractor with Constructivist leanings.’ Interested in time and its effects he applies creative processes (photography and sculpture usually) onto objects and ideas he comes across in everyday life. You can contact Sonny at:

Chuman uses paper as a sculptural material. He says of his work; “The idea of this theme is based on my life experience in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a city with high population density and high housing demand. The sculpture is to represent my feeling to the phenomenon of the building structure in Hong Kong.” See more at:
Alex Cussons is a photographic maverick. Specialising in photographing the unreal, fun and humorous thoughts we ignore. She doesn’t take herself seriously and occasionally ventures into animation and video. Get in touch at:
Enya Koster is a unique illustrator and artist. She enjoys using textiles and creates fantastic puppets and toys which ultimately become props in performances. Through drawing and photography she makes sense of her own subconscious in a truly enjoyable and light hearted way. You can see more at the Creative Transit website;

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