FORTHCOMING – Magnus Quaife: While England Mourns

4 May – 30 June 2018
Gallery Four

A food riot in 18th century Manchester meets the iconic, near-revolution of Paris 1968 in Manchester-based artist, Magnus Quaife’s newly-commissioned, multi-dimensional voyage into civil disobedience, language and unsung folk heroes.

Quaife draws first on the legend of oft-forgotten Milnrow school master John Collier, known by the pseudonym, Tim Bobbin. A self-anointed ‘Hogarth of the North’, Collier’s work as a self-tutored writer, painter and caricaturist recorded the darker side of provincial life in the 18th century in a distinct Lancashire dialect, including ‘the shudehill fight’ in Manchester during November 1757.

Working in foil-lined insulation board, a material more often reserved for construction projects, Quaife revives imagery of the 1968 Paris student uprisings during the 50th anniversary of those events, referring to classic poster designs to find contemporary equivalence to the grotesque characters, humour and cynicism found in Colliers work, while considering where truth and myth lies in collective cultural and political memory.


Image: John Collier (Tim Bobbin), Portrait of Tim BobbinPhoto: Rochdale Arts & Heritage Service