A Divergent Era: An exhibition of human attributes through the Zoetrope Experiment

Alexander Harold, will present his first solo exhibition in Manchester, where he explores the attributes of beauty, power, and intelligence through a unique series of paintings inspired by the 19th century zoetrope.

By Manchester's Finest | 7 July 2023

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Manchester’s Smolensky Gallery will play host to the first solo exhibition of Alexander Harold, a young and talented artist from the Staffordshire Moorlands. His collection, entitled “A Divergent Era,” runs 7th – 10th July.

The exhibition features a series of 12 acrylic on canvas paintings collectively known as “The Zoetrope Experiment”. Harold’s artwork draws inspiration from the 19th-century zoetrope, a cylindrical optical toy that predated the cinema camera and offered the illusion of continuous motion.

Alexander Harold, originally from the village of Stanley near Stoke-on-Trent, explained his unique approach to the exhibition: “The experiment was designed to put into motion the appreciation of the attributes we find most attractive and desired within the human make-up. Through exploration of mutation and metamorphosis, I aim to portray new meanings in these attributes.”

Focusing on the attributes of beauty, power, and intelligence, Harold encourages his audience to examine these qualities in new ways. He seeks to incite viewers to thrive in their attributes, combine them, transition between them, and strive for mastery.

Adding to the anticipation of the physical exhibition, Harold made a deliberate choice not to display his paintings online. “I want to provoke emotions that can only be felt by viewing the real art rather than a flat screen representation of it,” he stated.

Harold’s love for fine art started when he was four years old, using only a pencil and paper to give life to the creativity burgeoning in his mind. Despite receiving a scholarship from Repton Art School, he initially shied away from a full-time career in art, instead exploring photography, videography, and jewellery design. But his passion for painting remained and was reignited during the lockdown.

“All the paintings in the exhibition will be available to buy either as the original or as prints,” the artist said, inviting interested attendees to own a piece of his unique exploration of human attributes.

The exhibition is free to attend throughout the weekend, no ticket is required – but for those wanting to go to tonight’s opening preview you just need to register free tickets here.