Stockport is Rising Exhibition to Showcase Town of Culture Artists

Stockport is rising - economically, culturally and, as can be seen in the numerous building projects taking place, physically too

Stockport is Rising Exhibition to Showcase Town of Culture Artists

And in recognition of that, and to mark the finale of Stockport’s Greater Manchester Town of Culture year, five celebrated professional artists who live in Stockport and paint Stockport, have been invited to stage an exhibition appropriately titled…Stockport Rising.

It’s taking place at the town’s War Memorial Art Gallery from Friday February 23 to Sunday March 31, and features the paintings of Lucy Burgess, Eric Jackson, Kate O’Brien, Jackie Wagg and David Chandler.

Their work is familiar throughout the town and beyond, and it is that popularity which inspired Stockport Council Leader, Councillor Mark Hunter, to moot the idea back in December.

Poster artist and former journalist and editor Eric Jackson, who lives in Cale Green and works under the title of Statement Artworks, is curating the show.

He said: “Mark approached me last year to put on an exhibition that the people of Stockport could really relate too - seeing work, that many of them have in their own homes, displayed really well in a great public space.

“It was a no-brainer to invite the others to join me. Not only are they all brilliant, but they are hugely successful too, and Stockport people love them.”

Cllr Hunter said: “Stockport has such a rich cultural and artistic history, which we have been showcasing with pride during our tenure as Greater Manchester Town of Culture.

“It will be fantastic to see the work of local Stockport artists featured in the Stockport Rising exhibition and for people to see our borough highlighted so prominently in their works, reflecting both the urban landscape and stunning countryside vistas the area has to offer.”

Lucy Burgess, the daughter of award-winning Guardian photographer Denis Thorpe, is well known in Stockport for her iconic artwork which can be found in the Hat Works Museum, Stockport Museum/Staircase House at the market place and numerous shops and cafes around the town.

Lucy, who lives in Woodsmoor, said: “I'm delighted to be able to share my art with the people of Stockport as part of this fabulous exhibition celebrating the conclusion of Stockport's year of Art and Culture.”

Kate O’Brien, who has a studio and shop in the town’s historic Market Hall, is known for her large, colourful and evocative watercolours depicting the hidden gems and landmarks of Stockport.

The Edgeley-based mother of two, who quit her art teaching job to pursue her landscape painting passion, said: “What an absolute honour to be asked to be involved in this exhibition, celebrating our fantastic town alongside such amazing talent.

“It’s such an exciting time to be part of Stockport, I can’t wait to see what the next year brings for our town.”

For Offerton artist Jackie Wagg, Stockport inspired her from the moment she moved there from London over two decades ago, and her paintings of the town’s rooftops and chimney pots have become famous - artworks now attracting auction prices.

Jackie, who has guided her students at Aquinas College in Stockport with her vast knowledge and skill as a part-time teacher while continuing a career in a local bank, said: “Stockport town, as my subject, has a raw beauty embracing its heritage. I have drawn and painted the changes over the years in my studio; Stockport still has so much to creatively explore. The town is a never-ending source of inspiration for me.”

David Chandler is a significant urban designer trained at Manchester School of Architecture and an artist who has taken a close interest in the MBC masterplans since 2008.

His paintings have recently won prizes at New Light and Williamson Art Gallery, Birkenhead.

“Many of our paintings, prints and sculpture are visionary. Artists can offer a serious contribution to the direction taken by a town like Stockport in its development and conservation plans”, he said.

‘Stockport Rising’ is in the Upper Gallery at Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery from Friday February 23 to Sunday March 31. Check opening times here.