Art on wheels

Back in July, Design Week blogged about the fantastic Papergirl Manchester project (DW blog 28 July), which will see creatively minded cyclists distributing bundles of art and design work to passers by around the city. 

The Manchester distribution marks the UK debut of the Papergirl project, which was set up in Berlin by Aisha Ronniger five years ago. 

Levenshulme Bicycle Orchestra by Jack Alexander

Each roll consists of posters, prints and originals, wrapped together to create a unique combination of works. The bundle is then given free of charge to random strangers as the cyclists pedal their way philanthropically round the city.

The date of the actual distribution in Manchester will not be announced in order to retain the spontaneous act of giving art away, but will happen at some point in October.

Skate Champ by HJRC

Janice Stainton, an account manager at Judge Gill, has been in change of the UK leg of the Papergirl project. She says, ‘For the recipient it’s a gift of free art. It’s more of an emotional thing for the artists, rather than just a chance for self-promotion.’

However, for those not prepared to risk missing out on seeing some of the incredible artwork to be ‘bundled’, an exhibition will open on Friday featuring a full spectrum of work from illustration, graphics, photography, paintings, screenprints and embroidery.

Taking place at Manchester’s Soup Kitchen, the exhibition will showcase artists from Russia, Estonia, Canada, Italy, Spain, US, Sweden, Italy, Germany and the UK in association with Free for Arts Festival 2010.

The exhibition poster by Nic Bauer

In the months building up to the Manchester distribution and exhibition, the people of Papergirl have been busy gathering submissions for the project and separating them into rolls.

Stainton adds that the project has meant ‘late nights and early mornings running the project around work, not having time to create my own submission quite as I planned and trying to find 200 bulldog clips that can be delivered in time!’

Work for the exhibition by Jay Cover

However, she is thrilled to have had such a massive and global response, having received well over 700 submissions from over 80 different artists.

The Manchester leg of Papergirl has even inspired Glasgow to take on its own Papergirl project.

Watch this space.

This print by Malarky will feature in the exhibition

The Papergirl Manchester exhibition will take place at 31-33 Soup Kitchen, Spear Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, from 1 – 21 October.

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