All photographs by Decoy Media

Castle Fine Art is changing the way people view and buy art in Manchester. Its latest gallery opens to the public on Friday 5 August, bringing together an array of diverse artists who are the best in their field.

Stepping into the historic, Grade II listed building, what stands out immediately is the street-savvy feel of the place. If you think art is stuffy and pretentious, think again. It’s clear this gallery is taking an innovative approach to how we interact with art.

The gallery takes inspiration from the latest fashion brands with eye-catching pop-up displays, designs and sculptures ready to draw you in. It is a place for both buying and viewing art – interact with it as you like.

Colour is a big concept here too and Castle Fine Art doesn’t shy away from putting an array of shades in one place providing a real visual treat.

This is a gallery which showcases so art in its many forms from pop art to portraits, with some great Marvel comic-strip pieces to the work of musicians like Bob Dylan and Ronnie Wood, so you’re sure to find something to your taste.

One of my favourite pieces was the image of a deer melting in rainbow colours – a brilliant blend of horror and surreal wildlife art from local talent Robert Oxley.

A state-of-the-art lighting system also ideally complements the work on display, so visitors feel quickly at ease. I thought that the downstairs area would suffer due to a lack of windows, but this was not the case at all. Instead, intelligent lighting is paired with some of the more luminous pieces – with two large-scale images of David Bowie standing out to me in particular.

Another pleasant surprise is that you are encouraged to take your time with bespoke gallery furniture available to sit back and relax. There are even two specially-designed, carpeted viewing rooms so you can feel at ease as you would in your own home.

This is an exciting addition to the Manchester art scene. Expect a welcoming environment with an exciting programme of exhibitions and events all round.

12 – 14 King Street, Manchester M2 6AG

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