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Coral: Something Rich and Strange

29 November 2013-16 March 2014
Free entry

Explore the enduring fascination with coral as a material, symbol and inspiration for artists, cultures and societies across the centuries. Coral: Something Rich and Strange is a major new temporary exhibition which will provide a plethora of fascinating and beautiful objects, telling a story about biodiversity and the importance of marine environments today. Art installations by Mark Dion and textile artist Karen Casper will go alongside our community art project, Manchester’s first Crochet Coral Reef. Paintings, prints and objects on loan from Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Art Gallery and the V&A will also be on display. Supported by Arts Council England and The Granada Foundation.

Connecting Communities and Coral
Alongside the exhibition Coral, Something Rich and Strange, the museums Health and Culture programme has connected with patients, visitors and staff, at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Our partnership with the hospital is designed to examine some of the needs of the local hospital community, and in particular its access to the extensive collections. Artists and museum specialists have worked closely with nurses, occupational therapists, ward managers and staff from Patient Experience to develop and deliver workshops.
The display in the foyer is intended to raise awareness of the value of culture within healthcare and celebrate some of the creative outcomes. Artists have led sessions on the surgical wards, the stroke unit, and in many of the waiting areas within the hospital. Despite the challenges of working in a clinical environment, the project continues to be successful. To find out more visit www.healthandculture.org.uk

Dr Marion Endt-Jones, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in Art History and Visual Studies, has curated the exhibition, which was one of the outcomes of Marion’s three-year research project 'A Cultural History of Coral, c. 1850-2010'. For more information please click here.

More information on Karen Casper and Mark Dion’s work check out their websites here and here.

There has been a selection of blog posts relating to Coral: Something Rich and Strange, from interviews to baby events. Check out all our blogs for all the behind-the-scenes news with Museum experts.

For all events relating to Coral: Something Rich and Strange, check out our events flyer.

Our Crochet Coral Reef is growing!...To join in our crochet events visit our Facebook group.

For photographs of the exhibition space and our Private View check out our Flickr set.


Coral: Something Rich and Strange

© Paul Cliff

A selection of objects from Coral: Something Rich and Strange exhibition