Welcome to this new section to our website dedicated to all the current news for MAFA and its members. This section can be accessed from the 'News' link on the home page.
Norman Jaques, Past President of the Academy, has died at the age of 92. Please look below to read Sheila Dewsbury's Obituary .
Mary Campbell will be exhibiting at the Chapel Gallery Ormskirk as part of a group show : ‘The Storytellers’, the exhibition is with Rosemary Morison and Fidelma Massey and runs from 15 March to 3 May 2014.Mary Campbell will also be giving a collagraphy workshop at Regional Print Centre, Wrexham, 10-11 July 2014.
Conratulations to Norman Long for winning the Artist and Illustrators ' Artist of the Year' Award for 2013 with his work 'The Bench' to find out more visit Norman's Website.
Norman Jaques Obituary
River Medlock Norman Jaques
Norman Jaques, Past President of the Academy, has died at the age of 92. From his election in 1950, he played prominent role in the Academy, serving on Council and on Selection and Hanging committees before becoming President from 1984 to 1990. He continued to exhibit annually until recently, and was highly regarded by fellow artists.He was born in Manchester and educated at Manchester School of Art. In 1948 he won the Proctor Travelling Scholarship to Italy and France. In 1954 he received the Giles Bequest prize for block printing from the Victoria and Albert Museum. From 1950 to 1982 he he was a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Art and Design at Manchester Polytechnic (now MMU), where he specialised in printmaking, illustration and book design.He exhibited in Edinburgh, London and Manchester, and as far afield as Francisco, Nebraska and Cleveland in the USA.His work is in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the BBC, Manchester Art Gallery and Nebraska University, and he received commissions from the General Post Office, the Ministry of Transport and Saatchi and Saatchi.
Charlie Holt remembers Norman Jaques: "I have very fond memories of Norman he was gentle and kind and very supportive of me many years ago and he was a hell of good printmaker"
Mike Sargent remembers Norman Jaques: " .... his wife ..... was also an artist. As a couple they were very friendly and approachable. "
Glenys Latham remembers Norman Jaques: "Norman was a lovely man, who I remember with great affection because many years ago he nominated me as a candidate for the office of President of the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts when he stood down. My election as the first woman to hold the office was a significant event in my life which would not have happened without Norman's generous support and confidence I will be forever grateful.When I told Bob, my husband, the news of Norman's death we recalled an abiding memory of both Norman and Marjorie on the receiving days of the Academy Open exhibition, Marjorie with a rug over her arthritic knees and a flask of hot water to make lunch time brews of tea in a very precisely thought out manor, and of course just as they started to eat their lunch people would arrive to deliver work that needed Norman's adjudication and interrupt their food. Norman, generous as always, would break off from his sandwich to make a 'ruling' and Marjorie would complain that all their meal times were interrupted by Academy business.I hope it is of some comfort to you and Norman's family to know that he was highly respected and held in great affection by members of the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts."
News From Malcolm Taylor
In the Trough of Bowland , Malcolm Taylor
Work by MAFA artists Michael Ashcroft and Malcolm Taylor has been selected for The Royal Society of British Artists (RBA) annual exhibition to be held at The Mall Galleries in London from 5th March to 15th March 2014. The exhibition shows work by some of Britain's leading figurative artists and this year over 1,300 works were submitted to the exhibition. Also, John McCombs, who is a signature member of the RBA, will be exhibiting five of his own paintings alongside those of Michael and Malcolm.The Royal Society of British Artists holds an open submission exhibition in central London each year. Founded in 1823, the Royal Society of British Artists was established to help artists display their work in Central London. Today the Society prides itself on exhibiting an eclectic mix of sculpture and paintings in all media with an emphasis on the highest standards of skill and draughtsmanship as well as concept and expression.
News From John McCombs
The annual exhibition of the Royal Society of British Artists was opened by Andrew Marr on 4th March, runs until 15th March at the Mall Galleries in London. This year three members of MAFA are represented with two works by Michael Ashcroft and one by Malcolm Taylor. MAFA President John McCombs who is a longstanding member of the Society has six paintings in the show. The RBA is part of the Federation of British Artists which represents a cross section of the best in contemporary fine art in the UK.
MAFA Awards 2013 News
MAFA President John McCombs talks about the MMU Student Awards
John McCombs with Valentine Kuhl
"The council, supported by the Trustees, proposed that the Dr Barbara Oldham Memorial Award of £1000 should be halved and that 5 £100 awards should be made to graduate students in the 5 main disciplines at the MMU School of Art.
I should like to thank MMU tutors Anthony Ratcliffe and John Hewitt for their invaluable help in shortlisting a number of students for the awards, and also sculptor Glenys Latham and printmaker Mary Campbell for helping to select the winning students.
The presentations took place at the graduation display on 14th June, and the students were thrilled to know that the award included the opportunity to exhibit with the Academy, free of charge, for the next 3 years."
MAFA Member Glenys Latham Award Selector went on to say "My day at MMU was the most stimulating MAFA experience I have had for long time. It stirred the creative juices of this selector, and recalled for me the Selection Days of the MAFA OPEN at Manchester City Art Gallery, when the work of undergraduates from all over the country arrived by the van load."
Discover more about the MMU Degree Show at degreeshow.mmu.ac.uk
Discover more at degree courses at MMU at www.artdes.mmu.ac.uk
MMU Student Awards June 14th 2013
John McCombs with Lauren Charlton
Tony Ratcliffe and John Hewitt agreed to instigate a mechanism for MAFA to make awards to final year students in Manchester school of Art.
The intention of this was to promote new, young artists as potential members.
This involved looking at all the final year exhibitions in both design and fine art disciplines. It was emphasized that some of the design disciplines encouraged a fine art approach to making and drawing, especially Illustration , 3 dimensional design and textiles in Practice and photography.
We considered both the work and the potential for the student to engage in MAFA exhibition opportunities.
Having shortlisted 25 student shows, a representation from MAFA was invited to visit prior to the opening evening and select winners.
The president was invited to the VIP event on the opening evening and was introduced to the Dean of Faculty and various VIP guests.
The awards were labeled with ‘MAFA Fine Art Award’ labels and all recipients were photographed with John Mc Combs as they received the awards.
What was very evident was the MAFA judging members surprise at the quality and organization of the undergraduate shows and the delight and appreciation of the winning students on receiving the prizes.
Michael Morrel MMU Student Award June 14th 2013
John McCombs with Michael Morrel
"My name is Michael Morrell, I'm an illustrator based in Manchester and recently graduated from the Illustration with Animation course at the Manchester School of Art in 2013.
I use observational drawing as the basis of my work, I use this method and put it in a reportage illustration context. Reportage illustration is the recording of an event by drawing observationally whilst on location. I push the boundaries of drawing on location by creating large scale observational artworks. I draw on A2 sheets which I stitch together which eventually creates a large piece of artwork, often using around 10 to 15 A2 sheets. I then scan in the artwork and graphically edit them, I also combine it with scanned in paintings and additional line drawings to create a final piece.
My first use of reportage illustration was recording the demolition of the BBC building on Oxford road in Manchester in 2012. I made a series of social newspapers that documented the events from the BBC's destruction. I used the drawings created whilst on location, ranging from the objects left round the destruction site to large scale panoramas.
The illustrations that won me the MAFA award in the Manchester degree show 2013 were three large scale reportage illustrations. The two interior based illustrations (1189mm x 1682mm) are a documentation of a theatrical play, they combine still space and moving figures. I used different tones of grey to depict the light created by the lighting equipment. I developed this process further by illustrating light over time in an illustration of Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester (1300mm x 3500mm). It shows the effect of the light from the sun from 6.00AM to 23:00 PM on the gardens looking at shadows to amounts of people.
In my work I cover a broad amount of illustration contexts not just reportage and observational drawing, I also use maps and editorial design.
You can see more at: www.michaelmorrell.co.uk
I am very pleased to have achieved such a prestigious award after just graduating, I feel as if it's a great start having publicity on the MAFA website. Having the chance to exhibit with the MAFA is a great honour and I'm very excited to do so in the near future."
Sophie Mitchell MMU Student Award June 14th 2013
John McCombs with Sophie Mitchell
"My work mimics the act of walking in the open landscape within a confined space. With the use of laborious techniques and a constant emphasis on distance and line I seek to reach the meditative state that comes with the methodic act of walking. Process essentially replaces the walk, as the canvas offers a visual perimeter. In doing this the forms that occur reflect past walks. The techniques remove all conscious decisions and play on the tangible elements of subtle mediums to reflect the landscape. The result of this is a subtle comment on our connection to the landscape within a cultivated world. This simplistic act is a contrast to a formulated society.
The award was the confirmation I needed that people outside of the university were interested in my practice. It enabled me to consider the viewer more and to mature my work. The award has acted as a stepping-stone for me into other fantastic opportunities."
Kelli Foley MMU Student Award June 14th 2013
John McCombs with Kelli Foley
"For as long as I can remember feeling creative, my work has taken a personal direction, and has often held a strong contextual place within my own life.
My present works aim to make my particular subject matter tangible and accessible by using formalities that hold physical association to my conceptual themes.
Having studied both art and photography at King Edward VII School Sheffield, I developed my studies further and completed a foundation year at Chesterfield College. Here I specialised in photography which then took me to study at degree level, at The Manchester School of Art.
Approaching my final year of study, the unfamiliar next step of the outside world began to loom over me and in turn submersed itself within my work.
Pressures to find cultural place within society, and the seek for belonging and creative purpose in a world without the structured dimensions of education burdened itself upon my images. My work became about the relationships between figure and space and with this, the association s of the formalities within the space itself.
I began creating conflicts of space within my images, and also photographing areas which already held pre-existing elements of conflict. Concentrating on their separate existence as well as their conflicting interaction with each other, the spaces are home to their own concepts. A figure within these spaces creates another narrative, communicating a relationship between the space and the figure.
The award kindly given to me by the MAFA has in my opinion come as almost an answer to the questions my work holds. As well as being an absolute pleasure to accept this award, the opportunities that come with it have immediately given me the push necessary to bridge the gap between education and industry.
It has given me a real incentive to carry on making work and pushing my creative boundaries, and I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to exhibit with The MAFA in the near future."
William John Hewitt winner of DR Barbara Oldham OBE Award 2013
William John Hewitt
My picture-making begins with dog walking around the smallholdings of Saddleworth. My pencil drawings conform to a niche tradition of animal portraiture but their production is partially dependent on photographic and digital technologies. When a subject is encountered I make as extensive a photographic record as conditions allow. I am interested in the moment when an animal glances up to gaze at the visitor to its space. A finished drawing, though dependent on technological means of referencing, has to embody my personal memory of this first encounter with the subject, and I revisit the animal many times. I also try to make a thorough record of each animal's location. The background of the Highland Bull at Hollygrove includes the now derelict Dobcross Loom Works – a magnificent industrial complex on the approach road to Diggle. In this case I worked from about one hundred photographic prints. The enlarging and highlighting of aspects of the subject matter on the computer screen becomes a process of digital anatomising, and gives access to detail that would have been almost impossible in the pre-digital age.
Having amassed an appropriate quantity of visual information I draw on paper through a magnifying glass with a variety of pencils. These include mechanical pencils with 0.35mm leads, sharpened to a needle-like point on sandpaper. The lead grades range from B to 8H, creating a silvery effect on the paper. I spent many years producing etchings and I suspect that my drawing techniques are still rooted in that method of making marks on metal with a steel point. Although I draw every day each picture becomes a lengthy enterprise. The ten-inch square highland bull took twenty weeks to complete. In the past I have produced published drawings that were made in just a few seconds or minutes, and sometimes I see my current work as way of redressing a balance. In an era when so many things are expected to be done in an instant I enjoy the contrariness of savouring time by engaging in an activity that will not be rushed.
John Hewitt's etchings and drawings have been widely exhibited in Britain and abroad. His illustrations have appeared in the Guardian, the Sunday Times, the Radio Times, Time Out, the New Statesman and the NME, and he was on-tour sketch artist with the Pogues during the late 1980s. His work is housed in several collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Whitworth Art Gallery, the Museum of London, the British Council and the Government Art Collection. He a Senior Lecturer at Manchester School of Art, where he completed a doctorate on the subject of reportage drawing in 2008. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art and was elected to the Manchester Academy of Fine Art in 2011.
Danny Clahane at The Portico Library and Gallery
On Wednesday 17th April Danny Clahane gave his Dr Barbara Oldham's MAFA Bursary Award Talk and Demonstration at The Portico Library and Gallery as part of MAFA's 2013 exhibition programme. Danny spoke about the particular sculptural qualities of Carrara marble in comparison to other stones used for sculpture including the granites and sandstones more familiar to us in this country. He spoke about how the marbles relative translucency and fine cristaline structure allows for incredibly delicate and detailed works to be produced that seem to radiate an inner life. Danny also spoke about the story of marble quarrying in the Carrara Region from the it's dangerous and labour intensive beginnings during the time of Michalangelo right through to the highly mechanised process currently used. We would like to thank Danny for his time and wish him the very best for his plans to return to the Carrara Region.If you would like to know more about Danny please visit his website.
View a selection of recent News Articles about MAFA and its Members and learn more about our artists, exhibition programme and events.
Archive News from Sheila Dewsbury
The exhibition 'From the Shadows: the Prints of Sydney Lee' is showing at the Royal Academy until 26th May. Born the son of a mill owner in Manchester in 1866, he was educated at Manchester School of Art and was elected an Honorary member of MAFA in 1922. He became a Royal Academician and is regarded as one of the most important printmakers of his time.
'Centre Stage - The Art of Harry Rutherford' is running at Tameside Art Gallery, Ashton-under- Lyne until 8th June. Harry was President of MAFA from 1961 to 1969, and some of the 100 or so paintings he exhibited with the Academy from 1934 to 1980 are on show. Also included is work from his time in the early days of television at Alexandra Palace, and several paintings of theatre interiors and performers showing the influence of his tutor, Walter Sickert. There is an informative catalogue to accompany the exhibition by curator, Stephen Whittle.
Lowry News from Sheila Dewsbury
L S Lowry
The forthcoming exhibition Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life runs at Tate Britain from 26th June to 29th October. Lowry first exhibited a MAFA in 1919 when he was a student in Academy classes. He was later elected a member in 1935, and between then and when he died in 1976 exhibited over 50 paintings in the annual shows. He took a keen interest in the work of fellow artists, and the painter Alan Lowndes recalled his wry sense of humour while gallery owner Andreas Kalman observed that although Lowry liked to appear untidy and shabby 'I do not think he had ever did a shabby thing in his life'.
Archive News from Sheila Dewsbury
The Academy receives enquiries from all over the world, mostly via the web, about Academicians past and present and their work. These come from different sources including curators, gallery owners, authors, collectors, family history researchers, etc. The information requested can usually be found in our archives which contain records of exhibitions from 1859 to present plus photographs, newspaper cuttings, etc.The most recent enquiry came from a researcher in America about the painter Frank Moratz, who came to Manchester as a refugee from Germany in 1939, and although he wasn't a member, studied at Academy classes in the early 1940s before going to America in 1946 to join his young son who had also managed to get out of Germany. There he continued to paint portraits of leading figures, and in his capacity as a paper conservationist became Consultant at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The research is being carried out on behalf of his son who must now be about eighty. Sheila Dewsbury, Academy archivist, is looking through the academy archives for titles and prices of work he may have exhibited as a student at the Academy annual shows.
Out and about in Manchester
Out and about in Manchester
If you are out and about in Manchester you might like to spot public architecture, sculpture and murals by members of Manchester Academy. All the interior works are in buildings open to the public. Manchester Town Hall, The Manchester Museum building at MMU and Strangeways Prison are all designed by Alfred Waterhouse. He also carried out alterations and restoration at Chetham's School, and remodelled the interior of St Ann's Church in St. Ann's Square. The three stained glass windows above the altar are designed by Frederick Shields.The Murals in the Town Hall are by Ford Madox Brown. Some of the bronze reliefs including the one of Alcock and Brown are by John Cassidy.Other sculptures by John Cassidy include the statues of John and Henriquetta Rylands in the Rylands Library, the statue of King Edward V11 outside the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester's first non portrait outdoor sculpture, Adrift, in St Peter's Square and the bronze dolphin on top of the fountain in Albert Square.Sir Hubert Worthington restored part of Manchester Cathedral damaged by a bomb in WW2.The four ton concrete sculpture, Three Sheep, in Castlefield is the work of Ted Roocroft, Doves of Peace in Bridge Street is by Michael LyonsThe Stations of the Cross in St Mary's Catholic Church (the Hidden Gem) in Mulberry Street are by Norman Adams.St. Mary's Hospital was designed by John Ely.The Palace Theatre was designed by Alfred Derbyshire. (The exterior was altered in the 1950s but the magnificent interior remains.)Away from the city centre -The First Church of Christ, Scientist at Fallowfield was designed by Edgar Wood. The Sephardic Synagogue in Cheetham Hill, now the Jewish Museum, was designed by Edward Salomons.
Danny Clahane Article
In 2012 Danny Clahane won the £2000.00 Dr Barbara Oldham M.A.F.A Bursary. He has this to say about the award: "The bursary enabled me to travel to Carrara in Italy this Summer to immerse myself in the culture of the marble carving.My aims were to find out as much as I could about the material and techniques for working it. Carrara is a busy port with many stone yards and all sorts of stone from all over the world being cut and processed for all sorts of purposes even occasionally Sculpture.The main thing that strikes me apart from the abundance of material is that there are so many people working stone so I felt immediately at home. I had arranged accommodation and a place to work before departure so I started carving as soon as I could picking up as many tips about tools and marble selection as I could. Having spent a month there I feel I was only touching the surface and I can't wait to get back. " To find out more about Danny visit his artist website.
Guernica exhibited in Manchester
Council member Dave Edwards noticed an article in the Friends of the Tate magazine referring to Guernica being exhibited in Manchester in 1939. It seems the iconic work by Picasso was on view in January of that year in a car showroom on Victoria Street which runs in front of the Cathedral. A search in our archives may find evidence of any connection with the Academy or contemporary newspaper report Art experts are trying to discover more about this 'forgotten exhibition' and curators from the Tate are appealing for information in connection with a show at Tate Britain 'Picasso and Modern British Art' which runs from 15th February to 15th July. Anyone who has memories of the Manchester exhibition should contact curator Helen Little on 020 7887 4918.
You might not immediately assoiciate MAFA with the Olympics. However in the earliest days of the modern olympic movement host nations were allowed to include disciplines they felt they had a good chance of being successful in. In the 1948 Olympic Games held in London, there was an arts section.The gold medal for engraving was won by Manchester born printmaker, John Copley. He holds the record for being the oldest person to receive a gold medal at the Olympics and he was a member of MAFA! He was elected a member of MAFA in 1932. He was also a Past President of the Royal Society of British Artists and was married to fellow MAFA member Ethel Gabain. You can find out more about John Copley and Ethel Gabian in Sheila Dewsbury's excellent book on the history of MAFA 'The Story So Far'. For more details about this book please visit the Publications page.
Artist Resale Rights by Glenys Latham
Sculpture by Glenys Latham
Artist’s Resale Rights have been in place since 2006 paying royalties arising from the resale of visual artists work through auction houses, galleries and dealers. As from January 2012 our Resale Rights continue for up to 70 years from our death.
We are advised to include a bequest of our Resale Royalties and Copyright Royalties in our Last Will and Testament to ensure that they are not lost to our estate. We all know that our work is more valuable when we are dead rather than when we are alive so ensure that these royalties are not lost to your estate by registering for them and bequeathing them into your Will.
Not wishing to be morbid but being practical it can also be helpful to your executers and families to put in place a plan for the disposal of our creative output. I am sure none of us want to leave our loved ones with the problem of disposing of a studio full of “stuff”.To register and find out more about Resale Rights and Copyright Royalties contact DACS at www.dacs.org.uk
Resale Rights - Beneficiaries Sought by Glenys Latham
Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) are currently seeking help to identify and locate the beneficiaries of some 28 deceased artists among those listed is Charles Oppenheimer elected to MAFA membership in 1911 and President of the Academy 1948 - 1951. If you can provide information that may help to locate his beneficiaries please contact Janet Tod at DACS email@example.com or telephone number 020 7553 9055. This confirms the significance of registering with DACS and bequeathing our royalties and resale rights to those we leave behind or to a worthy cause like MAFA. Further on this cheerful note if you had artist within the family who has died within the last 70 years there could be royalties waiting to be claimed.
150th Anniversary Celebrations
Exhibition and Thanksgiving Service at Manchester Cathedral
This pinnacle 150th anniversary event was a combined Thanksgiving Service and Exhibition in Manchester Cathedral on Saturday 14th November. The Service was led by Canon Andrew Shanks and the readings, prayers and hymns were chosen and read by Members of the Academy. The Preview of the exhibition, which immediately followed the Service, was well attended by members of the congregation which included Michael Oglesby, Vice Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, who formally opened the exhibition. Also the Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Alison Firth; the Mayor of Salford Councillor Roger Lightup and his Mayoress, Mrs Valarie Fleet; the Mayor of Oldham Councillor Jim McArdle and the Oldham Youth Mayor Mohammad Adil and Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council. The exhibition ran until 28th November 2009.
Selected images from the Manchester Cathedral event.