Kimpton Clocktower Hotel is today announcing a brand-new free exhibition, curated by visual artist Emma Evans in partnership with six other creators.

Following Hamilton: The Story of Tonight, where guests could get a glimpse into the world-famous production, Kimpton Clocktower will be home to a brand-new collection of multi-platform art celebrating the city: Tales of Manchester 2.0. 

Opening to the public from 8 pm on Thursday 4 April, the exhibition, which is the second of its kind, will showcase six spoken word pieces by established Manchester-based poets: Griot Gabriel (as seen at Glastonbury 2023), Ilaria Passeri, Lisa O’Hare, Mark Jackson aka Keith’s Brother, Matt Concannon aka The Thirsty Poet and Sarah Attwell. 

Making it a truly unique collection of art and the second of its kind, the spoken word will be paired with visual pieces painted by self-taught artist Emma Evans, where the words have served as inspiration for the visual art, as Emma has listened to the words during the painting process.  

With over 20 years of residence in Manchester after moving to study here from Leeds, Emma Evans considers herself a proud Mancunian: “I fell in love with the city and its spirit - the way creatives come together in Manchester is pretty unique and I love working with different artists - visual and spoken word creatives.

“Manchester has changed a lot since we did the first Tales of Manchester series and it felt right to get working on a 2.0. I was excited to see what the poets came up with, especially Lisa O’Hare and The Thirsty Poet who were part of the first exhibition back in 2022.”

A glimpse of Tales of Manchester (2022) visual work and poetry will be available to view alongside the new installation from the day of launch. 

With all written and painted work created specifically for the exhibition, the installation is very much in line with Kimpton Clocktower’s values and mission to promote and support Mancunian talent. 

Kelly Andreasson, hotel manager at Kimpton Clocktower, adds: “We’re extremely excited to be exhibiting this unique installation curated by Emma Evans. We love nurturing and spotlighting local talent, as well as putting the focus on different art forms - Tales of Manchester 2.0 has been a long time coming and we can’t wait for our guests and visitors to Refuge to finally see it.” 

Tales of Manchester 2.0 will be a free-to-view exhibition on the walls at The Refuge from 8 pm on Thursday 4 April 2024 until the end of May 2024. 

Kimpton Clocktower

About the artists: 

Emma Evans

Emma Evans' art is more than just visually stunning. It has the power to move people emotionally and spiritually, guiding them to think on a deeper level. Her work has a depth and meaning beyond its colours. Emma is known for her bold, colourful, and abstract style with an abundance of energy and texture. She works with a variety of mediums, such as acrylics, sprays, posca, inks, and oil pastels. Emma values the power of her artwork, and her goal is not only to visually appeal to people but also to inspire and uplift her audience. Her work centres around positivity and empowerment, reflecting her love of people, culture, travel, and community.

Originally from Leeds, Emma moved to Manchester to study fashion at Manchester Metropolitan University. She fell in love with the city and now considers herself a fiercely proud Mancunian, drawing inspiration from the city and pouring it into her work.

Griot Gabriel

Griot Gabriel is a hip-hop-influenced poet, founder and host of The Poetry Place and full-time youth worker in Manchester. He describes himself as ‘Underdog, Under armour, Under God. His poetry explores race, resistance, personal identity, and relevant social issues. 

Griot Gabriel has been commissioned to write and perform with Chanel, Warner Bros, Manchester United, Manchester International Festival, performed at Glastonbury 23, and performed at the opening book launch of Jason Reynolds.

Ilaria Passeri

Ilaria Passeri is a full-time storyteller for adults and children. In the adult world, she is a co-host of the long-established spoken word night Verbose, and runs her own night in the Northern Quarter, Just Stories.

She works with the Lowry, Z-Arts, Trafford Libraries and North Manchester Libraries on her children’s material, and is developing a family-friendly studio theatre show with the Bolton Octagon.

She recently won best spoken word show for her show at the Manchester Fringe Festival and is the winner of a saboteur award for best story collection. Ilaria is the storyteller in residence at this year's Ripon Theatre Festival. 

Lisa O'Hare

Lisa is a co-host of Manchester spoken word night Verbose and she is a 2023 BBC 'Words First' finalist, a programme from BBC Introducing for emerging spoken word talent. Her poetry has recently been featured on BBC Radio 3 as well as featured on BBC Radio Manchester on several occasions. Her award-nominated spoken word show 'Do You Remember the First Rhyme?' has been part of Edinburgh, Greater Manchester, Camden & Morecambe Fringe Festivals.  

Mark Jackson aka Keith’s Brother

Ten years ago, Keith’s brother started writing stories.

After the initial euphoria at finding an outlet for that creative fire burning since childhood, he soon realised that the world wasn't quite ready for tales of Ian Brown drinking piss, the inner workings of a massage parlour, of being arrested wearing someone else's jeans and one about an auntie who looks a bit like Clint Boon.

In 2023 he supported Reverend And The Makers' Album Launch event in Sheffield, where John McClure (Rev himself) described him as ‘The best musical thing I’ve heard in about four years’.

His work has featured on BBC Radio Manchester, All FM, he’s a regular part of Glasgow’s Thi Wurd Live Event and has performed twice at Liverpool’s famous Violette Societa. His two pod-plays were released by Mancmade Productions in 2021, and his five-track EP (The Swimmer) was released in 2022.

Matt Concannon aka The Thirsty Poet

Born in Salford, Actor and Spoken Word Artist Matt Concannon aka The Thirsty Poet weaves stories of growth, deep rooted in lived experience, twisting tales from the heart and conversations that bloom honesty and relatability. Taking inspiration from the world we live in and often the world we long to live in. Mixing political, challenging, storytelling and Real Talk he opens the conversation in a unique flow and style, often finding the voices for people who feel they don’t have one. Recently writing for Adidas and Salford City FC, Tiny Rebel, Matt creates bespoke Spoken word advertisements for companies looking for a fresh voice to reach their audience. Blossoming into the Manchester Poetry scene post-pandemic, he feels grateful for the opportunities that have come from teaching, workshopping, writing and performing and mostly being surrounded by inspirational voices. 

Alongside the spoken word world Matt’s acting has taken him all over the UK including, Patriots by Peter Morgan writer of The Crown, Coronation Street (ITV), and The Lazarus Project (Sky) and he has just wrapped on a feature film starring Tamsin Greig and Rupert Everett. He is currently performing in Richard, My Richard by Philippa Gregory at Shakespeare North Playhouse.

Sarah Attwell 

Sarah Attwell is an Actor, Writer and mama of two boys- she has been poeting for quite a while too.  A regular on the spoken word scene, she has appeared across the city guesting for many and being commissioned for specific works  - known for her colourful characters and ability to create many voices her work is rare in that it moves into performance easily characters come alive and we slip into a wondrous world within seconds of her stage presence.