Sale exhibition helps local artists from “outlier” Trafford area showcase their work

Image taken by Rais Esat

An art exhibition in Trafford gave Greater Manchester-based artists the opportunity to showcase their pieces on a larger scale than usual.

Neighbourhood Gallery in the heart of South Manchester in Sale opened their doors at Stanley Square on Thursday 5th October for the public to view works by dozens of local artists from across the North West region.

“Ever-changing landscapes that surround us” was set as the theme of the exhibition, as culture enthusiasts gathered to appreciate a setting that is seldom viewed in the same light, in terms of contemporary art, as the more popular Central Manchester and Salford areas.

Steve Sutton, a full-time artist in his retirement, shares this peculiar sentiment: “It is a little bit of an outlier. It’s not usually regarded as a place to go and see contemporary art.”

However, the 73-year-old recognises the importance his work holds in representing environmental issues, such as climate change, that illustrate the precarious state of humanity.

Image taken by Rais Esat
Many art lovers gathered at Unit 23’s doors in Stanley Square, Sale, for ‘Evolving Horizons’ (Image by Rais Esat)

He added, “I usually try to make a strong statement with my work, whether it’s drawing, three-dimensional work or photographs.

“There’s a lot of artists working in this city, within Greater Manchester, who are very tuned into communicating lots of issues, especially here in this part of Trafford.”

The sculpture specialist aims to ‘move into Manchester’ and display his creativity that changes the status quo, as he has already exhibited in Altrincham, Warrington and Sheffield.

Graphite, acrylic or digital photography are among the detailed yet poignant works on display at the gallery, which show the assortment of mediums people outside the City Centre use to spread their messages.

Another artist in their retirement is Judy Turner, 64, based in Bury.

Amidst the exhibition buzz, she reflected on the changes in the art space from when she was first introduced to it at a young age, and how the newer artists of today have room for growth, particularly in Greater Manchester.

“When I was a lot younger, I did art classes with the local authority. Things like that just don’t exist anymore,” she told Quays News.

(Video by Rais Esat)

“[The exhibition] is really good for budding artists who want to make a career out of it.”

One of these is Rachael Merrison, 32, as she curates unique pieces of landscapes whilst going on walks to put her daughter to sleep.

The Marpole-based mum expresses this newfound navigation through parenthood as an opportunity to experiment with art based on either traditional rural areas or urban environments.

Ms. Merrison said, “I think Greater Manchester is so many varied landscapes, and you can see that in the exhibition.”

The difference she found between nature and structural composition continues to inspire her work, leading her to exhibit with Neighbourhood Gallery.

Image taken by Rais Esat
Rachael Merrison relished the opportunity to exhibit her ‘Rooted Bramble’ acrylic painting (Image by Rais Esat)

She added, “It brings art to communities who maybe aren’t used to seeing it. It brings a little bit more life into a place that is typically just a shopping centre.

“It just shows the breadth of the community.”

‘Evolving Horizons’ will be available for casual viewing in Unit 23 at Stanley Square, Sale until the 28th of October. For more information on Neighbourhood Gallery, click here.

You can also check out the Instagram pages of Steve Sutton, Judy Turner and Rachael Merrison to see their landscape art, portraits and more.

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