London Fashion Umbrella: The First Cut Exhibition, Manchester Galleries

View of Dining Room at Platt Hall with Violese Lunn installation

I’ve visited Manchester just to see exhibitions before at Platt Hall Gallery of Costume and other of the city’s marvelous venues for art and design. I also frequently work with papercraft as a design medium. With news of a new exhibition featuring paper craft and artworks, including a series of paper garments, I am putting another museum trip to Manchester on my calendar.

Detail of Susan Stockwell, Money Dress, 2012

I am glad that this exhibition promises not only stunning artworks, but also an touches on the possibilities of paper as an inexpensive and versatile medium for creative solutions.

Susan Stockwell, Cartographic Dress, © Susan Stockwell 2005

You can be sure a review and more news about this exhibition will follow, in my column in the new year. For now, check out the exhibition webpage and if you can make it to Manchester enjoy the show.

The First Cut

5 October 2012 – 27 January 2013

The First Cut is an exhibition that takes place at the Gallery of Costume and Manchester Art Gallery. It features work by 31 international contemporary artists who radically rethink the possibilities of working with paper and take it beyond its natural boundaries. At Manchester Art Gallery you can see a wide variety of artwork, from large-scale installations that explode from gallery walls to intricate, miniature worlds. At the Gallery of Costume three artists have created installations of dresses and shoes.

In this age of austerity, paper is cheap, available and ubiquitous. By transforming books and magazines, maps and currency, using silhouettes, creating dresses, animations, sculptures and installations, the artists in The First Cut demonstrate the huge potential and power of such a humble and fragile material.

Susan Stockwell, Highland Dress, © Susan Stockwell 2010

Susan Cutts, Violise Lunn and Susan Stockwell have fashioned ‘unwearable’ dresses and shoes from handmade and recycled paper, maps and money. The delicacy and vulnerability of their sculptural form belies the gravity of the issues they confront, including ecology, geo-politics, mapping and trade, as well as identity, the body and memory.

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