Material Remains exhibition draws together six artists’ artworks that focus on the transformation of objects and sites, and how materials left behind can be utilised for other purposes. 

It is common for exhibitions to be inspired by people or historical events and innovations, but what about exhibitions that are purely created as a result of their surrounding physical environment?

Construction work is about to commence around Holden Gallery in Manchester ­– yet while the surrounded hoardings and fuss of drilling will quickly adopt into Oxford road’s busy life, the exhibition urge us to pay closer attention to the transformation of objects and sites.

As the sounds of digging, filling, hammering and the pouring of concrete will take over the exterior of the gallery, the exhibition is formed as a response to the change ensuing around it. It explores the fascination with the materials left behind, or those utilised for other purposes.

Material Remains brings together artworks by Lara Almarcegui, Becky Beasley, Derek Brunen, Cyprien Gaillard, Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs compelling us to look at things with a different perspective.


Each artist’s approach towards the subject is unique. However, all rest upon production, maintenance, demolition, as well as the pure, initial form of materials.

Lara Almarcegui’s work examines vacant wastelands set to be developed, Onorato and Krebs photograph abandoned construction sites, whilst Becky Beasley’s work is concerned with the materials themselves, and their capacity for reworking and renewal.

In a rather materialistic world besieged by objects, consumer goods and buildings, we rarely think about them in terms of their raw materials. The transformation of these materials into objects is a marketing technique of our financial system and its demand for constant progress.

The exhibition stands outside of this financial framework and looks to question the nature of everyday materials, provide alternative visions of outmoded things, re-work familiar objects and open up ideas around materiality and use.

There is always some trace of material left behind in everything that we do. It is these traces which provide the essence of the exhibition; ‘to uncover what lies beyond our vision’.

Experience an in-depth encounter with construction work by visiting Material Remains at the Holden Gallery until 15 December 2017. Free entry.

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