Motif Logo

17 Dec 2021

The Manchester Contemporary Acquires Work for Manchester Art Gallery’s Public Collection

The Manchester Contemporary Acquires Work for Manchester Art Gallery’s Public Collection
Proving the city’s philanthropic spirit is as strong as ever, this year saw the largest Manchester Contemporary Art Fund since its inception in 2017. The fund, created by Manchester Art Fair Founder and CEO, Thom Hetherington, alongside local business people who are passionate about their city and its cultural heritage, was set up to acquire art for Manchester Art Gallery’s public collection.

To date, the fund has gifted 14 artworks, worth a total of £ 27,881.00, to the people of the city including three pieces, worth a combined £7,140.00, chosen from the ‘Manchester Contemporary’ section of this year’s art fair, which features critically engaged works from emerging artists. The winners of this year’s prestigious Art Fund, who will see their work go on public display as part of Manchester Art Gallery’s permanent collection are:


Simon Bayliss - Ceramic Teapot, presented by Manchester Gallery, PINK
One of a series of three teapots, made by Cornish artist, Simon Bayliss, especially for the Manchester Contemporary. The piece features slogans in a rave poster font, humorously inviting new conversations around identity and activism within the traditionally subdued world of studio pottery, proposing that the ritual of brewing tea in a handmade pot is imbued with the power to effect change.  

TMC Art Fund Lariot Collective

Mario Anton’s - The Cross, presented by Lariot Collective
One of a series of four triptychs, created by Spanish artist, Mario Anton, for the Manchester Contemporary, this piece represents the four elements of fire, water, air and earth. Starting with a traditional religious triptych, the artist has created an entirely new painting, which translates iconology into environmental issues.

TMC Art Fund The Second Act

Masimba Hwati - ‘Zitye: Second Hand Kings’, presented by The Second Act
One of three lightboxes by Zimbabwean artist, Masimba Hwati, which unpicks the residues of colonial history and how it impacts on culture through his own paternal history. A portrait of the artist, whose father was a policeman under colonial rule in Zimbabwe, the piece examines ideas about his own identity.

Speaking on the success of Manchester Art Fair, one of the most ambitious in the country, Fair Director, Sophie Helm, said: “The phenomenal success of this year’s Manchester Art Fair shows that the appetite for art and cultural events in the city is greater than ever and we’re absolutely thrilled to be able to confirm the dates for our return next year. We’re incredibly grateful to have the support of such fantastic exhibiting artists, galleries and partners who all help to make Manchester Art Fair such a remarkable event for the city and the Northern art scene as a whole.

She added: “One of the highlights of Manchester Art Fair is without a doubt showcasing emerging talent and it’s always a real joy to see up and coming artists have an opportunity to earn a place at Manchester Art Gallery through The Manchester Contemporary Art Fund. Many congratulations to this year’s winners and an enormous thank you to the local business leaders who support the fund with overwhelming generosity. I would encourage the people of the city to visit Manchester Art Gallery and view the newly acquired artworks in their permanent home.”             

The Manchester Contemporary Art Fund is the largest such philanthropic fund outside of London. Fund members are drawn from sectors as diverse as marketing, property, hospitality and law, each united by a pride in Manchester, a passion for backing young creative talent, and a belief that inspiring, great art should be available to all. Members include

Sarah Maskell & Christian Anderton
Mark Garner
Thom Hetherington & Sophie Helm
Alison Loveday
Andy Spinoza
Martyn Torevell
Jo & Tom Bloxham
Howard Ratcliffe & Melissa Ratcliffe
Lisa Ashurst
James & Katie Eden
Mark & Toni Hawthorn
Lucy Noone Blake & David Blake
Jeremy & Jane Roberts