Lightspace: A Year in the Round – Colin Taylor

26 Sep 2019 – 5 Oct 2019

Regular hours

10:30 – 18:00
10:30 – 18:00
10:30 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00
10:30 – 18:00
10:30 – 18:00

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Artist Colin Taylor explores the idea of landscapes and architecture in Manchester, in partnership with the Royal Exchange Theatre


Following two recent successful solo exhibitions at the art gallery Contemporary Six showcasing the city’s architectural landscape, the talented artist Colin Taylor, based in Manchester, has now produced a series of paintings representing the Royal Exchange Theatre. With a long-term commitment to exploring our experience of landscape, Colin Taylor embarked on the year-long project LIGHTSPACE: A YEAR IN THE ROUND inspired by the Exchange’s architecture and the stories told both in and outside the theatre module.

This has resulted in the creation of almost 40 paintings and drawings based on productions in the Exchange’s 2018 & 2019 seasons such as QUEEN MARGARET, MOTHER COURAGE, WEST SIDE STORY and HOBSON’S CHOICE. The works will be exhibited simultaneously in both the Royal Exchange Theatre and Contemporary Six from Thursday 26 September.

About the project, artist Colin Taylor says: ‘Like many who have experienced the Royal Exchange, it is impossible not to stop to look up and around you. It doesn’t matter if this is your first or your hundred-and-first encounter with the space, this is what you do.

‘For a long time before this project, I had been curious about how the two architectural structures, one inside the other, could be represented in paint. From the outset, this reciprocal spatial relationship was always going to be a strong feature of the project, but it quickly evolved and extended to include some of the imagined landscapes created each month within the theatre itself. The other unplanned intervention has been a switch in emphasis toward the illuminated space cushioned and surrounded by the Theatre’s two defining physical structures. It’s a beautiful space and it’s been a privilege to spend my time working within it’.

Gallery owner Alex Reuben says: ‘Colin is adept at capturing the atmosphere of a place in a striking, contemporary, way. In his works, locations are portrayed with bold marks, surprising colours, and lots of light. The Royal Exchange Theatre is a perfect subject — a classic Manchester landmark with a sparkling core. Having watched our Gallery-artist’s ambitions evolve over the past years, this inaugural two-venue exhibition has all the hallmarks of being a real success: a meeting point between architecture, performing, and visual arts; and a local talent who is able to cast a new light on a familiar, world-renowned venue’.

This first unique and exciting collaboration between Colin Taylor, the Exchange and Contemporary Six will run from Thursday 26 September in both the Royal Exchange Theatre and Contemporary Six. All works will be available for purchase with a share of the proceeds being generously gifted to the Royal Exchange by the artist and Contemporary Six.

Colin Taylor is an artist who has exhibited with Contemporary Six for six years. His most recent solo exhibition with the gallery in 2017 ‘New Lines in Space’ was based around a large commission for the Manchester-based architectural practice, Simpson Haugh. The artist has held solo exhibitions throughout the UK, in Cologne, New York, Washington DC, Paris, with work in both private and national collections. He is a member of the Royal Society of Arts and the Manchester Academy of Fine Art.

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Colin Taylor


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