Manchester Art Gallery Free entry - A new exhibition of sketches and drawings documenting the lives of people working at Manchester’s two major football clubs.
The exhibition opens at Manchester Art Gallery this October. A selection of the works, all by artist Jo Roberts, will also be published in the sports pages of the Manchester Evening News.
The exhibition is the result of a series of interviews between Jo Roberts and employees from Manchester City and Manchester United football clubs about their goals in life. From players to groundsmen, caterers to shop staff, Roberts has documented their stories through a series of quirky sketches and drawings for this specially commissioned exhibition.
Jo Roberts is an established British artist, who has previously worked with galleries and arts organisations across the UK including Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham, The New Art Gallery, Walsall and Ikon Gallery, Birmingham. Roberts has developed her artistic practice during journeys she has made across the UK. Her work, and this new project in particular, has been inspired by the story of Celia Fiennes (1662-1741), a woman who journeyed alone across England on horseback and who visited Manchester in 1688.
During her journeys, Roberts uses sketches, drawings, notes and dialogues to explore and record the minutiae of everyday life within the communities and landscapes that she encounters. Roberts uses the word 'Commentariographer,' a word last used in 1576, to describe her unique artistic role. She sees herself as: 'someone who writes, mediates, ponders, portrays or records...One who comments on current events and produces an expository treatise'.
Robert's latest project is no different. Commissioned by Manchester Art Gallery to produce works exploring Manchester life, Roberts has chosen individuals from both the city's internationally celebrated football clubs as her subjects for sketches and drawings that document everyday life. Two of the people to feature in her drawings are Gemma, a 23 year old retail assistant from Manchester City Football Club and Romain Camos, a chef for Manchester United. Gemma's goals in life have included making her City-supporting dad proud by working for the club, while Romain recalls baking a birthday cake for Eric Cantona as one of the highlights of his career. Roberts' drawings also explore the ambitions of a Manchester United groundsman, a young participant in a Manchester City outreach programme and two football players - Rio Ferdinand and Georgios Samaras.
Councillor Mike Kane, Executive Member for Arts and Leisure, said: "Manchester is known the world-over for its celebrated football teams. It's wonderful to have this new exhibition of work at Manchester Art Gallery that links the world of international sport to the individuals living and working in Manchester for those clubs. The exhibition is a superb illustration of the contribution that people living in Manchester make to the sporting and cultural achievements of our city on a daily basis."
This project has been developed in partnership with the Manchester Evening News, the Professional Footballers' Association, Manchester City Football Club and Manchester United Football Club.
Jenny Beard, Communications Manager, Manchester Art Gallery, tel: 0161 235 8864