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Great Northern Warehouse Discovers New Wave of Local Artists in ‘Out of the Shed’ Exhibition

Great Northern Warehouse has teamed up with Art Battle Manchester to reveal “Out of The Shed”, a contemporary exhibition showcasing the work of eight local unknown artists

Out of the Shed, which aims to give creatives a platform to display their work while helping to build their reputation as an artist, was created to celebrate the regions’ wave of creativity born during lockdown.

Launching last Tuesday, as part of the Out of the Shed exhibition, each of the eight winning artists have been allocated a 2m x 2m space within Great Northern Warehouse to showcase their work for 12 months, a cash prize, art materials from Cass Art, and support to help them propel their budding art careers.

With over 100 submissions, eight winners were selected by an experienced panel of artists including Illustrator – Stan Chow, Street Artist – Qubek (Russ Meehan), Mosaic Artist – Tracey Cartledge and Painter – Stefanie Trow.

Out of the Shed showcases a range of genres from illustration to digital art, photography, to mosaic and hand painting – with a personal, emotive story attached to every piece of art.

Coping with the struggles of the passing of her father during covid, one of the winners, Kate Max, submitted a painting titled ‘The Vulture Gaze’ – metaphorically, the painting signifies the difficulties hanging above those affected by illness during their final moments.

Max, a scientist working in regenerative medicine at the University of Manchester used lockdown to focus on her developing her passion for art, as laboratory work paused throughout the pandemic.

Max continues to create art, and is currently working on an upcoming collection, focusing on critically endangered species through a series of limited-edition prints that will be available for purchase.

Similarly, Cristina Mallai’s photographic journey was influenced by a close family member, her daughter, Sophia, who was diagnosed with a life changing illness during the pandemic.

Mallai purchased a camera just as lockdown started and documented ‘Sophia’s Journey’, a collection of photographs taken daily of her daughter, which comprises the canvas submitted.

Cristina Mallai’s work

The six additional winners of the competition and names to look out for in the future are

Francis Thorrington 

Thorrington first discovered mosaics while attending rehabilitation for his mental health struggles at Start in Salford. A medium that he had never explored before, he found mosaics to be incredibly beneficial in helping him to transport to a different mindset, where he felt able to progress through the work he was creating.

Kieran Ryan 

Ryan’s passion for photography was developed during lockdown, to help process his struggles with mental health. The skills acquired in recent years enabled Kieran to become a qualified Adobe Photoshop Professional, which encouraged him to submit three of his photographs which focus on Manchester City Centre.

Heather Jones  

After taking early retirement, Jones found that art gave her a newfound sense of purpose. Heather’s submission was created through her findings in various charity shops, as she compiles her purchases in a collage-like style to create her artwork. In addition to the assets acquired herself, Heather’s inspiration comes from the world around her, whether it be the great outdoors, the human form, pop art or architecture.

Sarah Wilde  

Although Sarah’s initial interest in art started with using the traditional elements of paint, pen and ink, during lockdown, Sarah purchased an iPad, which led to her developing a passion for digital art, where she created daily digital drawings, allowing her to build her confidence and explore her creativity further.


Sectiō’s submission was inspired by the theory surrounding the quantum world, the concept of energy and the notion of reality – as well as the realities of his own world. His work acts as a trigger to get the viewer thinking and experiencing a sense of energy evoked by the print.

Lizzie Hobbs 

From a young age, Hobbs’ passion has been doodling freehand patterns and mandalas inspired by Asian and Middle Eastern cultures. When lockdown hit, Lizzie stumbled across an online Persian Miniature Painting course with a focus on architecture and tile patterns, which furthered her interest in the genre.

If you would like to see the winners work, you can head down to the Great Northern Warehouse or follow them on instagram here:

  • Kate Max – Instagram
  • Cristina Mallai – Instagram @cmallai_art
  • Francis Forrington – Instagram @mosaicsinmcr
  • Kieran Ryan – Instagram @krphotostudio
  • Heather Jones – Instagram @heather_jones_art
  • Sarah Wilde – Instagram @thewildewood
  • Sectiō – Instagram @lovesectio
  • Lizzie Hobbs – Instagram @lizziehobbsartist

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