With 120 curated exhibitors to choose from, the programme at Manchester Art Fair and The Manchester Contemporary can be a little daunting. It is, after all, one of the largest and most prestigious art fairs in the UK. So although we’d fully recommend wandering the stands at your leisure – and particularly talking to the artists exhibiting independently, who are representing their own work and can therefore give unparalleled insight into their practice – it can be hard to know where to start, or what not to miss. Which is why we’ve put together this list of five cool buys at Manchester Art Fair and Manchester Contemporary. It was a monumental task to choose from so much talent, but we managed it in the end. Don’t say we’re not good to you.

The Whitworth X Bukky Baldwin | (Manchester Art Fair - stand 209)

Manchester’s ‘gallery in the park’ has teamed up with artist Ibukan Jesusanmi, otherwise known as Bukky Baldwin, who works with artisans and marginalised communities to create completely original (and highly desirable) ceramics, prints and shoes.

Liverpool Biennial | (Manchester Art Fair - stand 205)

Liverpool Biennial presents distinctive limited edition prints by previous Biennial artists, delivering on the fair’s promise of presenting world-leading art from around the UK and internationally.

Dawn Reader | (Manchester Art Fair - stand 336)

Dawn Reader is an artist that caught our eye for her restrained, atmospheric landscapes. Beautiful.

Castlefield Gallery | (Manchester Contemporary - stand 118)

Castlefield Gallery offers an impressive level of support for local artists on the rise, making it a great choice for an investment piece. The Gallery’s ‘alumni’ have gone on to experience national and international acclaim; they include Turner Prize winners and nominees as well as exhibitors as major biennials, triennials and festivals.

Venture Arts | (Manchester Contemporary - stand 114)

Venture Arts is an organisation based in Hulme that works with learning disabled artists to show playful, provocative and thought-provoking new visual art – which happens to be some of the most creative at the fair.


The writer would also like to make a special – and completely nepotistic – mention of artist photographer Sydney Clare Checkland, stand 319 at Manchester Art Fair, who creates luminous abstract photography printed onto aluminum… and who just happens to be her Mum.

A Manchester Wire Partnership post
Fri 11 Oct - Sun 13 Oct,
Manchester Central, Windmill Street, Manchester M2 3GX
, Tel: 0161 834 2700, £12 (Friday preview tickets), £5 (Sat & Sun general entry)
Polly Checkland Harding
Published on:
Tue 17 Sep 2019