To celebrate the wealth of artistic creativity that exists on our doorstep, we’re asking local galleries and exhibition spaces to share their picks for the best emerging artists and makers that we should be supporting and keeping a close eye on. To kick things off, the team at Castlefield Gallery have shared with us a trio of exciting practitioners that are making waves in the worlds of textiles, performance and photography.

Researcher and Visual Anthropologist Hope Strickland

Hope Strickland is an artist-researcher and visual anthropologist based in Manchester. She works predominantly with moving image and text, and her current work is focused around archival response, Black feminist thought and post-colonial ecologies. Having completed an MA in Visual Anthropology at the University of Manchester, you’ll currently find her exhibiting work at The Portico’s recent Fun and Games exhibition in between her PhD studies in Social Anthropology at the University College London.

Together with HOME, Strickland has been working on a film commission for their PUSH artist film initiative alongside fellow artist and curator Jessica El Mal. Looking ahead, eager art fans can soon see her work showcased at a brand new solo show due to debut at Warrington Contemporary Art Gallery and Museum later this year. To learn more about Strickland and her work, follow the link below.

Hope Strickland

John Powell-Jones

Local artist John Powell-Jones utilises video, performance and installation to inspect themes of perception, power structures and personal reality – and how the warped view of progress and success impacts our own collective take on morality. Mixing costume, dance and ritual and pulling inspirational cues from European folklore, body horror and science fiction, Powell-Jones’s end goal is to ilicit a dialogue between our present reality and an imagined dystopian future in which the horror of capitalism and neoliberal ideologies has manifested itself in the form of cyborgs and demons.

Manchester viewers will soon be able to experience Powell-Jones work first-hand in his first major solo exhibition which is due to arrive at Castlefield Gallery later this year. To learn more about his practice and to browse a selection of his work from home, visit his website via the link below.

Anya Paintsil

Based in Manchester, Anya Paintsil is a Welsh and Ghanaian artist working primarily with textiles – and you’ll find her work in the image accompanying this blog. From rug hooking to embroidery, her assemblages evoke tactile tapestry on the one hand, and constitute semi-sculptural interventions on the other. Frequently using weaves, braids and other hair pieces (as well as her own hair), Paintsil laces debates around race and gender into the very fabric of her work.

Playful and profound, flippant and forceful, her practice engages the language of fibres — of all kinds — with interrogations of materiality and political personhood. Castlefield Gallery Director, Helen Wewiora, selected Paintsil to be one of the 20/21 Manchester School of Art Castlefield Gallery Graduate Mentees. Each year the Castlefield Gallery selects three graduating students to be part of the year-long programme, developed and delivered by Castlefield Gallery to support artists in their first year after graduation.

Paintsil’s work has recently been exhibited at a solo show with the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Somerset House and her work can already be found in public collections in the UK, as well as private collections around the world. Learn more about her practice by following the link below.

Anya Paintsil

Tue 9 Mar, Castlefield Gallery
Guest Post
Published on:
Tue 9 Mar 2021