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Materialise with the Manchester School of Art

Looking for a stay-at-home art fix over Christmas? Look no further. Works by MA students from the Manchester School of Art at the Manchester Metropolitan University are currently on show in an online exhibition.

‘Materialise’ is an ambitious and diverse array – from film and illustration to textiles and interior design – so there is bound to be something for everyone to appreciate. But to get you started, our team has picked some stand-out pieces.


Toby Pritchard

Toby Pritchard @MMU MA Show

“These playful illustrations immediately caught my eye. With bold shapes and three-dimensional textures, Pritchard’s charming images are destined to appear in an interactive app, as well as physical books and toys. It’s a mystery to me how he manages to imbue a small wooden block with so much character. His bright, clean-cut visuals yield a bold yet soothing visual flair.” – Ruby


Lucy Tibbs

Lucy Tibbs @ MMU MA Show

“Losing someone is a perennially fascinating and complicated subject, but how to depict the grief of having lost someone to COVID-19? Tibbs‘ perfectly composed two-part photograph uses external lighting to highlight her focal subject: an absence. A photographic still life conveying a clear and poignant message.” – Ruby

Archana Chaudhary

“Archana Chaudhary’s bold, provocative drawings of female bodies linger in the mind. Chaudhary draws ‘direct representations of women in modern India’ and seeks to capture how Indian women have ‘moved past feebleness’. It’s intriguing that she’s chosen to illustrate ‘confidence’ through the presentation of faceless bodies, almost as if the female body – presented here as raw and almost earthy – is defined not so much by ‘feminine’ grace, but by its own presence. An articulation of the power and assertiveness of contemporary Indian women.” – Dan


Chinatip Egkantrong

“Chinatip Egkantrong’s graphic illustrations blend images of real-world violence and technological distortion to dazzling effect. In these manipulated and fuzzy images of brutality and intimidation, I wondered what the artist was trying to say about the representation of cruelty and atrocity in art and modern media. Reminiscences of Goya’s war etchings or Callot’s Les Grandes Misères de la guerre, with a digital twist.” – Dan


Maria Alqahtani

“A refuge is a place to feel safe in. It is associated with the unsettled, thought of as a last resort. Maria Alqahtani’s work ‘The Refuge’ gives refuge a new definition as the virtual space. Her art pulls us in with steady, clear lines. Block colours give us sunset skies and her skilful photography collage of breathable walls seem to welcome and comfort. Peace emanates from these virtual spaces, at a time when the ‘real’ world seems increasingly abstract and confusing. She reminds us that we are all, somewhat, unsettled, the online world no longer simply a method of interconnection, but escapism from concrete pavements and the chaos of reality.” – Alienor


Tim McConville


“Art to cleanse the mind and soul. His black-and-white photography and films explore the liminal space between restfulness and motion, prompting us to reflect on how we experience time and anxiety. Two short films engaged me with their simplicity and gentle subversion of my expectations. A close-up of a woman’s face with snow falling, then rising, and then falling again, and two drinking glasses spinning on a loop, their synchronicity broken in surprising ways. Both films feature a hypnotic chiming sound that felt like it really was rinsing out the inside of my head (in a good way). It’s the sound of a Buddhist singing bowl, which uses a specific frequency that a listener can physically feel.” – Sam

Usman Ashraf

“‘Behind the Wheel’ is a beautifully understated 18-minute film about immigrants working as taxi drivers in central Manchester. Ashraf lets his subjects narrate their own daily lives, including eye-opening stories of vandals and muggers, alongside the routine challenges of boredom and the cold. The tone is intimate without slipping into sentimentality. What we find is solidarity and community, not simple victimhood.” – Sam

Fiona Sinéad Brehony

Fiona Sinéad Brehony @ MMU MA Show

“The work of Fiona Brehony is riddled with abrasive sounds, choppy imagery and shadows. In her video work, she seems engulfed and enriched by her environment and enmeshed in complex altercations with buildings, textures and poetic rhetorics. Vivid depictions of the city meet and collide with the natural world in her cityscape images. Her photographs are impressions of the living, growing world around her, captured from minutely detailed, dynamic and strategic angles. She uses layering and double exposure to deftly convey the reality of a living, perpetually moving city.” – Georgina

Tags: Graphic Design, MA show, manchester school of art, Materialise, MMU, online exhibition, photography

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