Tuesday, 9 November 2010
Painting The Blues Exhibition, by Ben Kelly
Ben Kelly, Senior Lecturer for Illustration, exhibited his work at Manchester City’s award winning museum. Painting the Blues consists of thirty paintings created by Ben, who is an avid Manchester City football fan.
The series of paintings were created during a year-long commission at Manchester City Football Club and vividly capture the expectancy and excitement of going to a football match, and the wide range of characters that one often comes across on a match day around a football ground.
“The body of work produced for this collaboration with Manchester City captures single moments in time, snap shots and narratives from match days at the City of Manchester Stadium. This ranges from the anticipation and romance of a light splashed evening game, through to quiet reflections on a rain soaked Manchester afternoon.” Ben Kelly
This exhibition, as well as the recent project ‘My first City Game’, an initiative to collate memories and experiences of people’s first Manchester City match, were both aimed at capturing the vivid colours and impressions of what it means to be a Manchester City supporter. Visitors saw a variety of images ranging from supporters’ small and personal pre match rituals to a group of ‘invisible men’ having a drink together on the concourses.
Ben says; "Manchester City allowed me to get close to the match day action and it was this close proximity that enabled me to study the fans in such detail and their reactions to the highs and lows of a football game. I was particularly interested in painting the rich detail of the crowds and trying to portray the feeling of being part of the great masses decked in sky blue".
Three paintings from Ricky Hatton ‘Homecoming’ fight were also on display as part of the exhibition as well as a slide show of Ben’s original sketches drawn at the matches themselves. All pictures will be available to purchase after they have been exhibited. It is hoped a selection of the paintings will go on show at the National Football Museum after the exhibition at Manchester City.
Ben's exhibition was part of the award-winning City Experience museum & tour, which is typically open seven days a week.
Ben Kelly is certainly an artist on the rise; having won a massive £15,000 in December 2006 in a competition organised by the Lowry and Umbro called “One Love - The Football Art Prize”. He beat 800 other artists from all over the country to scoop the prize when his painting “The Final Whistle” was chosen by a panel of judges, one of whom was Turner Prize winner Mark Wallinger.