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Andrew Brooks prints available for Christmas

12 Dec

Last couple of days for UK orders of Andrew Brooks prints if you would like them before Christmas, all the images are available in Andrew Brooks’ Shop.


Secret City Zoetermeer Makes National Dutch news

20 Sep

nrcnext 20-09-2011 in beeldGreat news today as Secret City Zoetermeer, the latest project from Andrew Brooks and Curated Place hit the centre spread of quality Dutch broadsheet NRC Next.

The exhibition is now open at the Stadsmuseum Zoetermeer until February with the next Secret Cities project in the Netherlands already taking shape.


Andrew Brooks Recreates Our World

15 Apr

New article on Andrew Brooks’ work on The Atlantic.

Curated Place at The Edinburgh Lectures – tickets available now

14 Sep

Talking Cities - The Edinburgh Lectures 2010/11

Today tickets for the Edinburgh Lectures go on sale with some very flattering coverage showing up in The Guardian referring to the forthcoming lecture from Curated Place’s Andy Brydon and Andrew Brooks as “one of the visual highlights on the line-up”.

We’ve been invited by the loverly Queen Margaret’s University to be their guest speakers after they heard about our forthcoming exhibition Edinburgh: Secret City that we’re aiming to reveal as part of the 2012 Edinburgh Festival.  There’s an incredible line-up for the entire series including  Andrew Dixon, chief executive of Creative Scotland, Alberto Magnaghi, professor of territorial planning at the University of Florence and Professor Bruce J. Katz, urban policy expert and adviser to the Obama administration. And us.

Edinburgh Observatory

In the lecture, “Never Let the Facts Get in The Way of a Good Story: Memory, History, Authenticity and Truth” we want to explore how our work taps into the mechanisms by which cities create their memories, at once embedded in the past and yet lived, and living, in the present. We’re looking to tease out the tensions between history, memory, truth and identity, firstly by examining images of Edinburgh presented in film and literature, but also by drawing on the stories we’ve already collected from British urban subcultures and by revealing some of the stories that are informing our work as we make our way around the cellars, towers, undercrofts and back alleys of Edinburgh.

Edinburgh: Secret City - Brooks & Brydon on location in Edinburgh

If you know of anyone with good stories from the Scots capital we’d love to talk to them as well as hearing any suggestions of lesser known films, literature or locations that shape your imaginings of the city – just leave a comment below or contact us through the Curated Place production pages.

But more than that we’d love to see you at the Scottish Storytelling Centre early next year when we get up on stage to deliver both the lecture and a sneak peek at the incredible imagery that we’re creating in one of the most charismatic cities in the world – if we get enough interest from the North West we might even arrange a Curated Place jolly north of the border.

Never Let the Facts Get in The Way of a Good Story: Memory, History, Authenticity and Truth
Thursday 24 March 2011 from 6.00pm
Scottish Storytelling Centre
Tickets available now at just £5.00

Life in a Day – Wood Street Mission Creative Friends

29 Jul

Interview with Jan O'Connor at the opening of "Life in a Day" Creative Friends of Wood Street

This evening saw a significant slice of Manchester’s creative world come together in support of a longstanding, but of late largely ignored, cornerstone of Manchester’s social-industrial past. The Wood Street Mission was established 141 years ago by Manchester’s business community to help the neediest in Manchester and Salford.  Throughout its life Wood Street has provided essential food and clothing to those with nothing, helping them through hard times, before getting them back on their feet.

The Creative Friends of Wood Street are a group of creative professionals and creative businesses that have come together, giving their time and resources for free, to help promote the work of the mission and raise the profile of their excellent work.  The exhibition “Life in a Day” brings together images from the mission’s archive alongside new work from photographer Andrew Brooks who has spent the last year documenting their ongoing work.  Intended as the first in a series of profile raising explorations into Wood Street’s work the Creative Friends ultimate aim is to encourage more businesses and individuals to engage with the Mission’s work and embrace the tradition of Mancunians at the top helping those who find themselves at the bottom.

I got the chance to speak to Wood Street manager Jan O’Connor to discuss the origins of the Mission, the thinking behind the Creative Friends initiative and the challenges faced by small charities in the current climate.  You can listen here.

The Wood Street Mission in 1900

Although out of the public eye for some time the Mission has been a consistent force for good in Manchester that helped over 11,500 local people, including direct help for over 7,300 local children over the last 12 months. Now, having seen a new business community grow around it on the Spinningfields site, the mission is once again appealing to those doing well out of the city to help them continue their work supporting those a little less fortunate by donating as little as £7.50 a month .

The exhibition is an excellent introduction into the history of a true forgotten gem of Manchester’s third sector and, although only open for 3 days over the weekend, is an opportunity for anyone looking to help make Manchester a better place find out about one charity that has consistently delivered for people in need.  Even if you can’t make it you can donate directly here or you can call the Mission on 0161 834 3140 to book onto one of their monthly tours to see their work first hand.

“Life in a Day” is open from Friday 30th July – Sunday 1st August 2010
Unit B1/B2 (Next to Cafe Rouge), Irwell Square, Left Bank
Spinningfields, Manchester , M3 3AN

Open City Manchester Photographic Exhibition Install

7 Jul

Open City Manchester Entrance

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’RourkeAndrew Brooks, Len GrantPaul 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.

Open City Manchester Install images

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.

Open City Manchester Install

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

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)

The (changing) Condition of the Working Class

18 Jun

An architects illustration of the planned Cheetham's building

Phase 1 of the Chetham’s School of Music redevelopment and extension is finally getting underway in earnest on the site of Hunt’s Bank opposite Victoria Station in Manchester.  The cranes that are moving in mark the start of what promises to be a major transformation for the area around Cathedral Gardens which aims to open up the Medieval heart of Manchester, currently hidden away within the Chetham’s complex, to the general public providing a new concert venue for the city as well as 21st Century facilities for the school.  You can keep up to date with the major changes taking shape via their webcam positioned over the building site.

Many people don’t know that the library at Chet’s is open to the public already – you just need to visit on a weekday and ask to be let in at the gate.  I highly recommend a visit, not only for the incredibly preserved architecture and atmosphere, a real rarity in Manchester, but also to meet Dr Fergus Wild, Senior Librarian, knowledge bank of all things medieval Manchester and possesor of fantastic vocal chords.

The work starting reminded me that Andrew Brooks and I carried out an experimental photo shoot there about a year ago, which included talking to Dr Wild about the rich history of the library and its associations with the writing of the Communist Manifesto.  A little of which you can listen to here.

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