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The use of photography and video to record a building’s evolution is quite conventional, but we thought that a series of paintings interpreting the two year transformation may not have been done before. Throughout the commission, Colin captured the changes he witnessed in and around the Spinningfields area from the street, vantage points and on site. The exhibition also includes sketches Colin carried out whilst flying at 1000 feet in a helicopter over the city.

The commission came about when I first encountered Colin at the launch of the exhibition ‘Cityscapes/ Wordscapes’ held by Contemporary Six in June/July 2015. I had previously been aware of his landscapes and was now so taken with his urban work, the strong and assertive use of line and colour, that I purchased a painting ‘The River Dene’, an elevated view along Deansgate with which I am so familiar through living at one end and working at the other. The painting is now hung in my apartment at No.1 Deansgate, it reflects the inverse of my view out.

During the opening evening, an idea formulated in conversation with Colin, a notion of recording, through canvas, paint and the drawn line, the construction of our proposed building at No.1 Spinningfields, that was just about to start on site. The timing was fortuitous and the notion of representing and interpreting the building through the eyes of an artist like Colin appealed to me greatly, a more abstract, graphic, painterly approach seemed a natural way of interpreting the art within architecture and a celebration of the creative spirit.

It’s been a fascinating journey working with an artist enjoying and excited by the process, juxtaposed with us, as architects, focused on the product and realisation of the creative endeavour. Colin’s work will forever be a memory of the process of creating and constructing buildings and is a testament to the efforts of many thousands of individuals who have each played their part in realising No.1 Spinningfields.

"New Lines in Space" Exhibition
1 - 22 June 2017
Contemporary Six
37 Princess Street, Manchester M2 4FN

For more information on Colin Taylor, please visit his website.