Codeword: A solo exhibition by Narbi Price

21 May 2016 – 25 Jun 2016

Event times

11am - 5pm, Saturdays only.

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PAPER Gallery

Manchester, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • 59, 2
  • Manchester Victoria
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A solo exhibition of new paintings from John Moores Painting Prize winner Narbi Price.


"My earliest memories are televisual. Tommy Cooper at the King’s Theatre, the Miner’s strike, the Bradford City Stadium fire and reports of IRA bombings all providing a somber backdrop to He-Man, Thundercats and Transformers. Half heard and half glimpsed snippets of a threat that I didn’t understand but that was getting apparently closer to home.


I started visiting Manchester as a teenager to see gigs with friends and gained a real affection for the city. The bombing in 1996 by the Provisional IRA was the first time such an event had had an effect on streets that I knew, that huge explosion and its mushroom cloud replayed and replayed, those familiar streets devastated on TV news reports. The mysterious ‘codeword’ in the telephoned warning that signified a legitimate threat and the defiant post box standing virtually unaffected amid the carnage. The fact that no one died.


Twenty years on, I’m regular visitor to the city for business and pleasure having married a girl from Bolton and I often walk down Corporation Street. The spectre of the violence of that day in June 1996 remains in the collective consciousness and in the (psycho)geography of the street, still the heart of the shopping district with it’s new Metrolink line.


The act of making these images on the twentieth anniversary is not to glorify the bombing but to offer a space for contemplation on the legacy of that day in June 1996 - what it was and what it could have been.”



Narbi Price, 2015

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Narbi Price


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