Art Assembly 2022

Art Assembly 2022

A one-day festival celebrating art and creativity across Manchester.

That’s a wrap on Art Assembly in Manchester! Thank you for joining us for a memorable day of art, fun and creativity in the heart of the city on 18 June 2022.

Brought to you by Art Fund and some of Manchester's leading arts organisations, the festival explored the theme of 'City as Art School' and featured new work by Greater Manchester artists.

Explore some of the artist’s works of art and listen to a special episode of our podcast recorded live at Art Assembly below.

Check out pictures from Art Assembly 2022

Meet Me at Art Assembly

Listen to this special live episode of the ‘Meet Me at the Museum’ recorded live at HOME in Manchester as part of Art Assembly 2022. Hear Russell Kane in conversation with Art Assembly artists. Plus, don’t miss Testament's spoken-word piece composed especially for the day.

Explore highlights from the day

Lost Eons: Three Worlds

David Blandy and young artists from Venture Arts

Through a series of online workshops, artist David Blandy and young artists from the Venture Arts studio reimagined Manchester 8,000 years from now. For Art Assembly, the group transformed their collaborative work into an immersive video and gaming installation at Manchester Art Gallery – inviting the public to join them in speculative world-building and share their own vision for Manchester far into the future.

Explore drawings made by visitors to Lost Eons.

Shifting Landscapes

Ian Cale and Parham Ghalamdar in collaboration with Art & Design students from the Manchester College

Parham Ghalamdar alongside Art & Design students from The Manchester College produced drawings of urban landscapes and maps capturing various parts of Manchester. An A.I. engine was trained to study student's drawings alongside those held in the Manchester Art Gallery to find patterns and similarities in shapes and colours. The results were videos and still images depicting a third inventive apparition of Manchester looking like a shifting cityscape in fluctuation.

RESPAWN from Olivia Glasser on Vimeo.


Olivia Glasser with local primary school students

The title refers to responses the children gave to the question “Would you rather live in the online world or the real world forever?” The ability to “respawn” or die and come back to life within console games was an appealing prospect. Taking the video screen as a blank space of possibility, the children devised repeat actions to fill it with. These were made in response to other questions, such as “If you could be a child or an adult forever, which would you be?” Suspended in an eternal loop, the children explore ideas around texting, telling off, falling over, love letters, sleeping, control, freedom, re-birth, money, fandom and school.

The Botanical Socienty: Look Between the Cracks in The Pavement

Anna F C Smith and Helen Mather with Fashion students from The Manchester College

This project was inspired by 19th Century working class botanical societies with defied the expectations of their class to learn about their changing environments. Using their model of co-learning, the students observed and documented urban nature in their own hand made observational notebooks. Developing image making through workshops, the group created an identity for a 21st century Botanical Society.

Explore The Botanical Society: Look Between the Cracks in The Pavement zine.

Taking Up Space, Taking In Space

Students from Manchester School of Art with artist Maya Chowdhry

This artwork questioned what is an art school and what does it provide? It examined the methods by which it bestows opportunities for creativity and sharing that artistry. It also questions the hierarchy of art institutions, who is allowed to be creative and who can exhibit. The artwork highlighted opportunities for people to use space as they would like, de-commercialising and questioning ownership and hierarchy over space. Who is seen? Who takes up space?

Explore the Taking Up Space, Taking In Space booklet

The artists

Parham Ghalamdar

Painter, animator, curator and researcher Parham Ghalamdar is both a skilled oil painter and graffiti artist. His art explores themes such as perception and the unfolding chaos of modern life.

Sally Gilford

Artist and creative producer Sally Gilford works with people and communities to respond creatively to ideas of place, identity and heritage. Specialising in surface design and print, her work is bold, playful and inquisitive.

Robert Parkinson

Artist Robert Parkinson’s work revolves around people – where they live, how they respond to their surroundings, and what makes a community. His art takes a number of different forms, including photography.

Sam Owen Hull

Sam Owen Hull is an associate artist at Manchester Art Gallery, known for her workshops and creative projects that help young people to develop their voice through art. Her work incorporates elements of painting and embroidery and often explores the polarisation of society.

Maya Chowdhry

Maya Chowdhry’s work toes the line between live art and installation, using elements such as projection, interactive audio and sensors to invite people in. Maya encourages audiences to use her art as a tool for creating their own unique experiences.

Anna FC Smith and Helen Mather

Anna FC Smith works in a range of mediums including performance and sculpture. She is interested in the places where people meet to take part in daily or ritualistic activities, and her work often explores themes of history and community.

Helen Mather works predominantly in textiles, exploring how materials can tell vivid stories. Her work often touches on ideas of health and the body.

David McFarlane and Raheel Khan

David McFarlane works frequently with sound and music, developing everything from soundtracks and concert pieces to installations and interactive poetry displays. He is interested in themes such as interactivity, communication and the translation of information.

Also working with sound, music and installation, Raheel Khan is known for his interesting use of materials, previously including disused car parts and reconstructed textiles.

Olivia Glasser

Artist and teacher Olivia Glasser is interested in how creativity can be embedded into society. She works with young people to build creative skills and recently programmed a series of arts workshops and events in unusual spaces in Salford.

David Blandy

David Blandy is interested in the cultural forces that inform and influence him; in recent work, he has examined the idea of human consciousness within the digital world. His art spans performance, installation, writing, gaming, and sound, always with a strong collaborative element. He was nominated for the Film London Jarman award with Larry Achiampong in 2018.

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