Sunday 19, February 2012
Turner Prize winner opens exhibition in Manchester
MARK LECKEY has spoken of the North West's influence on his work and how a three-tonne steam chest came to feature in his latest exhibition.
The 2008 Turner Prize winner has brought Work and Leisure to the Manchester Art Gallery after making specific changes to suit a North West audience.
“It's definitely got more of a Northern feel,” said Leckey.
“I mean I'm from Ellesmere Port. When I was a lad I should have gone and worked at a manufacturing place but that closed down. I kind of ended up on the scrapheap and didn’t do anything for a good few years so there’s that sort of resonance with there.”
The new exhibition features a three-tonne low pressure steam chest on loan from Ellen Road Engine House in Rochdale. Leckey also draws inspiration from his own experience of the Manchester dance and music scene in his younger years.
“We were told in the 80s that British manufacturing was a
relic of the past,” he said.
“Now we have a sense here that it was the totally wrong direction to take. Not just culturally but from a business sense. We gave this up thinking something like Oasis was going to save us.”
Leckey is known for incorporating sculpture, sound, film and performance within his creations and Work & Leisure features a series of performances during its four-week run.
He added: “I want people to feel something both physically and emotionally.”
Manchester Art Gallery curator Claire Galloway said: “It is a different exhibition. It’s very good when an artist says I want to do something different and make it specific to the space but also specific to the North West or to Manchester in some way.
“He’s evolved this piece of work especially for Manchester. Part of the installation is from a mill in Rochdale. I think it’s really special as it’s exploring Manchester’s industrial heritage.”
* Work & Leisure is now open at the Manchester Art Gallery
by Rochelle Travers