The First Cut – Manchester Art Gallery – Artist Talks

Yesterday I visited Manchester Art Gallery to see their latest exhibition titled The First Cut, which opened on Friday 5 October 2012 and runs till Sunday 27 January 2013. Of the 31 international artists that comprise the exhibition, 5 were present at the gallery today to talk about their work. They were (in order of appearance, which was apparently down to whose plane was leaving first) James Aldridge, Andreas Kocks, Andrea Mastrovito, Mia Pearlman and Nicola Dale. The theme of the exhibition is a combination of the contemporary use of paper in art, the act of and materials for the cutting of paper, and an eclectic mix of site specific responses from international contemporary artists.

All of the artists spoke confidently and engagingly about their practice as well as their specific artwork in the exhibition. Having participated in artists talks at exhibitions myself, I found it interesting to observe and of course listen to other contemporary artists at such stages in their careers. There were parallels in the explanations of Aldridge, Kocks and Pearlman in that they all related drawing to their practice of cutting paper. They also mentioned that they tend to not start out with a definite idea, but rather rely on their processes and play with the unknown, letting the piece evolve as they become increasingly engaged with its creation. Mastrovito appeared to find inspirational triggers in circumstance and/or his experiences with friends, while Dale’s inspiration comes in relating the digital age to the increase in physical books in charity shops that are her source material. She openly admitted that her obsessional tendencies are the driving force behind her work.

For more information on the exhibition, click here to go to Manchester Art Gallery’s website.

Click on the images below to view larger.

Update: since I posted this article in my blog Manchester Art Gallery recently released this video featuring some of the artists from The First Cut.

The First Cut – Installation from Manchester Art Gallery on Vimeo.

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