Greater Manchester Chamber to host art exhibition commemorating 200th anniversary of Peterloo

Greater Manchester Chamber and CollectArt are hosting a free three-day exhibition by artist Ghislaine Howard from 16-18 August.

‘Towards an Impossible Painting: paintings and drawings in commemoration of Peterloo’ will see Ghislaine Howard’s work displayed in the basement space of Elliot House on Deansgate. Ghislaine will be present from 1pm on the days of the exhibition offering attendees the opportunity to hear her speak about the paintings and discuss the exhibition.

‘Towards an Impossible Painting’ displays artworks that chart Ghislaine Howard’s artistic journey as she engages with images of violence and conflict in the media and the history of art. The exhibition highlights the role of images in the public imagination and acts of memorial and faces the challenge of a seemingly ‘impossible’ gesture: to commemorate unimaginable violence through figurative art.

The exhibition begins with the ‘365 Series’, a group of small paintings created after media coverage of the 2005 London bombings and encompasses works inspired by the great masters Goya, Delacroix and Poussin; as well as those Howard made in response to current news images of the ongoing demonstrations in Hong Kong.

Ghislaine Howard’s paintings can already be found throughout the Chamber’s offices on an ongoing basis, and its partnership with Howard is a testament to the Chamber’s belief in supporting the creative talent within Greater Manchester.

One of the recurring motifs in Ghislaine Howard’s work is the embrace. In 2018, Ghislaine began work on the ‘Embracing Manchester’ series in response to an extraordinarily brave

gesture by a young man commemorating the Manchester Arena attack of 2017.

Speaking about the ‘Embracing Manchester’ series, Ghislaine Howard said: “In the aftermath of the Manchester Arena attack, I was looking at images online and came across a video of a young man standing in St. Ann’s square, where everyone was laying flowers. It was a very emotional atmosphere and people were coming together. He was standing at the side of the square, with his arms outstretched. The man was wearing a backpack and was blindfolded. At his feet was a cardboard sign that said: ‘I’m Muslim and I trust you, do you trust me enough for a hug?’”

Showing ‘Embracing Manchester’ at Greater Manchester Chamber is a chance for the artist to “make a monumental statement” about the power of the embrace and of human connection. Significantly, it is also a chance for the Chamber to embrace art, and to reiterate its commitment to the people and events of the city.

Clive Memmott, Chief Executive of Greater Manchester Chamber, said: “I want to take people by surprise and provide top quality art in a work environment.

“As a Chamber, we are embracing the art and creativity that not only celebrates the region’s successes but responds to its challenges, and ultimately, art - like business - is about people.

“With a legacy within Manchester that stretches back 225 years, the Chamber is taking inspiration from one of the region’s most important artists of today, responding to pressing global concerns and crucially reflecting the city region it serves.”


Notes to editors:

Location: Basement Space, Elliot House, 151 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3WR from 16-18 August 2019, open

Opening Times: 10am-5pm. Ghislaine Howard will be present from at 1pm on each day of the exhibition, where attendees will have the opportunity to hear her speak about the paintings.

The exhibition is free to attend and is fully wheelchair accessible.

‘Towards an Impossible Painting: paintings and drawings in commemoration of Peterloo, by Ghislaine Howard’, is presented by Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and CollectArt. This specially curated selection of Ghislaine Howard’s works mark the 200th anniversary of Peterloo.

Ghislaine Howard is internationally recognised as a painter of powerful and expressive means. Her paintings, prints and drawings chart and interpret shared human experience. Named as a ‘Woman of the Year’ in 2008 for her contribution to art and society, she has published and exhibited widely and has work in many public and private collections, both here and abroad, including Manchester Art Gallery, The Whitworth, and the Royal Collection.

Exhibitions of her work have taken place at many prestigious venues including Manchester Art Gallery, Canterbury Cathedral, Imperial War Museum North and the British Museum.

She is currently working on a major project entitled 'The Seven Acts of Mercy' and a monograph relating to her life and work, 'The Human Touch' written by her husband the art historian Michael Howard, has recently been published by Manchester Metropolitan University and is available from CollectArt and Amazon.

For further enquires contact: Simon Cronin, Membership Communications Manager, 0161 393 4335

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About Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce is the largest Chamber of Commerce in the UK, providing business support to approximately 4,500 members who collectively employ 446,000 people, around one-third of Greater Manchester’s workforce. Recognised as a leader in its field, Greater Manchester Chamber’s reputation in government circles has grown locally and nationally. At the heart of the area of greatest economic intensity outside London and the South East, the Chamber is the primary body for business support, policy, representation and networking. The Chamber is an independent, not-for-profit private company and its aim is to support businesses and help create the best climate for the region to prosper. This is achieved by ensuring that those taking decisions on key issues such as transport, taxation and business regulation hear the voice of our members. The representation of our members’ views is central to the work of the policy team at the Chamber; these views are gathered in a range of ways including our local councils, policy committees, sector councils, the main Chamber council, focus groups, meetings with politicians and consultations. The Chamber also offers a range of networking forums across Greater Manchester, free as part of membership, plus a variety of other events and services designed to benefit specific sectors or individuals and help businesses to grow.