Saturday, March 22, 2014

It All Happens Here

Well, its been very busy this last week or so, and will get busier I think. I went along to hear Evie Wyld read from her second novel "All the birds singing" at Anthony Burgess on Monday; a very good crowd for a Monday night, and good to see MMU supporting its current students, with a couple of readings as "support." I was planning to repeat the visit on Thursday for Olivia Laing, but a friend was around, and we stuck in the Northern Quarter catching up.

The Manchester Histories Festival begins today - and there's things on all week. I really like the Histories festival, because sometimes you get the sense that Manchester, unlike York or Chester, isn't seen as a particularly "historical" town. Yet there's lots of local groups, and lots of layers of history even in a city that really burgeoned less than two hundred years ago. Next Saturday there's a full day celebration in the Town Hall, which in previous years has been great, but there's also lots of things going on in the city centre and elsewhere all week. One literary response to the festival takes place at Blackwells on Thursday: Ruined is a literary architectural dig, short stories about lost places in Manchester.

Whether by accident or design next weekend also sees the history being joined by the future - with the 2014 FutureEverything being a  few days of music, art, conference which is a full programme after last year's more limited event. Again its at the Town Hall - but also around the city - particularly around the Co-op section of town near Victoria.

Bridging both of these next Saturday evening will be a fantastic light display around Albert Square as part of the Big Digital Project which has involved communities across Greater Manchester creating images to be projected in each borough, which will be brought together on Saturday for a unique presentation.

If you're in London next week then its the launch of issue 2 of Verse Kraken, the magazine of hybrid art, which I'm pleased to say I'm a contributor to. The launch is at the Dogstar in Brixton.

Lots of art going on as well. I've really enjoyed the Artists Room presentation of Bruce Nauman, the American artist, which is on at Preston's Harris Museum, and proving that painting is far from dead, a wonderful collection of work from Iain Andrews, including a spellbinding diorama is on at the Castlefield Gallery.  Last night was the opening of Horse Falling, a temporary shop in historic Ancoats, on the corner of Great Ancoats Street and Jersey Street. I missed the launch but hope to get there shortly.

So, it really does all happen here... enjoy.

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