ART ATTACK… Manchester City Council’s planning committee yesterday approved the construction of the latest block of flats in the Northern Quarter, 180 apartments by Betfred founder Fred Done. Unfortunately, as the location of the project is the Tib Street car park, it’s going to mean the removal of the distinctive and much-loved Tib Street Horn, a large metal saxophone curled around the remaining wall of a former hat factory. Apparently, Cornish artist David Kemp was offered it back, and he didn’t want it, so he’s generously gifted to the city. The council has gratefully accepted, and is showing its enthusiasm by putting it in storage. “How much is that gift going to cost us?” grumbled one councillor during the meeting. And who says culture isn’t a priority…?
UNSURPRISING MIPIM NEWS… Marketing Manchester has released its full schedule of events for MIPIM in Cannes next month, promising its “most varied programme to date”. Perhaps they’re referring to the topics, as the roster of speakers is a who’s who from the Manchester family: Bruntwood’s Chris Oglesby, Marty Edelman from Manchester Life, Tom Bloxham from Urban Splash, John Hughes of Ask Real Estate, Stephen Hodder from Hodder & Partners. No Manchester show at MIPIM would be complete without at least one mention of favourite “property developer and football legend” Gary Neville. Full house!
TRAFFORD CENTRE ADDITION… One might be mistaken for thinking the Trafford Centre has it all. Cinema, laser quest, adventure golf, and that’s before you even get to the gazillion shops and themed restaurants. However, children’s favourite Legoland Discovery Centre has identified a glaring gap in its offering, and is busy rectifying the situation with £1m worth of…Lego Ninjas! Or should we say, Ninjago, all 5,000 sq ft of it. There’ll be a themed play area, massive café, workshops, and birthday party rooms. Phew!
CULTURAL EXCHANGE… Liverpool’s biennial photography festival, LOOK/17, returns in April, and will see the city twinned with Hong Kong to explore the theme ‘Cities of Exchange’. Photographers from both cities will explore a range of issues including social housing, architecture, colonialism, commerce and urbanism. There will be new commissions of work by Yan Wang Preston in Liverpool ONE and Wo Bik Wong at Open Eye Gallery. There is also a call for work UK based artists featuring themes of China and or urbanism. Visit https://lookphotofestivalblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/look17-open-call/
POSITIVE MESSAGE… Dong Energy is bringing a sense of optimism to the hoardings around its maintenance centre being built in Wirral, to service the Burbo Bank wind farm extension. Unlike most construction sites which at best are covered in logos of the parties involved, and perhaps a peeling poster or two, Dong and contractor Robertson have gone for a more uplifting approach, emblazoning its hoarding with the massive words “This Beautiful Place”. One to make the locals smile, even on a rainy day.
CELEBRATED OBJECT… Who knew that a major attraction for Oldham was its “Big Big Camera”, an industrial relic currently ensconced in in the town’s gallery, which as one might expect isn’t exactly suited to any mobile photographic work. After being out of action for decades, artist Ian Beesley has cleaned it up and repaired it, and has taken it out on the town to snap away once more. The camera, and its larger-than-life photos are now on exhibition at Gallery Oldham until April. Visit http://www.galleryoldham.org.uk/exhibitions/
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