Good to see that Vaughan Allen, having moved on from the quiet curiosity that Urbis has become (is it the building or the brand?), hasn't left behind every vestige of interest in bringing culture to the city and helping interesting people do interesting things.
CityCo's Open City Manchester brought together five of the city's most interesting photographers, each with their own creative style. Members of the public who signed up were given the chance to attend a half day workshop working with one of Aidan O’Rourke, Andrew Brooks, Len Grant, Paul Herrmann or Mark Page to learn how they shoot the urban environment and to learn about their views on capturing the city through a lens. Following the masterclasses attendees went on to document Manchester's city centre themselves putting their new knowledge to work - the resulting images being selected from for an exhibition.
Today I headed down to the basement unit of another Mancunian curiosity, the Triangle, to see how they were getting on with the install and to get a sneak peek of which shots made the cut.
Naturally there's a variation in quality across the works, but, given that the photographs featured all come from amateurs it's looking like a remarkably accomplished show that manages to capture something of Manchester's spirit. Huge credit to the photographers involved for being prepared to pass on their knowledge and credit too to the CityCo staff I met there who evidently weren't really that used to installing exhibitions but were getting the job done nonetheless.
Tomorrow night I'll be popping down to the launch event from 6pm to see how the finished exhibition looks and chatting with some of the photographers, and perhaps participants, about their experiences of a creative event run by a city centre management company . Presumably they'll be quite chipper about the whole thing given that it proved so successful there's now two more in the diary: Saturday 17 July and Sunday 22 August from 2 - 4pm.
To register and book contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manchester Open City
9 - 29 July
10am - 6pm
The Triangle shopping centre, Exchange Square
Basement level unit, next to Titchy Coffee (buy a drink from him)