The Whitaker, Rossendale
North West England

Back in 2012, lead artist, project manager and curator, Carolyn Curtis Magri devised a plan for an exhibition of sixty drawings, each by a different artist. The curatorial rationale was to invite artists via open call from Manchester studios and Manchester Metropolitan University to whose practice drawing was of particular importance. Artists of renown to be shown alongside lesser-known practitioners.

Curtis Magri worked with Gary James Williams, artist, curator and consultant at Phenomena Fine Art, as a co-curator, and the exhibition was shown at Bankley Studios Gallery, where both artists had their studio practice. Now, a decade later, Curtis Magri, again in collaboration with Williams, is launching the second iteration of Sixty Drawings + Ten. The remit remains substantially the same. Sixty Drawings + Ten explores, defines and celebrates the practice and locality of drawing in its diverse forms from a range of different disciplines. There are more artists involved, however, and therefore more drawings. Important to note is that most of the original line up are exhibiting again, and all the works are different from those included in the original show.

Sixty Drawings + Ten now has a dedicated website which will remain in constant development as the overall project and its iterations proceed, designed and optimised by Netherlands based ToBeContent.

Sixty Drawings + Ten opens to the public with a launch from 7pm on Thursday 16 June, artists Kevin Dalton Johnson and Nicola Dale will each present a number of performances under the category of expanded drawing.

Throughout the exhibition are associated events which include a drawing workshop led by Carolyn Curtis Magri 11am-3pm on Saturday 25 June, where participants can explore drawing using embossed paper and a grid as drawing aids; and at 7pm on Thursday 14 July The Whitaker will welcome Art Historian Sara Riccardi (Art Across) to host Sixty Drawings + Ten Curated Conversation, which will feature a panel of artists from the exhibition. The conversation will explore the work in the exhibition, discussing drawing in its many forms.

It’s impossible to describe each of the works on show due to sheer numbers. However, highlights include the night-time passage of rusting metal freight of Two Containers by Nick Crowe and Ian Rawlinson; the winged and plumed symmetry of Kara Lyons’ work; Hondarza Fraga’s sinking, subaquatic Specimens II; Jill Randall’s alchemical Found Drawing; the layered inscriptions of Pavel Büchler’s The Exhibition (2012-2022); Sheila Tilmouth’s hyperreal Twelve Dead Flies; and Simon Wooham’s installation Towards the Unknown, where traces of industry jut against objects in the landscape.

Curtis Magri herself is represented by Spindle, where a mill, its interior and the land around it are evoked in a richly textured, embossed drawing that suggests the choking atmosphere of thousands of airborne tufts of cotton, reflecting local histories of bad working conditions and resulting industrial diseases. Gary James Williams exhibits ‘Adumbration of a Temporary Space’ #4, a delicate digital drawing that hovers on the cusp of invisibility, almost vanishing as the viewer approaches, but gathering form as one steps away; and the performative video piece, ‘embracing the spectacle of the ephemeral: drawing in the mind’, #1, where the artist moves through a forest, searching for and formulating drawings as he walks.

Many questions are posed by Sixty Drawings +10. Where can drawing be situated in an artist’s practice? Does it come after, before or during? Is drawing secondary or primary? Is the paper or other surface just a support or does it play as important a role as that of the drawn marks?

The exhibition will include works by: Keith Ashcroft, Maggie Ayliffe, Matthew Bamber, Peter Barlass, Sophie Benson, Alan Birch, Alice Bradshaw, Sandra Bougerch, Pavel Buchler, Mike Chavez Dawson, Nina Chua, Andrea Cotton, Rachel Cousins, Lou Crosby, Nick Crowe and Ian Rawlinson, Carolyn Curtis Magri, Nicola Dale, Kevin Dalton Johnson, Fiona Donald, Lisa Denyer, Tim Dunbar, Nicola Ellis, Jane Fairhurst, Brendan Fletcher, Hondartza Fraga, Tina Foran, Stefan Gant, Paula García Stone, Louise Garman, Parham Ghalamdar, Anna Gibson, David Gledhill, Anne Grebby, Mary Griffiths, Paul Haywood, Bethan Hamilton, John Hamilton, Kayleigh Jane Harris, Tom Heaton, Ian Hodgson, David Hancock, Matthew Houlding, Pamela Ibbotson, Stewart Kelly, Naomi Kendrick, Pamela Ibbotson, Tony Isseyegh, Ilona Kiss, Gemma Lacey, Chris Leach, Julie Leach, Andrew Leigh Johnson, Naomi Lethbridge, Jessica Longmore, Kara Lyons, David Lunt, Lee Machell, David Mackintosh, Jo Manby, Jo McGonigal, Richard McVetis, Eileen O’Rourke, Helen Parrott, Jill Randall, Ruth Richmond, James Roper, Helen Sergeant, Babs Smith, Liam Spencer, Malcolm Taylor, Sheila Tilmouth, Claire Tindale, Gary James Williams, Hannah Wooll, Simon Woolham.


Photo: The Whitaker team measuring up for ‘Twelve Dead Flies’ by Artist Sheila Tilmouth

Address: Haslingden Road, Rossendale, England BB4 6RE, United Kingdom

Opening Hours: Wed – Sun: 10am – 4pm; Late night Thursday until 8pm