Art Gallery Commissions
Deborah Levy – Fashion and Freedom
Deborah Levy was commissioned by the Festival to write a piece responding to the exhibition Fashion & Freedom at Manchester Art Gallery (13 May to 27 November 2016). Co-commissioned with the National 1914-NOW programme, the exhibition explored the impact of WW1 on women's fashion and featured the work of designers including Vivienne Westwood, Roksanda and J JS Lee. You can read Deborah's resulting work, 'Fashion and Freedom', by clicking on the link above, or here on the Fashion & Freedom site
Hear an audio recording of Deborah reading her commissioned work for the first time at the event by clicking here.
Ned Beauman – An Oral History of the Nov Lik
Ned Beauman was commissioned by the Festival to write a piece responding to the exhibition Matthew Darbyshire: An Exhibition for Modern Living at Manchester Art Gallery (25 September 2015 to 10 January 2016). The artist’s largest solo show to date, it brought together sculptural environments with new works and investigated the links between collections, objects and identity. You can read Ned's resulting work, 'An Oral History of the Nov Lik and its Legacy (Some Names Redacted)', above.
Kamila Shamsie – The Sensory War
Kamila Shamsie was commissioned by the Festival to write work responding to “The Sensory War: 1914-2014” exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery. The exhibition, which ran 11 October 2014 – Sunday 22 February 2015, explored how artists have communicated the impact of war on the body, mind, environment and human senses across the century. You can download her resulting short fiction works, “War Stories, Mostly Not Mine,” above.
Jen Hadfield – A Highland Romance
Jen Hadfield was commissioned by Manchester Literature Festival to write a sequence of poems responding to A Highland Romance: Victorian View of Scottishness exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery, showing 20 September 2013 – 1 September 2014. The resulting wok was performed at a special event in the Gallery on 10 October 2013. You can download a copy of the poems above and you can hear Jen reading her poems here.
Kei Miller – A Rake's Progress
Kei Miller was commissioned by Manchester Literature Festival to write a sequence of poems responding to the Hockney to Hogarth: A Rake’s Progress exhibition at the Whitworth Art Gallery, showing 6 October 2012 – 3 February 2013. The resulting work was performed at an event in the Whitworth Art Gallery on Sunday 14th October. You can watch Kei perform an extract of his new work at the Whitworth Art Gallery below and download the full text of the poems above.
Jean Sprackland – Work
Jean Sprackland was commissioned by Manchester Literature Festival to produce a series of poems responding to the exhibition Ford Madox Brown: Pre-Raphaelite Pioneer at Manchester Art Gallery. The resulting poems WORK, ETC were performed at a special event as part of Manchester Literature Festival at Manchester Art Gallery on Tuesday 18th October 2011. You can download the texts of the poems above and listen to podcasts here.
John Siddique – Lustre
John Siddique was jointly commissioned by Manchester Literature Festival and Manchester Art Gallery to respond to the exhibition Exporting Beauty: Pilkington’s Pottery and Tiles, featuring over 100 pots and tiles made by the world famous Pilkington’s Tile and Pottery Company between 1893 and 1938. The resulting poems draw inspiration from the exhibits and the craftsmen and craftswomen who lovingly fashioned them; channelling nature in all its glory, from the elements that forged the clay to the animals at Belle Vue Zoo which one of the artists used to visit as part of his observational process.
You can download a PDF version of John's commisisoned poems Lustre above, and watch a film produced by Littlestar Media Productions below.