Located in the heart of the vibrant First Street development, INNSIDE Manchester is a first class hotel with stunning interiors and unique amenities.

Its location means that it is surrounded by one of the city’s most cosmopolitan areas, with the very best in both leisure and business on its doorstep. Which makes it a prime location to debut one of Manchester’s finest artists, Claire Riley.

Taking inspiration from the unique times of day she observes Greater Manchester, emergency night-time social worker Claire sees the city’s true colours at dawn and dusk, which she translates into her artwork.

Often focusing on the hidden places that only she has spotted around the city, Claire’s collection makes use of watery textures of light and half-light, taking us on a journey across Manchester and emphasising the significant changes to the city’s landscape and architecture.

“The way I see Manchester started a few years ago when I worked from a tower block overlooking the changing cityscape,” says Claire.

“Additionally, always being out and about at night allows a specific view of the world. When it is sometimes just you and the buildings at dusk and dawn, a special relationship is created. This has continued since I came to live close to central Manchester and still able to view the world at height.”

Claire labels her method of creating her pieces as an adoption of a ‘digital paintbox’ – distinctly mirroring her emotions and feelings of what she sees first hand, while she travels around the city.

In an attempt to capture the ever changing nature of the region, the exhibition takes its audience on a journey of both the cities history – and its re-invention.

“The Journey attempts to capture intriguing sights while creating an emotional response that is sensitive to history and to the overwhelming change taking place, expressing the ephemeral turmoil and the permanent magic of this region.”

And it’s Claire’s unusual attraction to the altering cityscape that fuels her work.

“I am at times bedazzled and horrified by the swift growth of tall and often impersonal buildings. I love to experience the transitory contrasts this provides. And I feel there is a spirit and history in it which fascinates me.”

Journeys across Manchester is the third Manchester exhibition of Claire Riley’s work – and the third time that INNSiDE has hosted a collection of local art as part of their commitment to supporting our regional artists.

Opening at the popular First Street hotel with an invite-only event on Thursday 9th May, the Journeys Across Manchester exhibition will be positioned in the hotel’s public areas and will be open to the general public to view – and one of Manchester’s most notable figures will launch the exhibition this May.

Applauding the importance of Claire’s artistic work, award-winning broadcaster Terry Christian – who also happens to be a columnist here at I Love MCR – shared his love for the exhibition.

”I am passionate about Manchester and Claire’s paintings depict the old and new in a really interesting light, literally and figuratively,” says Terry.

“New buildings are shooting up at an incredible rate and at the same time old landmarks, like the Liverpool Road gasometers, which feature in one of Claire’s pieces, are disappearing – making her work so important.”

The collection will call First Street’s INNSiDE Manchester its home for over six months and will be available to the public from 10th May onwards.

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