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New art collection inspired by the streets of Manchester

The local artist has included sketches of Matt & Phred’s, The Albert Hall and Night and Day Café - and proceeds will go to charity

The Great Northern Warehouse has joined forces with local artist, Sophie Nixon, for a new art installation at the popular venue – and it’s on free public display throughout September.

The brand-new art collection, Back To These Streets, has been unveiled this week and features drawings of the the streets and skylines of Manchester.

Sophie Nixon created the series of sketches throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Her drawings were inspired during the past 18 months in lockdown, where she spent her time walking around the city whilst sketching.

Sophie paints contemporary city and landscapes in oil paint both in the studio environment and ‘en plein-air’.

Inspired by artists such as Edward Hopper and Ben Mclaughlin, Sophie takes the element of the scene that draws her in and creates a story around it.

With strong composition and a vivid colour palette her paintings are filled with a sense of impending drama.

Her work is shown through Comme Ca Art and is held in collections across the UK and Europe.

“As a painter interested in the ever-changing skyline of Manchester, I felt that I wanted to see and document the city in lockdown and understand the images I was seeing on the news,” said Sophie.

“My first trip to Manchester in mid-April was surreal, I drove into the centre and found the streets empty and the parking free.

“The sun was out and the few people I passed looked as surprised by the peace and tranquility as I was.

“I sketched and photographed a lot around the city centre and around some of the suburbs.

“Where I was previously obsessed by the buildings and structures of the city, I became more interested in the human interactions I spotted out and about.

“Walking through Ancoats I listened to music in people’s front gardens as the residents made the best of the time out.”

The local artist has included sketches of Matt & Phred’s, The Albert Hall and Night and Day Café which will all be available to bid on in the Forever Manchester auction in a few weeks time.

All profits from the sale of these three sketches will go to the charity.

“At Great Northern we are committed to embedding art and culture into our site, and we’re so excited to display Sophie’s art,” said Mark Schofield, Centre Director at Great Northern Warehouse.

“While we are now out of lockdown, we feel like it’s still so important for people to reflect and see the work that people have been creating in isolation for the past 18 months.

“We’re sure visitors and passers-by alike will be mesmerised by the unique pieces of the city, so we encourage guests to not wait too long to visit.”

All of Sophie’s sketches are for sale on her website and on her Instagram.

The Back to These Streets art collection follows Great Northern’s previous exhibitions, Nan Collentine’s art and Mark Leemings vivid pop-up, Bearded Brutes.

Find out more about the Great Northern Warehouse by clicking below.

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