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My mate Dave brings Barcelona to Manchester

Submitted by on February 3, 2013 – 3:37 pmNo Comment

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Everyone has a mate Dave. It is so common to have a mate called Dave, that it is almost a cliché. Most people have a few friends called Dave, but most only have one Dave who has earned the prefix ‘mate’ or ‘my mate’. My mate Dave is a talented little get and he’s just organised a much-lauded collaboration between Manchester and Barcelona.

He’s come a long way from when we were teenagers, coppering up to afford a pint in Chorlton. He grew out his blonde highlights, the hole for his hoop earring healed many years ago and since then he has become one of our city’s best graphic designers.

His latest project involves inviting designers from five of the best creative companies in Barcelona over to Manchester to show their work and forge links between the two metropolises during a fascinating two-week exhibition. The agencies coming over are called Hey, Lamosca, Lo Siento, Mayúscula and Mucho and they have a range of specialties.

I can confirm that this has been the zenith of an idea that Dave has held in his head for many years. Whenever we would visit European cities, including Barcelona itself, he would be collating flyers or taking pictures of strange signage. We all thought he was a bit, well, weird. While most of us were admiring views of a traditional kind, he was on the look out for the ‘different’. Be it a sticker on a wall or a street sign hanging down from an otherwise non-descript alleyway, it was collected either physically or on film (or whatever cameras have in them now). As it turned out, he wasn’t weird, just smart.

This love for Barcelona’s unique take on visuals led to him contacting agencies in Catalonia with a view to setting up something to highlight their work and a hub to swap ideas between our two cities.

While over there on holiday last year as his lovely, Spanish speaking wife was working hard, he went ‘weird’ again and spent his time hatching BCN:MCR, which takes place from Thursday, February 21, at 2022NQ, 20-22 Dale Street, in town.

Don’t be put off by the northern quarter-ness of it all or even the abbreviation to ‘NQ’, the venue is a great not-for-profit collaboration which houses many art events from shows, to low-key gigs and has provided a valuable outlet for creativity in Manchester city centre. All it needs is an in-house leftwing poet and it could call itself a tertulia. And that can’t be bad.

People queue up to go to the latest art exhibitions, yet may question their attendance at an event showcasing design, which is daft. Graphic design is an equally creative and important aspect of our visual world. Exhibitions are a great chance for the public and those involved in design to see how people are presenting their take on the world, while delivering a message.

If you get chance, it will be well worth popping along, even if you have only a passing interest in the field. Most of us can’t paint, but we still go to galleries, so with that in mind support your city as it cements another nice cultural partnership, courtesy of my mate Dave.

For more information visit: bcnmcr.co.uk
For info on the venue visit: 2022nq.co.uk

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