Anyone even semi-familiar with the Manchester art scene will be more than aware of Blank Media Collective. Whether it be in their Blankspace gallery on Hulme St, in their magazine Blankpages or on their website, Blank Media Collective have, since 2006, championed emerging artists, writers, musicians and performers by giving them a unique platform to showcase their work.
More than that, they encourage collaborations between differing art forms, artists and organisations; helping to develop relationships that aid creatives with their future careers.
It is therefore quite fitting that this summer BMC, freshly under the sole directorship of John Leyland, are eager to further share and expand their creative vision with the cities most interesting cultural haunts.
As John Leyland himself said: “Over the past 18 months we hope to have affirmed our place in the cultural landscape of Manchester. Summer 2012 for Blank Media Collective is about reaching beyond our four white walls and beaming our vision directly into spaces that foster Manchester’s creative community.”
So, as part of an ambitious summer of programming, the Manchester based Collective are hosting the BMC Projector Series – a program of exhibitions featuring contemporary artists from across the UK in collaboration with creative spaces in Manchester.
Showcasing the creative diversity of BMC’s work, the Projector Series’ maiden triptych encompasses a range of different creative media: film, installation, graffiti and live art. Artists are not simply exhibiting their work, they have uniquely responded to the individual spaces in exciting and unusual ways.
The spaces being explored as part of the series are The Salutation Inn, Sandbar and The Kings Arms. Each venue will exhibit the work throughout the series and will also host individual art and artist specific events.
Projector I at the Salutation Inn will see live graffiti art performances by internationally renowned Kev Munday and Manchester focused Dirty Work who will give audiences the opportunity to have a go with the spray cans.
Projector II at Sandbar will transform the space into a cinematic playground. Video art by Jessica Ball, Matt Smith & Stephanie Imbeau will be projected onto the bare bricks and hidden on screens in the winding walkways and audiences will be invited to a public screening with a difference.
Then, as a grand culmination to the unusual series, Projector III will see The King’s Arms transformed by installation artist Greg Thomas, who invites people to participate in what can only be described as a surprising conclusion to the series.
Demonstrating the importance of collaboration, whether between artists or organisations, Blank Media Collective plan to continue the Projector series and are set to take over the artistic space of nearby Contact Theatre as part of their Autumn programme. They are also involved with Abandon Normal Devices in Manchester, the festival of new cinema, digital culture and art, and will also be working with the Royal Northern College of Music as part of a forthcoming music and art collaborative project called Collectives and Curiosities.
While they may be smaller and considerably younger than many of the organisations they are working with, they are proving to be a real cultural hub; by bringing together previously self-standing organisations, they are bringing them to a new audience, in a fresh and exciting way.
Today I listened to: Eat Lights Become Lights