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HOME By Neil Dimelow - The Grand View Of The City

Phil Griffin, exhibition curator, explains a new Manchester panorama for City Tower

Published on March 16th 2012.


HOME By Neil Dimelow - The Grand View Of The City

HOME is a city.

You might like to swoop like a roosting starling, in amongst the rooftop air conditioning and Victorian glass domes. There’s the Town Hall clock, and out there, way out there, the TV transmitter on Winter Hill, and Scout Moor Wind Farm, over Rochdale. 

For artist-architect Neil Dimelow the city is Manchester. Neil is from North Wales. He’s been in Manchester for 17 years and lives in Crumpsall with his wife and two boys.

He’s taken a rest from architecture, and has been a part-time primary school teacher for seven years. He draws on days off. Neil’s work is as meticulous as it is intriguing. It is arrestingly contemporary. Many people draw the city, but no one quite like him. 

For Neil, drawing what’s in front of him is a way of seeing. It is both forensic and imaginary. He records and creates. The drawings, always made in front of the subject, are just the start.

Michael Oglesby and Bruntwood staff on the twenty-fourth floor of City Tower generously enabled Neil to draw more Bruntwood buildings than you can count. In careful collaboration with printer William Chitham drawings are scanned, digitised, scaled-up and coloured, as they make the journey from drawing pad to artist’s print. 

HOME comes in different sizes. What you are looking at in The Mall is the biggest that Neil’s work has grown to date. If you can’t find your own building here, the place where you work, your favourite pub, club or shop, it’s because they are not there, not visible, not in the line of sight. Perhaps this is a fundamental thing about cities; so much of them is obscured, tucked away in shadow, like Harry Lime in a Vienna doorway, in The Third Man

We both like back streets and murky windows, acid-leached concrete, the array of kitchen extractors in Chinatown, skyline like torn paper. We like what Manchester is.

The city we love so much was famously unplanned. Two hundred years ago Manchester men taught the world the ungentlemanly art of building without consequences. Manchester bent to their will; bent and contorted around polluted rivers, fast-cut canals, cross-knitted railway lines and scything viaducts.  

Many of the buildings Neil has drawn from his crow’s-nest in City Tower did not exist two or three decades ago. There’s No 1 Piccadilly Gardens, No 1 Deansgate, No 1 New York Street, No 1 First Street. More No 1’s than Take That. Chase George Street through Chinatown, past the City Art Gallery and Bridgewater Hall.

You might like to swoop like a roosting starling, in amongst the rooftop air conditioning and Victorian glass domes. There’s the Town Hall clock, and out there, way out there, the TV transmitter on Winter Hill, and Scout Moor Wind Farm, over Rochdale. 

Since HOME Neil Dimelow has made more drawings that tie other bits of Manchester down, netting them in pencil. It is a compulsion. Not many artists have brought such a concentrated, focused eye to the city on this scale. None has done so with such line and life. 

This panoramic view of Manchester will be on display in the Mall under City Tower from 23 March. There will be prints for sale.

HOME. Manchester panoramaHOME. Manchester panorama

HOME. Manchester panoramaHOME. Manchester panorama

HOME. Manchester panoramaHOME. Manchester panorama


 

HOME. Manchester panoramaHOME. Manchester panorama

HOME. Manchester panoramaHOME. Manchester panorama

 

HOME. Manchester panoramaHOME. Manchester panorama

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36 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Daniel JamesMarch 16th 2012.

Superb images

LJMarch 19th 2012.

Ooh, I like these.

AnonymousMarch 19th 2012.

Love them. The hills in the backgound put me in mind of the 'Unknown Pleasures' album sleeve.

Jonathan SchofieldMarch 19th 2012.

I like that Dimelow has cheekily replaced the hideous new power station that is Scout Moor wind turbines with beautiful trees. He puts these behind the CIS Tower and makes beauty out of ugliness.

1 Response: Reply To This...
LJMarch 19th 2012.

I quite like the way the Arndale Centre tower still looks crap alongside everything else.

GFlyMarch 19th 2012.

I need to write a children's story about these images. They are very Walking-in-the-Air.

Hero
Andrew SpinozaMarch 19th 2012.

Yay!

There's Abito, in the second one down, behind the Arndale tower.

These really are fab, top marks to all concerned!

Daniel HarrisonMarch 19th 2012.

I appreciate that my opinion is worth nothing, but I think they are rubbish.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
LJMarch 19th 2012.

Everyone's opinion is worth something. Be a dull place if we all agreed.

JudgeTasteMarch 19th 2012.

Nope you're wrong his opinion was worthless

Daniel HarrisonMarch 20th 2012.

In my worthless opinion, a picture (or 'composition') that gives me a headache, and looks like it was done by a 9 year old, is not worthy of the praise that it's getting here.

Lucy DawsonMarch 19th 2012.

horrendous!

1 Response: Reply To This...
ALYBOBSMarch 20th 2012.

I cannot understand anyone calling these superb pictures, horrendous ??? Even if they are not to your taste I cant see any reasonably intelligent person describing them as such

Isabella JacksonMarch 19th 2012.

I like these! Remind me of a couple of posters I had years ago as a student; one of London and one of New York. The NY one was fab and depicted not only the city but out towards to Hudson, showing the Bahamas and Puerto Rico.

AnonymousMarch 19th 2012.

They'll look good when the colouring in is finished

AnonymousMarch 19th 2012.

As Turner said of his paintings they are 'compositions' not unlike Hockneys woods and fields but more ironical. Where's HB superman flying over this realm

Anne Newall shared this on Facebook on March 19th 2012.
Phil Catlow shared this on Facebook on March 19th 2012.
Tracey AnnetteMarch 19th 2012.

Fab - Wonder who that is on top of the Arndale offices?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 19th 2012.

are you steves wife

Tom NorwoodMarch 20th 2012.

It's a crane.

Dave ThorleyJuly 19th 2012.

It's a Borrower, Tracey

Christine LawleyMarch 19th 2012.

Some people have been discerning enough to appreciate the graphic quality in these, as they are illustrative more than painterly. Would make poster series - ' 21st Century Manchester', or pictures in a book on a similar topic

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Daniel HarrisonMarch 20th 2012.

See, this is my point. I have no idea what 'painterly' means, which is why I accept my opinion to be worthless.

Brian SewellMarch 21st 2012.

Daniel yep you are so uncertain your opinion definitely is worthless

GINAHUN shared this on Facebook on March 19th 2012.
Ian RawcliffeMarch 19th 2012.

#dudeneedsaruler

1 Response: Reply To This...
Tom NorwoodMarch 20th 2012.

#square

Val ArisMarch 20th 2012.

I didn't think I was going to like these but I actually did! I like the fact that someone loves my home town enough to take such effort. With the ever changing skyline it's nice to have something to look back on.

Susie BrownMarch 20th 2012.

I LOVE THEM !!

Anne EdwardsMarch 21st 2012.

Well I, just little old me really like these...there again I like the wind turbines on Scout Moor, each to his own!

SquirrelitoMarch 22nd 2012.

I think they're great. I'd love posters of 'em. Are they available? Get the tourist centre on the case! Something a bit "French 60s vibe" about them, which in my book is a very good thing.

1 Response: Reply To This...
ClaireMarch 28th 2012.

Yes, they are available to buy. Contact Neil directly at neildimelow@me.com for a full price list

JS3March 28th 2012.

Is there one of Castlefield?

paulsouthernMarch 29th 2012.

Anyone know when they are available to view, I tried last Sunday but closed. I figured they might be as they are offices, is it open Saturdays?

1 Response: Reply To This...
paulsouthernMarch 29th 2012.

Rang them and was told 7am-7pm weekdays only if useful to anyone else.

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