AboutâDon't Tell them to grow up and out of it' presents the work of two of Manchester's most exciting contemporary artists, Amanda Spawforth and David Hancock. Amanda, already an emerging success despite the youth of her career, and David, one of Manchester's most covetable artist's, have put together a group of paintings with a distinct visual, and socio-political edge. The show brings together pieces from two different collections âGeneration Z' and âWhat Are You Then?'
Amanda has used herself as subject to explore the sensibilities of today's youth âsubcultures'. Whilst investigating the stereotypical terms used to reference âGoths', âPunks', and âEmos' amongst others she has pulled together an image that sums up the identity of these different groups. Each painting then portrays the artist herself immersed in these particular guises, adopting the idea of a âbrand' of youth subculture to exaggerate her own experience of adolescence and trying to find her own identity.
âGeneration Z' is David's response to cultural and media speculation on the concerns, impetus, characteristics, and the very notion of Generations âX & Y'. He postulates that any current Fine Art student will be part of a future Generation Z: if Generation Y is now, then Generation Z is what we're facing. He says:
âGeneration Z' will differ from previous generations as they will not be part of or have experience of a prosperous economy. Their work will be a reaction to an art world that has become overblown by swollen budgets and how this has led to its subsequent downfall.'
His paintings therefore encapsulate that challenge of art production. With the construction of a multi-layered surface they display evidence of actual or faked wear and tear. This, juxtaposed with the current social/political situation, reflects the fears and aspirations and also the creativity and aesthetic of future artists. Portrayed in this way, his subjects summon up the fraught uncertain future facing the artists of âGeneration Z'.
This show brings bold ideas to meet head on, with each artist forcing their art to confront the reality of its situation in the world today. The amalgamation of both the artists' bodies of work creates a strong and visually engaging show that challenges art, people, society: and not just the artists perception of it, but also our own. Where David offers us a pause for thought on the tribulations of young artists in the current climate, Amanda is still youthfully exemplifying the determination of talent in the face of such grim prospects for artists-creating a thoughtful and brilliantly executed series of works.