Paul R Taylor
GRAPHIC art based on the Black Panther movement and a retrospective
of Manchester-born fashion designer Matthew Williamson are part of an
ambitious series of exhibitions planned for Urbis next year.
Contemporary visual arts from New York's hottest talent and urban
gardening are also highlights of the programme.
The Black Panthers were a group of black Americans who campaigned for
civil rights throughout the 1960s and 1970s. They used methods which
at times included violence and attracted widespread backing.
Vaughan Allen, chief executive, said: "With the refurbishment of our
exhibition floors and the opening of our new skyline restaurant, The
Modern, Urbis is a fantastic place for exchanging ideas and for
bringing creative people together.
"I can't think of anywhere else in the north where everyone can find
something that will stimulate or interest them.
"I am thrilled that we will be showing for the first time in Britain
the work of Emory Douglas, a powerful reminder of the ability of art
to push forward a political agenda.
"Many of us will find inspiration from Douglas' work for the Black
Panther Party, which is as relevant today as it was 40 years ago."
Douglas was Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party from 1967
to its discontinuation in the 1980s.
The exhibition, in October, will pay tribute to the party's political
salute - made famous by Tommy Smith and John Carlos, when they each
wore a black glove and raised their clenched fists in the air as a
demonstration at the 1968 Mexico Olympics. How Manga Took Over The
World will trace the remarkable rise of this ancient Japanese
art-form, from its early origins through its manifestation as a
super-cool animation subculture to its absorption into the high arts.
March sees an exhibition charting Matthew Williamson's decade in the
His use of pattern, print and colour has made him a catwalk favourite
for stars like Sienna Miller, Kylie and Mischa Barton. The urban
gardening exhibition, in April, will explore the impact of climate change.
From the neglected back alley to the high-rise tower block, it will
show how green thinking can transform city spaces into urban oases.
New York artists will exhibit their work in October.
A full exhibition programme will be available in January. Urbis, in
Cathedral Gardens, is open 10am-6pm and admission is free. For more
information, visit urbis.org.uk.