Williams BMW was proud to sponsor the cultural event of the North; Manchester Art Fair took place on the 17th – 19th November 2023. We hosted three of the Peak District’s top artists: Giles Davies, Bethan Nadin and Louise Edwards who exhibited their work alongside BMWs own masterpiece… the brand new, all electric i5.
Our involvement in Manchester Art Fair was part of a bigger project from Williams BMW – the Recharge in Nature project - a three-year initiative that encourages sustainable tourism by enhancing the availability of electric car charging points in areas of outstanding natural beauty.
The impressive BMW iX1 greeted the art fair’s guests in the foyer and set the scene for what they could expect further on in the main: the North’s leading and most ambitious contemporary arts fair.
Manchester Art Fair launched in 2008 and proudly states that it is “for the collector, the curator and the simply curious”. From Friday evening at 5pm on the 17th November, guests were welcomed by over 130 galleries and artists, with each section being totally different in style from the one to the next – it was an eclectic mix of the most talented in the United Kingdom.
From photography to sculpture, and everything in between the fair was a delight to behold, and we’re excited to have been a part of it.
Following the trend of each section/gallery being wholly different from the last, our artists were able to confidently show the diversity of the curated works while subtly bringing together the similarity that they and Williams BMW had bonded over: the beauty of nature in the Peak District.
The first artist was 2021 winner of the Peak District Artisans’ “Young Emerging Artist”, Bethan Nadin, whose landscape acrylic paintings ooze substance and style. Bethan’s artwork clearly demonstrates her in-depth knowledge of her craft; and the vibrant, almost psychedelic landscapes are something to behold.
Giles Davies was showcasing his intricate magazine collage work in the middle booth, his landscapes look like something out of an Ansel Adams book, however upon a closer look you’ll notice you are not looking at a photograph… Or at least one photograph! Rather hundreds of carefully and meticulously cut-out pieces of magazine to make one coherent piece.
Last but certainly not least was Louise Edwards, a linocut creator whose prints are something straight out of a fairy-tale book. They are so well crafted that Louise makes them look effortless; the design, the precision and the execution of her pieces shows true talent.
These three artists were a pleasure to work with, and we look forward to the future of our relationship with these talented and capable people.
It isn’t too unusual to see a car in a gallery, in fact in 1951, the MoMA of New York presented the first exhibition of cars at a modern art museum: 8 Automobiles, curated by Philip Johnson. However, the juxtaposition between man-made art (the car) and natural art (the Peak District) conjured an interesting discussion at the Art Fair… “What makes art?”.
Some were taken aback to see a modern BMW i5 at an art fair against a backdrop of outstanding natural beauty. But a quick Google will tell you that “art is something that stimulates an individual's thoughts, emotions, beliefs, or ideas through the senses” … and the all-electric BMW i5 certainly opened up a dialogue that we were excited to get involved in.
The Alpine White i5 created a blank canvas for the artistic livery to go onto, the finely crafted lines of the vehicle an example of man-made beauty and elegance. The dark interior was a stark contrast against the bright white of the exterior, but made the mood lighting inside feel distinctive and bold without the sense of disconnection from the vehicle as a whole.
The i5 brings an aura of definite technological modernity with the classic BMW style and substance we’ve been used to since its inception in 1916.