Last week saw the final show of work from this year’s Unit X project. Manchester’s Northern Quarter became a hub of creative activity, with work from Unit X showing alongside Northern Quarter After Dark events. Project Unit X’s contributors captured all the action, and their recaps of the event will be posted throughout this week…
Words : Kellie Craig, Olivia Wedderburn
Images : Stewart Honeyman
Tuesday, 13th May
The majority of the work this afternoon is focussed on the construction of the exhibiting space that will become the centre for the unit x final event this Thursday. The fourth floor of Federation House is, at present, an empty shell, inside which the gallery space is slowly coming into being. As you can imagine, tools and pieces of wood are scattered about the fourth floor in preparation for the construction of extra walls upon which to hang work, as well as an interactive installation still in the early stages of preparation.
The events at Federation House will range from interactive displays and fine art pieces to a zine fair by students of College 4. At present, the space is yet to be transformed into the final exhibiting space but certainly demonstrates a great potential in which students can freely exhibit their work to the public. There is evidence of students both working and integrating directly with the space, most notably the displays and interactive tables by the Dandelion Project, which promises to be an exciting approach to interactive exhibits. KC
Unit X is gearing up for it’s final year show in which over 560 students have an opportunity to showcase their work within the new art spaces generated by NOMA. Over at Federation House, students from the Blue Sky Thinking project began to set up their ideas, evolving the vast studio space of the 4th floor into an interactive showcase exploring themes of sustainability, ecology and design. Their opening night will see dandelion cocktails conceptualised by The Art Bar, a new mobile drinks service catering to the arts, and opportunities for the public to engage with their innovative ideas, including filtered viewfinders for viewers to capture the moment differently.
I spoke to students about the challenges they faced working with such a large space, how they’ve learnt to be pragmatic and flexible within their practice as a result of Unit X and alternative exhibition spaces, and how it feels for this years festival to be coming to an end. The students as always have risen to the challenges that Unit X poses, and as a result unique collaborative ideas have emerged creating something special and not to be missed. Pop over to Federation House for a bar soundtracked by a string quartet and exciting project development from students in their second year. OW