Paper Girl Manchester on Drift November 17, 2010

Around five years ago in Berlin, amidst squabbles at Anti-Graffiti Conferences and debates over tightening laws against street artists, a young Aisha Ronniger found herself contemplating how to artistically connect with the public and make a pleasing impression on the urban landscape. Finding inspiration in the bicycle-mounted paperboys and girls of America, she came up with the nice idea of riding around the streets of Berlin, handing out rolls of donated art works to passers-by. And thus the original Papergirl was born.

Since her conception, other Papergirls have cropped up in various places over the world, the closest to home being in Manchester. Over the summer months, Janice, AKA Papergirl Manchester, called for submissions of all kinds of art works to involve in the first Papergirl project here. Every submission, without exception, has featured in an exhibition at the Soup Kitchen, Manchester, lasting until the 21st October. After this date, they’ll be rolled up and collected into bags ready for Papergirl and her delivery boys and girls to take to the streets by bike and do their rounds.

Unlike with traditional newspaper delivery, Papergirl’s distribution route and time are kept secret, and each delivery offers something entirely unique and unpredictable. The idea is that it centres on an element of unknowability - not targeting any specific demographic but catching the un-expecting, whoever they may be, as they go about whatever it is they go about in their lives, and leaving the destination of these gifts of art to chance.

By releasing it from the confines of gallery walls where its reception can often be limited and putting it in motion (literally), the project gives art a life, allowing art to find the public and be exhibited according to the whims of whoever’s hands it passes through. Drifters of Manchester, walk with your arms at the ready and you may be lucky enough to catch one of these rolls of art in the very near future. We had a chat with Janice recently, and if the giving is as much fun as she assures us, then the receiving is sure to brighten any Mancunian autumnal day.

First of all, what route has the Papergirl concept taken in moving beyond Berlin?

An unplanned route. I guess it is Papergirl that has drifted rather than me. I love how it’s inspired people to set it up in their own city. What I don’t understand is, why now? I only knew of Papergirl Berlin and Papergirl Portland before I started planning in Manchester, but now there are loads around the world - mostly launching this year.

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November Arts Round Up November 16, 2010

Haroon Mirza for the Northern Art Prize

Haroon Mirza nominated for the Northern Art Prize

Its November, its colder than it should be, and if you are as lucky as this editor, your boiler is broken. Fortunately galleries are surprisingly good places to keep warm. Here is our November round up of some exhibitions and arty things worth looking at.

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Issue 0 Online October 12, 2010

At long last, Issue 0 is up on the web reader

Open publication - Free publishing - More urbanism


Some Cool Zines from Manchester and Preston October 7, 2010

Ok, another post about Manchester. Last Sunday we went to the Piccadilly Self Publishing Fair and met some really awesome people. Here is part of the haul we took back.

The Mill Press, a lush hand sewn zine about Space.

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the FFAF Curators Interviewed October 5, 2010

Yesterday we posted about all the cool stuff going down at the Manchester Free For Artts Festival this week. Here is an interview with two of the three curators, Helen MacDonald and Lois Collett.

What inspired the Free for arts festival?

We realised that we knew lots of motivated and creative people and wanted to bring everyone together to exhibit and try their ideas out at the same time, which is beneficial as everyone gets talking to one another and we could all promote each others shows. Taking part in independent exhibitions throughout Manchester made us realise the potential in the city and when needs must, create things yourself.

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Article at the Piccadilly Self Publishing Fair September 28, 2010

As we get the new issue print ready, its getting busy at Article HQ. But thats not all we are up to. Last week we were down London way doing some meeting and greeting. This weekend, we are hitting up Manchester for the Piccadilly Self Publishing Fayre. Taking place this Sunday, its in empty shop by Piccadilly Train station. Entry is free. There’ll be loads of good people and zines there including Preston is My Paris, Cafe Royal, and the Salford Zine Library. We’ll be bringing some of our back issues, tees, bags, along with a few of our friends zines from the Steel City. If you’re about, pop by and say hey up mate.


Salford Zine Library Goes on Tour September 14, 2010

The Salford Zine Library is inspired. They take submissions of zines and self published works from all over the world to let the public come and look at them in a wood-paneled room in the Islington Mill in Salford. Over the next few months they are taking their library on tour. Worth a look if you’re in the neighborhood.


What does your design say about you? A look at Lit Fest Design September 8, 2010

Strolling back from a leisured lunch through the cafe at the entrance to my office building I found two very different brochures for two very similar looking events; The Sheffield Festival of Writing and Reading, and The Manchester Literature Festival. The two are stark in their contrasting designs, one is a standard civic festival brochure, informative and clear full of photos of authors and people reading. The second reads, feels and looks like a well produced and stylish zine, worth keeping despite its simple purpose a two week festival brochure.

The Off the Shelf Brochure isn’t bad. It’s clear and concise, full of content. Its just not that interesting. We know what books look like, we know what people reading books look like and we know that most authors aren’t models. It’s quite a businesslike mode of presentation that never really creates a distinct mood out of all the information. Perhaps this is partly to do with the fact that it’s part of a larger Sheffield Festival brand, with its own font ‘n’ photo format across a wide range of events.

What MLF have done with their designer at MARK Studio, however, is to create a brochure that feels and looks like its own unique and intriguing object. The minimalist design and newsprint paper really bring forward, this is a festival about words. It is organized like a zine of collected photos and poems make it an appropriate document for such a festival.

Off the Shelf takes place between the 9th and 30th of October in Sheffield.

Manchester Literature Festival takes place between the 14th and 25th of October in Manchester.


Ema sorts Sidney Street August 26, 2010

Between Sheffield train station and Decathalon Sports store is Sidney Street. By all rights this should be the coolest street in Sheffield. There are empty warehouses, a handful of galleries, some artists studios, a dodgy boxing club, band rehearsal rooms, vacant lots, and it is all centrally located! Unfortunately, a total lack of shops, pubs, bars, cafes, clubs (although Niche used to be here), there is not much to do. What with Urban Splash having their hands full redeveloping Park Hill, the likelihood of Sidney Street becoming the new Northern Quarter are slim.
Fortunately a few people (Kid Acne, Phlegm included) are putting it to good use. Sidney Street is quickly becoming The Place for Sheffield graffiti. Central location, warehouses and complete civic disinterest in the area make it a prime spot.
Recently, French born, formerly of NYC, and now Paris based artist Dr.Ema has been putting up some excellent mustachioed teardrop paste ups. I’ve been cycling past them for the past couple weeks and thought it was time to share.