Archives at Play 2, the second in a two-part series, opens at Castlefield Gallery later this month ahead of the venue’s 40th birthday in 2024.

The exhibition series sees an exciting roster of artists delve into Castlefield Gallery’s archive as a way of reflecting on their journey so far, and offering a glimpse into the next 40 years.

New works on canvas and paper by Alistair Woods and Gherdai Hassell explore cultural and historical narratives, prompting questions, and encouraging us to look at the past anew.

Elsewhere, installations by George Gibson & Grace Collins and Anna FC Smith respond directly to the gallery’s archive, inviting visitors to join a conversation about how the gallery’s past might inform its future.

Archives at Play is a research project led by curator Thomas Dukes as part of a collaborative PhD between Castlefield Gallery and Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University. Through events, exhibitions and collaborations, Dukes is looking at how to activate the archive and ask what Castlefield Gallery means to the communities around us.

As well as working with artists through his research process Dukes has drawn many voices into Archives at Play, including Castlefield Gallery’s volunteers, placements, students / learners, peers, partners and supporters, and many of the gallery’s creative communities, including working with Back on TrackVenture arts and Castlefield Forum.

The artists taking part in the series approach the archive as a living entity – ‘as something not fixed, existing beyond objects, documents, ephemera; existing in the very fabric of the places and spaces the gallery occupies, within people’ – through our experiences and held in memory.

Find out more about the upcoming exhibition and the overarching series here.

Sun 26 Mar - Sun 4 Jun, Castlefield Gallery,
2 Hewitt St, Greater, Manchester M15 4GB
Brad Lengden
Published on:
Mon 20 Mar 2023