A who’s who of local music stars turned out for an exhibition opening at Manchester’s Richard Goodall Gallery, celebrating influential design studio Central Station, the team responsible for creating iconic cover art for groups such as Happy Mondays, Black Grape and James.
Happy Mondays/Black Grape vocalist Shaun Ryder and former band mates Paul Ryder and Bez (Mark Berry) were among the guests at last Thursday’s launch. The likes of Stones Roses/Primal Scream bassist Mani and Stones Roses guitarist John Squire mingled with Specials frontman Terry Hall, and filmmaker Michael Winterbottom, who directed the 2002 film “24 Hour Party People,” which explored the infamous late 80s/early 90s “Madchester” era and featured titles designed by Manchester-based Central Station.
The exhibition contains approximately thirty-five Central Station artworks, and runs in the newly-opened central Manchester gallery from May 15 until 21 June.
“We’ve been thinking about putting an exhibition together for the past five years and we’ve just been looking for the right place,” says Matt Carroll, who along with his brother Pat and Karen Jackson, form the Central Station team. “It needed to be in Manchester. That was very important.”
Reflecting on their first retrospective exhibition, Matt Carroll says, “It feels really fresh. A lot of the responses from people that have been walking around have been: ‘God, it looks as fresh and as good today as it did then.’ To me personally, it looks as relevant to its surrounding as it did when we first did them.”
“The ethics of Central Station has always been that it’s a team,” adds Pat Carroll. “All the decisions are made as a team and that’s what makes it special… In the days when we first set up we were doing things that were pretty groundbreaking in terms of design and I think if you were working on your own you’d be a little bit nervous about doing it. The three of us together – we didn’t give a shit what anybody thought because we all supported each other and we told each other that what we were doing was right.”