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Art Review: Exaggerate Everything at Backlit Gallery

25 November 19 words: Caroline Barry

Thinking about good mental health can often be a struggle for artists.

We are so close to our subjects that taking a step back and assessing how we feel comes almost secondary to pushing the limits on creating thought-provoking art.  As someone who suffers from mental health issues (anxiety) and works in the creative industries (writing) this is a subject close to my heart. It was with this in mind that I visited Backlit Gallery for the launch of their ‘Exaggerate Everything’ exhibition, which is in association with the Manchester-based artist initiative Broken Grey Wires, led by Lizz Brady.

The exhibition was a moving and well-curated selection of art focusing on various aspects of mental health. A standout piece for me was the excellent video game entitled ‘The Loss Levels’ by Dan Hett. This was a 1980s arcade game (fully working) tribute to his brother, Martyn who died in the 2017 Manchester Ariana Grande bombing. Sadly, this is the last time that the piece will be exhibited so take the opportunity to see this beautiful piece before it is retired.

Another highlight was the wonderfully macabre feeling ceramics of Korean artist, Eunjung Suh whose ceramic pieces were mood-lit by black candles to set the scene. I loved the stack of ceramic heads. This is another piece to see before it is transported back to Korea.

The exhibition also features a variety of work from Lizz Brady, Hana Madness and the Vacuum Cleaner, Niall Farrelly, Benedict Drew, Suzanne Golden, Luke Fowler, Nicola Dale and Benjamin Rostance. It certainly succeeds in its difficult but culturally important aim to start a conversation about mental health.

Exaggerate Everything runs at Backlit Gallery until Saturday 15 February 2020

Backlit Gallery website

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