MA Show 2011

Manchester Metropolitan University

Faculty of Art and Design

An exhibition of work by art, design, media and architecture students from Manchester Metropolitan University

Geoff Hall

Geoff Hall works with glass and light.

His work in the MA Show, Power of Attraction, was inspired by research into the Co-op's glass and document archives in Manchester and Rochdale:

Such was the Co-op's success that, from just one store selling just five products in 1844, by the 1920s there were hundreds of Co-op stores, each selling a vast range of groceries and other goods. To promote these goods, store managers were encouraged to create eye-catching window displays. The Co-op's in-house magazine The Producer started running competitions to reward those who created the most striking shop windows, and it regularly ran features on how to present goods to best advantage.

Power of Attraction refers back to that time, using a pyramid of hand-blown glass bottles set in a glass window. By using internal lights and multiple layers of mirror glass, an effect of depth is created, to suggest the historical perspective of a Society whose history dates back over 167 years. On the glass bottles are etched "labels" with phrases taken from articles in The Producer.

"For me a big part of the appeal of these labels is that they function not just as guidance for window displays, but they also have the quality of some simple, homespun but eccentric advice for living, wisdom passed on by parents, perhaps to a child leaving home for the first time."