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The Seventh Artist Book Fair at Manchester Metropolitan University and the Anthony Ratcliffe Exhibition.

October 23, 2012

I have been to the Manchester Artist’s Book Fair for the past four years now and always looked forward to the rich diversity of work and the creative vibe that tends to emanate from the space in which it’s held. I bumped into Lucy Roscoe who I’ve blogged about previously from 2010’s Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair .

She had some lovely new pieces, and you can see more on her blog. Lucy told me that she’s busy running her business and teaching at the Edinburgh School of Art at the same time. She always seems to be smiling and to have lots of energy.

The second person’s work to catch my eye was that of Charlotte Vallance. She graduated from Birmingham City University, in 2009 in Visual Communications and specialised in Illustration with print-making.

She loves to sketch buildings, to travel and screen print, and she’s luckily managed to combine all three in her work. I can only imagine she’s a happy girl !

Lastly I was also inspired by the work of Joanna Robson. I didn’t get to meet her in person as her work was represented by someone else, but I loved the indigo colouring and the depth in her cut out structures.

Looking at her blog, I see she’s written a great detailed piece, with illustrations about the process of etching. You can read it here.

There were a few other beautiful pieces by other skilled artists and illustrators, but sadly, I found this year’s show to be on the whole lacking in fresh ideas, inspiring work and talented new individuals.

I headed over the road to the MMU Library to see the Anthony Ratcliffe exhibition. Anthony has exhibited widely in the UK and his prints can be found in many public and private collections in this country and abroad including The British Council and Houses of Parliament. He studied at Manchester Polytechnic (Foundation course) and Wolverhampton Polytechnic (BA Fine Art). He is currently a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for Foundation Course in Art and Design at MMU where he originally started employment as a technical printmaking assistant.

I really enjoyed this exhibition, due to the range of different items on view. Sketchbooks, paintings, wood-cuts, found objects and full size framed illustrations and prints.

The sketchbooks were lovely. Detailed, descriptive, beautifully drawn and considered.

Some of Anthony’s finished, multi-layered prints.

Anthony says “When I was a schoolboy in Yorkshire I could see the Pennine waterhsed above Sheffield from my bedroom window, I then moved to study art in Manchester and could identify the same hills from the other side. I now work in a studio which overlooks these slopes and making reference to their colour, shape and form is a daily visual treat.”  Below are two of Anthony’s images of his studio.

Black and white images show his grainy, textural line work.

Placed alongside Anthony’s work were a collection of related items, like the drawings from Ronald King, the pen and ink illustrations from Alfred Wainwright and the ordnance survey cover illustrations and maps, showing a range of landscapes and birdlife.

A wonderfully assembled exhibition, available to visit until 14th December, don’t miss it. Details of how to get there and opening times here.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 28, 2012 9:34 am

    Such a wonderful post, thank you!

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