Over the last few months I’ve been exploring Manchester and the north, reconnecting with the place where I grew up. Much has changed here since I left for the bright lights of London in the 1990s, but it’s great to be back. I find I’m loving (re)discovering such a wide cultural offering here and that the lights are just as bright as in the capital. Everything from museums and galleries, to sport and live gigs.
Part diary – and part to establish myself as a heritage consultant here – I’ve been writing a few articles about what I’ve found.
For The Skinny I wrote a review of Show Me The Money, a new temporary exhibition at the People’s History Museum exploring how artists have used money and finance as inspiration for creative work – from the South Sea Bubble right up to the current Greek debates about financial futures. I also skipped over the Pennines to York to write a piece for Northern Soul about the recently reopened York Art Gallery.
Back in Manchester I previewed the next exhibition at HOME – the new arts space. I Must First Apologise … is the work of two artists responding to scam emails. Since 1999 they’ve collected thousands of emails asking for our help and are now inviting us to think about who sends those emails and how we react to them.
But it’s not all been focused on life in the city centre. For the online magazine Creative Tourist I wrote a series of articles about how to get out of town using a handy £12 day ticket called ‘Wayfarer’. The day routes are themed around exploring nature, finding great food, walking in the hills, family activities and, of course, a day around exploring museums and heritage in the region.
And I selected some things to see at RHS Tatton’s flower show last month for The Manchester Wire.
Someone asked me recently if I’ve fallen back in love with Manchester – I actually don’t think I ever fell out with the city. But’s it’s been great fun getting back to grips with it. And there’s even more to explore …