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The Northern Boys at Contemporary Six Gallery: Capturing Manchester through Plein Air Painting

Updated: Sep 28

You could search far and wide, but you would be hard-pressed to find nine more talented plein air painters than The Northern Boys. Plein air painting is the art of painting landscape in the open air; unlike with studio painting, you can really capture an image in the moment rather than relying on photographs or memories to provide inspiration.

The Northern Boys have travelled far and wide perfecting their craft. Their Mediterranean escapades have taken them to the canals of Venice and the river port of Seville, but despite their artistic excursions abroad, Manchester always calls them back home. Visually, their work is stunning, and they capture the essence of the ‘rainy city’ like few others before them.

Fondamenta Giacinto Gallina, Venice, Steven Smith

We have been attempting to showcase their extraordinary skill on film as we work to create a short documentary on the nine artists. The Northern Boys are the epitome of industriousness and innovation, each of them attempting to represent the quintessential qualities of what it means to be northern through their artwork. As the cohort continue to build on their already significant individual and collective reputations, we will record and bear witness to their lives as plein air painters.

Shaded Chinatown, Manchester, Rob Pointon

Over the next two weeks, The Northern Boys will be exhibiting their work together for the first time at Contemporary Six gallery in Manchester. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for more information about our upcoming short documentary on The Northern Boys, and to check out the extraordinary artwork which will be on display from April 6th-21st.

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