Manchester Craft and Design Centre’s 30th birthday, however, will not be tarnished by such neuroses, regrets or hangovers. The North Western establishment will be celebrating entering its fourth decade in style, with a series of events and exhibitions to mark the milestone.
The Centre, which opened in 1982, is housed in a former Victorian fish market. When it first opened its doors in its current guise, it served as a shop selling original and bespoke contemporary items. Now, items on sale include jewellery, accessories and clothing, furniture, lighting, textiles, ceramics, photography and painting.
One of the highlights of the celebrations will be the Collecting History exhibition, which runs from April 28 – June 30. The show will gather together people’s stories from the Craft Centre, and also from its previous incarnation as a fish market. People who may hold any ephemera, images or footage – be it photographs or moving image- are being asked to submit what they have to the Centre, and the final exhibition will also display artworks and craft objects that respond to the heritage of the Centre.
Kate Day, MCDC director, says, ‘For thirty years the region’s best designers and craft makers have worked here, making friends and providing customers with access to contemporary handmade jewellery, furnishings and other special, one off items that you can’t find anywhere else.
‘We’d love people to come forward with their photographs and cherished items or memories, which could include memorabilia from the fish market or a special engagement ring or birthday gift bought here in the last three decades.’
Taking the celebrations bang into the 21st Century is the Sampler-Cultureclash event, which takes traditional platforms such as textiles and blends then with sounds and performance.
To refresh the sensorially-overloaded, the Centre Café will be specialising in 1980s fare, and is also selling cups of tea at 1982 prices (about 20p, ‘if that’, according to this writer’s Mum.)
For more information on the events visit www.craftanddesign.com
The events and exhibitions will take place at Manchester Craft and Design Centre, 17 Oak Street, Manchester M4