Creative Consultants

 Creative Consultants

Creative Consultants

Young people exploring and interpreting the collections

Creative Consultants are a group of 14-19 year olds who meet monthly at Manchester Art Gallery to connect with art, be creative and make their mark on the gallery.

This year we're looking at art work by Grayson Perry, Jeremy Deller and Joana Vasconcelos.

As a Creative Consultant you will:

  • Work alongside artists to explore the collections and exhibitions
  • Visit other creative and cultural venues in the North West and London
  • Try contemporary art techniques
  • Create your own responses to exhibitions
  • Contribute to cultural life in the city
  • Develop your understanding of contemporary art
  • Build your creative networks with peers and industry professionals
  • Use your creative thinking skills

You can join any time.  Please contact Helena Lee to find out more or let her know you would like to join the group.

Email: h.lee1@manchester.gov.uk
Tel: 0161 235 8877

Previous Projects

Deadline 2012-13

This project investigated art that responds to Manchester, the UK and urban life. We took a close look at Dreams Without Frontiers, an exhibition which has been co-curated by Dave Haslam (DJ and writer who came to fame in the days of Manchester’s Hacienda club scene) and we wanted to know what Manchester and it's art means to young people living in the city today.

We worked alongside artists Jim Medway and met with illustrator Rob Bailey.  We took part in workshops at Hot Bed Press in Salford, and made a series of screen printed posters called Deadline imagining a music scene in a future Manchester.  These went on display at the entrance of the Dreams Without Frontiers Exhibition.  We even contributed to gallery events such as the Thursday Lates Zine Fair. 

You can see images from the project on our Flickr pages.

Haroon Mirza Sound Sculpture 2011-12

This project saw us create a sound interpretation resource for the gallery's glass atrium space.  We met with Haroon Mirza who told us how he makes sculptures about sound and noise.  We went and saw another of his installations at Camden Arts Centre in London to see what his work felt like and think about how we could make something that helped other people to understand the difference between sound and noise better.

We created an 'interactive' that we decided to place outside of the gallery where Mirza's work was installed.  This was because we didn't want our work to change his work.  We joined the two visually (they looked similar) and by a 'wire' which we drew in tape on the group.  People gathered around to listen to sounds on headphones that we'd recorded and enjoyed having something they could touch and play with.

Visual Dialogues 2010-11

Creative consultant acting as a Regency Emma in M1

Creative consultant taking part in a making session

Detail of a drawing by a young person


This project focussed on two new acquisitions by the Turner prize winning artist, Grayson Perry. These are an etching: Print for a Politician,  and a large ceramic vase Jane Austen in E17.

The group spent time exploring the themes of these works,>including class politics and identity, art versus craft, appearance and reality, old and new, labels and text. They have worked with gallery curators and artist Jim Medway to create a range of responses to these works. These included:
  • A collage of objects from Manchester Art Galleries collections of costume, prints, ceramics combined with contemporary objects sourced by the young people
  • A short film showing two regency ladies on a shopping trip through contemporary Manchester streets
  • Customised wardrobes displaying items from our costume collection

Highlights of this project included:

  • Trips to the stores of Manchester Art Gallery and Platt Gallery of Costume where the group discovered all sorts of unseen items!
  • An overnight stay to London visiting the V&A Museum, Tate Britain and Victoria Miro Gallery
  • A trip to Fab Lab in Manchester
  • A trip to Gallery Oldham ceramics exhibition
  • Working with Futureworks to make the regency mini drama

Have a look at photos of the project on Flickr

Visual Dialogues 2009

In their latest project, called Visual Dialogues, the Creative Consultants have been working with artist Katy McCall to create dynamic interventions in our current exhibition of Goya prints: Fantasies, Follies and Disasters.  In September 2009, this exhibition was joined by a sculpture on loan from Tate by Jake and Dinos Chapman, Disasters of War. The Creative Consultants' task was to create interpretation to link the historic Goya works with the contemporary Chapman piece.

They had some amazing ideas which were pitched in a Dragon's Den style session to gallery staff. The final outcomes include:

  • a display of the young people's etchings made at Hot Bed Press
  • an installation of TVs with film footage showing aspects of the project overlaid onto imagery of war from the media, as well as cartoons
  • a print-making activity where visitors can make their own images

Highlights of the project include:

  • Working with printmaker Martin Cochany at Hot Bed Press in Salford to create etchings based on imagery of war found in the media
  • A visit to Tate Liverpool to work with the Young Tate group
  • An overnight trip to London where we visited White Cube, Imperial War Museum and Tate Britain
  • Working at Futureworks Media School with Mike Cacioppo Jr to create film pieces for the interpretation
  • Meeting Jake Chapman and Tim Marlow at the Friends' In Conversation event. Jake also signed books and drew pictures for all the young people
  • The launch event on 28 November 2009 for families and friends

Check out the day we spent at Futureworks, or have a look at some of our etchings on Flickr.



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Visual Dialogues

Visual Dialogues is a partnership programme managed by Tate working with Manchester Art Gallery, Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service, Museums Sheffield and Tyne and Wear Museums. The programme is jointly funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Children, Schools and Families as part of the Strategic Commissioning Programme for Museum and Gallery Education.

Creative Consultants on flickr

Creative Consultants flickr pages
Check out what we've been up to on flickr.