Michael Grant

Residency 5: Morphallaxis 04

Timescale (6 weeks): 30 May – 11 July 2011

Albert Memorial, Manchester (2011)

Victoria Bridge, Manchester (2011)

Fire Window, Manchester (2011)

Manchester Cathedral, Manchester (2011)

Michael Grant’s work in paint and print, investigates changes in communities due to the impact and upheaval of war. Specifically he has concentrated his research on the period of the Second World War, and aftermath.

His exploration of this subject took him firstly to Buna, Papua New Guinea, a seemingly quiet and unremarkable place. Buna, however, was once the site of desperate fighting and terrible bloodshed during the Battle for Buna which took place during the Second World War, in 1942–43. Buna became a major influence on Michael’s research project following field trips there in 2008 and 2009.

During both field trips, he was involved in the archaeological search for Australian soldiers still missing on the battlefield. Participation in this search has had a profound effect professionally and personally. The resulting research project draws on these experiences of being on the battlefield, and visually examines the ways in which the landscape has changed since the battle took place. The resulting artworks are intended to provide a visual means to consider the nature of the ongoing legacies of that conflict.

Within his Artwork Michael explores the intangible presence still felt on the battlefield. Using a mixture of portrait and landscape imagery, his body of work digs deep into the past, reconsidering the sacrifices made on this overlooked battlefield.

The project Michael has carried out at ArtFunkl is the start of a new body of work which aims to visually mark the changes that have occurred in Manchester and the wider United Kingdom since the end of the Second World War, and explore the ongoing legacies of the war that continue to effect current generations.
While a resident in Manchester, Michael immersed himself in English history and culture, following his believe that reflecting on the past is important as a means of understanding the present. His aim for this ongoing project is to visually record the continuing legacies felt as a result of the Second World War. His parallel aim is to also capture the current emotions felt by the citizens of Manchester and the wider United Kingdom regarding their country’s history.