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The Best of Manchester 08

The Best of Manchester Awards

Run annually, for 3 years between 2007 – 2009. The Best of Manchester Awards celebrated innovation in art, music and fashion. Organised by Urbis and judged by a panel of industry experts, these annual awards put a spotlight on the boundary-breaking, genre defying kind of work for which Manchester has long been renowned.

The Best of Manchester Awards 2008:
8 August to 27 September 2008

The awards were run via an online, entry based  submission system and culminated in an exhibition representing the very best of our city’s creative talent, and featured mixed media works, the artists winning creations, a wider portfolio of their works as well as that of the shortlisted nominations. 

Art winner

Naomi Kashiwagi

Conceptual artist Naomi Kashiwagi has long been interested in obsolete technological objects such as manual typewriters and gramophones. Her past work includes turning gramophones into record turntables and employing a piano as a drawing instrument. The work for which Naomi was shortlisted is ‘||: Repetition :||, Fugue No.1 in QWERTY for 8 Typewriters’, a music and text score composed for typewriters that saw four pianists and four percussionists ‘playing’ the typewriters. Kashiwagi’s originality won particular praise from the judges. She has since gone on to stage performances at the Barbican (London) and the Whitworth Art Gallery and also featured in a group show at Cornerhouse at the end of 2008, won the Individual Artist Award at the Arts Council’s art08 award.

Fashion nominee Nabil el Nayal has been tipped by the national press as ‘the next face of British womenswear’. He swiped the Womenswear Award at Graduate Fashion Week last summer and won a place on the Royal College of Arts’ Womenswear MA (alumni include Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen). Thanks to Urbis, Nabil’s couture collection became the star of its own fashion shoot in Flux Magazine, with the resulting photographs displayed at Harvey Nichols Manchester, October 2008.

Fashion winner

Rags to Bitches

Vintage boutique Rags to Bitches, is much more than a run-of-the-mill second-hand store. It offers a bespoke dressmaking service; has its own label; runs sewing, pattern-cutting and dressmaking courses; counts celebrities such as Celine Dion among its fans; supports up-and-coming local designers and was recently voted by The Daily Telegraph as one of Britain’s best boutiques. The boutique is growing fast and went on to win Best Female Clothes Shop in the Galaxy 2008 Awards and was Highly Commended for Best Womenswear in the Drapers Awards.

Music winner

Richard Cheetham

2008 music winner was Richard Cheetham. Music promoter Richard Cheetham is the brains behind independent label, club night and fanzine, High Voltage. Cheetham began High Voltage as a student and, over the past five years, has gone on to publish music by bands including The KBC, The Answering Machine and Nine Black Alps. It was this entrepreneurial spirit – and his support of new music in Manchester – that won Cheetham praise from the judges. 

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