Srtist Ben Kelly, from the School of Art & Design, is a Manchester City fan, and his new exhibition ‘Painting the Blues’ has just launched at the team’s museum.
The Senior Lecturer in Illustration has followed in the footsteps of the world famous artist LS Lowry, who won an art competition created by the Football Association in 1953. The Lowry Centre in Salford relaunched the competition as One Love: The Football Art Prize, and Ben clinched first prize for his painting, ‘The Final Whistle’.
The exhibition was created as part of a year-long commission following the competition, and features a series of 30 paintings which portray the anticipation and excitement of going to a football match, and the characters encountered on a match day around a football ground. The paintings were created using photographs and sketches drawn during matches, and includes on-pitch action and crowd scenes.
Ben said: “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.
"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.”
Two paintings from the Ricky Hatton ‘Homecoming’ fight last May will also be on display as part of the exhibition as well as a slide show of Ben’s original sketches drawn at the matches themselves. 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 runs until the end of March and is part of the City Experience museum & tour, which is typically open seven days a week. To book tickets call 0870 062 1894 (option 8).
Picture: Ben Kelly, from the University of Wolverhampton, painting the Blues at a Manchester City game. Photographer: Andy Wall.
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