Graphic Design Inspiration: The Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester (UK)

the whitworth gallery visit romica spiegl jones Hello Creative Adventurers,

Yesterday I had the chance to visit the Whitworth a beautiful art gallery in Manchester. This visit was part of my BA (Hons) Graphic Design and should give us inspiration for our design and illustration practice. For all the Manchester students out there, if you haven't seen it, please have a look. Even if you just like a good coffee this is the place to go. The café is a sunlit, gorgeous haven with park view ;).

The gallery has been renovated and re-opened and is such a lovely place to be. At the moment there is a textile exhibition, if this is interesting for you. I personally enjoyed the space itself even more than the artwork. Of course there are some pieces that spoke to me as well, which I will explain a bit later, but ...

the mixture of high and low ceilings, the wooden floor and stone tiles, the play of shadow and light of the trees on the walls of brick and wood ... are you dreaming right now? I am.

Especially because of the tall glass windows you feel as if the inside and outside space organically merge. It almost feels like you are in the park surrounding the gallery. Furthermore there is a learning centre, where people from all ages can attend workshops and classes. Have a look at their offer at

Here are some of my research photos. We were asked to take pictures of the gallery, and I tried to reference them in separate images as much as possible. If I did forget to name an artist (they are usually mentioned on a small board before or after their work), please let me know and I'll credit them properly.

Art_Textiles exhibition

A short quote of the exhibition guide:

"Textiles are having a 'moment' - enjoying exciting new currency as a visual arts medium. Traditionally situated in the borderland between art and craft, textiles play an increasingly central role in a growing body of contemporary art practice. (...) Today, many contemporary artists are demonstrating a new engagement with materials, particularly textiles, to raise questions around gender and identity politics or issues about nationhood in the post-colonial period(Art_Textiles Exhibition Guide first page)

There has been such a variety of objects so I selected a few that spoke to me, which you can find below. Especially the section on ethical clothing that tries to use materials that haven't been made with "blood, sweat and tears" was a nice surprise and shows how political dialogue can be raised in gallery space.

Toddler's Art and other Impressions

Another very interesting part of the gallery was downstairs where an ongoing research project tries to find out how toddler's perceive and react to artwork e.g. are they drawn to patterns, primary colours etc? You could find their own creations next to other artwork like wallpaper and textiles. When I encountered a lot of toddlers around the gallery I wasn't as surprised anymore. The Whitworth seems to offer a nice place for children and their parents and also opportunities for them to experience and make art.

Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did, received some nice graphic design inspiration and you feel inspired to visit this beautiful place. For for information please go to

Have a nice day,

Romica :)