A new photography exhibition capturing some of Greater Manchester’s most influential and iconic figures comes to the Central Library this April.

Photography students from The Manchester College will be showcasing their Greater Mancunians project as part of a landmark exhibition at the Library’s Main Exhibition Hall from Fri 19 Apr – Sun 30 Jun.

150 students from the college have participated in the project, which features photographs of over 100 contributors, including musicians Noel Gallagher and Johnny Marr, athletes Diane Modahl and Ricky Hatton, local politicians Andy Burnham, Angela Rayner and Bev Craig, actors Maxine Peake and Bill Roache, artists Stan Chow and AKSE P19, and a plethora of local figures including Jonathan Warburton, Simon Martin and Professor Erinma Bell MBE.

Greater Mancunians was launched in 2017 when student Harry Yeates captured an image of legendary poet John Cooper Clarke as part of his final year project. Photography tutor at The Manchester College and project lead, Harry Potts, encouraged other students to think of more people who were born and bred in Greater Manchester or who have made it their home and, in some way, have shaped the region culturally.

This led the college to begin inviting a selection of musicians, actors, comedians, sportspeople, entertainers, politicians, artists, poets and community heroes to be photographed in a location of their choosing.

“Greater Mancunians has been seven years in the making and we are delighted that it has culminated in the amazing work of our student photographers being showcased in one of the city’s most iconic exhibition spaces,” said Harry Potts.

“What started out as a mission to enable a student to achieve their aspirations and photograph one of their inspirations has grown into a social history photography project that truly highlights the unique place Manchester is, shining a light on the exceptional people who have both put the city on the map internationally and helped to shape it into the world-leading city it is today.”

Noel Gallagher, who posed outside India House on Whitworth Street where he used to live and where he wrote the first two Oasis albums, explained, “India House is literally ground zero in the story of my musical life. I moved into a flat there with my then girlfriend around 1989 ~ broke and bored! By the time I left in 1993 I’d joined my little brother’s band and had written Live Forever and Rock ‘n’ Roll Star!”

Another of the featured guests is writer, actor and voice of Gogglebox, Craig Cash, who said: “We’re all shaped by this inspirational place in which we’ve lived, and by the people who inhabit it. Hopefully we’ll have made our own mark on it. Dare I say even changed it a little? So, the next generation of Greater Mancunians can pick up the baton, run with it and change in some more. I’m sure these excellent photography students will do just that. The cultural evolution of Greater Manchester is in safe hands.”

You can find more information about the exhibition here.

Fri 19 Apr - Sun 30 Jun, Manchester Central Library,
St Peter's Square, Manchester M2 5PD
Bradley Lengden
Published on:
Wed 20 Mar 2024