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Discover the powerful art of Eve Stainton in Manchester’s All About Love project

Several billboard and advertising spaces throughout the city will be transformed into vibrant displays of creativity.

This is part of BUILDHOLLYWOOD’s ambitious project, ‘All About Love,’ which aims to celebrate and showcase artists born in or living and working in five UK cities.

Manchester’s Eve Stainton

Eve Stainton, born and raised in Manchester, expressed their excitement at being invited to participate in the project—a significant moment for the artist, as it marks their first time showcasing their work in their hometown.

The opportunity to represent Manchester on such a grand scale carries deep personal significance for Eve.

They eagerly anticipated reuniting with individuals from their past, such as former high school peers and even family members attending the opening—a nerve-wracking prospect as they prepare to share their artistic expression with loved ones.

The All About Love Project

The ‘All About Love’ project, curated by the talented Zarina Rossheart, is a series of commissions inspired by a quote from the groundbreaking book ‘All About Love’ by bell hooks, a cultural critic, feminist theorist, and author.

The project, titled “You Can Take The Space Out Of Space,” centres around the well-known saying “You can take the girl out of Manchester, but you can’t take Manchester out of the girl.”

Eve became fascinated by the phrase’s nuanced meanings and its potential for both solidarity and derogatory connotations, depending on the context.

By removing the specific subject and location from the phrase, Eve invites viewers to insert their own pronouns and locations, fostering a sense of agency and encouraging a deeper exploration of the saying’s implications.

Running from April to September 2023, the project aims to champion artists’ connection to their respective cities and explore themes of love, belonging, identity, and empowerment.

Eve Stainton’s commission for the project, titled “You can take the _____ out of _____ (2023)” will be presented in over twenty prominent locations across Manchester.

“You can take the girl out of Manchester, but you can’t take Manchester out of the girl”

The artwork features a welded phrase on long flat steel bars, replacing the subject and location in the popular saying “You can take the girl out of Manchester, but you can’t take Manchester out of the girl.”

Instead, Eve introduces an open-ended format, allowing viewers to insert their own pronoun, city, and idea into the phrase.

Accompanying the welded words is a psychedelic collaged landscape composed of images from Eve’s performance work, body, and neoprene pieces

To bring their vision to life, Eve employed welding techniques on long, flat steel bars, upon which the phrase was emblazoned.

These bars were then photographed and combined with images from Eve’s performance works, showcasing their multidisciplinary approach that incorporates choreography, sculptural pieces, fabric works, and digital collages.

The resulting artwork creates a captivating tapestry of thought-provoking visuals and text, demanding engagement and reflection from the viewer.

Eve Stainton’s artistic exploration delves into the complexities of the famous phrase, considering its capacity to convey contradictory sentiments.

By referencing questions of belonging, cultural identification, solidarity, and empowerment, the artist delves into themes of identity, class, and gender—issues deeply explored in bell hooks’ ‘All About Love.’

Speaking to I Love MCR, Eve said:”This project revolves around a sentence that has different meanings in various parts of the world.

“The sentence goes, “You can take the girl out of Manchester, but you can’t take Manchester out of the girl.” Growing up, I heard this sentence quite often, and I became fascinated by its double-edged meanings.

“On one hand, it can express solidarity and a sense of belonging when spoken by someone from Manchester who sees something about me that resonates with them.

It becomes a personal connection. On the other hand, it can be used derogatorily and perpetuate classism and racism, as in the phrase, “You can take the girl out of the trailer park, but you can’t take the trailer park out of the girl.”

“In my project, I have removed the words “girl” and “Manchester” from most of the billboards to encourage viewers to insert their own pronouns and locations. This invites the viewer to engage actively with the artwork and prompts them to unpack the meaning of the phrase. I’m fascinated by the multiplicity of meanings and the importance of using language thoughtfully.

The brashness and scale of the installations serve as attention-grabbing elements, but it is the invitation to dive deeper into personal interpretations and consider the influence of gender, location, and the phrase itself that truly distinguishes Eve’s commission.

They continued: “I was so excited to be part of it, I was born and raised in MCR.

“I left when I was 19, but never showed any work here. It’s a real homecoming and I’m so proud to be back.

“Family members are coming to the opening tonight, so I’m a bit nervous.

“But I’m so happy to be back up in Manchester, it’s so full of characters, swagger and charisma. Everyone’s got style.  There’s no place like it”

You can find the billboards in 25 locations, including Princess Street and the Northern Quarter.

To find out more about the project, please click here.

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