Updated: Thursday, 2nd April 2020 @ 8:03pm

Make some NOISE: Festival gives Manchester artists chance in the limelight

Make some NOISE: Festival gives Manchester artists chance in the limelight

| By Deborah Buxton

Art. The word conjours up so many different reactions and feelings in people.

There are many mediums with artists all trying to define themselves in an industry that is, at times, perceived as stuffy and elitist. 

It has been historically and notoriously difficult to get recognition in the art world, unless you went to St Martins and knew people in the snobby elite it would seem.

Even with modern artists breaking boundaries in terms of what is defined as art, and who can be successful, it still feels like a world that is somehow inaccessible.

Never mind the question of what can be defined as art, the question is how and when are you defined as an artist?

Just as difficult to access is the world of performing arts. 

Feeling limited with the ‘who you know and what stage school you went to mentality’ often leaves performers with an uphill battle, especially outside London.

But an opportunity like the NOISE Festival can change that.

A registered charity, the festival aims to give recognition to artists and performers that might not otherwise get an opportunity to have their work viewed by experts at the top of their industry.

The festival describes itself as 'a national celebration of the UK’s next generation of creative talent, handpicked by the best in the business'.

“NOISE Festival 2014 gives the best undiscovered creative talent a platform to gain international recognition, an audience of millions and open up career opportunities," said a spokesman.

Applications come from all over the world and this year was no exception with over five thousand artists applying.

Winners are hand-picked by curators at the top of their field, with this year’s names including Brian Eno for music and arts, Giles Deacon for fashion, Doc Brown for comedy and spoken word, Elaine Constantine for photography and Sir Nicholas Grimshaw for architecture.

And once chosen this year’s winners were announced at the House of Commons on September 9, the festival was launched.

Winners are given the opportunity to have press exposure, given places in exhibitions in cities such as London and Manchester and may even receive paid placements with a curator or a leading creative company.

This makes the festival an incredible and exciting opportunity for both winners and the people who have opportunities to give.

The festival ethos is simple.

“We believe that creative reward and success should be based on raw original talent; not on your connections, where you live or what level of education you have," the spokesman added.

Tapping into undiscovered talent is exciting, not just for the artists and performers, the curators and professionals but also for the viewing public.

Greater Manchester has a history of producing fantastic creative talent.

From the renowned architect Sir Norman Foster to the legacy of artist Lawrence Stephen Lowry, to the modern talent of music and television stars that generate the reputation Manchester has in artistic ability.

This year’s NOISE Festival has seen a particularly high number of winners come from Greater Manchester, with a grand total of twenty-four.

One such winner is Richard Hughes, an artist from Altrincham. 

Selected by curator Tim Marlow whose credentials include Head of Artistic Programs and Exhibitions at The Royal Academy, Mr Hughes told MM: “Having my artworks acknowledged by such a dynamic and innovative arts organisation is really exciting for me as an emerging artist.

“Thanks to NOISE I have the opportunity to produce work that will be seen by a huge amount of people in some very exciting spaces.”

And Mr Marlow is certainly a fan of the Altrincham-based artist.

“There’s both melancholy and humour in Richard Hughes’s work which explores, and sometimes unravels, the idea of sculpture as memorial,” he said. 

“His work is physically engaging but intellectually subtle and quietly questioning too.”

Another winner is photographer Bethany Morris from Hadfield, Tameside, chosen by i-D Magazine co-founder Tricia Jones.

Ms Morris’s winning work focuses on capturing images of boys in her local town. 

Her photography shies away from the usual portrait and offers the viewer a glimpse into the personalities of the subject.

“Most of my personal work is based on boys with struggles. I try to tell their story through my intimate imagery,” she said.

Other winners include Gein’s Family Giftshop chosen by comedy curator Doc Brown. 

Created by four Salford University graduates Kath Hughes, Kiri Pritchard-McLea, James Meehan and Ed Easton they took their winning show to the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe.

For more information about NOISE Festival please visit www.noisefestival.com

Richard Hughes - http://noisefestival.com/user/richardhughes 

Beth Morris - http://noisefestival.com/user/bethany-morris 

Gein's Family Giftshop - http://noisefestival.com/user/geinsfamilygiftshop 

Image courtesy of Kerri Lee Smith, with thanks