June 2005

The Reading Rooms, 11-13 New Wakefield Street, Manchester
Preview: Tuesday 14th June 2005 6pm - 8pm
Wednesday 15th to Tuesday 21st by appointment, thereafter

TEN BY TEN was the second show brought to you by CONTENTS MAY VARY

A restriction imposed by CONTENTS MAY VARY was simply that the dimensions of a work must not exceed 10cm. Rules were drawn up and advertised around Manchester, inviting artists to submit proposals.

Each work could fit into the palm of a hand, but the placing into an exhibited state rendered it both inappropriate and inadvisable to do so, accordingly only to be grasped on a metaphysical level. One of CONTENTS MAY VARY's unifying interests is using alternative environments for experiencing artwork and the office environment proved an appropriate space for encountering works of miniature scale, reminiscent of desktop technology and stationary. This concept, although not necessarily nurtured or dwelled upon, then translates into other environments identifying with the banality of objects we surround ourselves with everyday.

"Miniature allows men to dream"1 and with a large collection of pieces to explore, a childhood curiosity can be created in the viewer, likened to that of visiting a toy shop. Similarly, items of this scale are sometimes related to souvenirs, having a sense of novelty attached to them. Technology also strives for miniature dimensions; however, it has a specific function and purpose. With the rapid evolution of technology, any sense of sentimentality may be lost, blurring the distinction between technology and novelty.

1Gaston Bachelard, Poetics of Space

With 37 participating artists, there was much diversity in response to the TEN BY TEN brief, with artists submitting works in a range of media and with a variety of conceptual approaches.

Sapna Agarwal

Alice Bradshaw

Keith Brown

Jennifer Cox

Lowri Evans

Michael Farquhar

Michel Ghazi

Stan Grant

Finella Halligan

Naomi Kashiwagi

G Leddington

Christian Leitna

Jo Masding

Bryony Moore

Liz Murphy

Ed Payne

Cat Pudner

Richard Shields

Michael Spears

Poppy Stevenson

Jon Turner

Jo Whittam