A 20th Century Retro Homeware Exhibition is coming to Ancoats

Sculptor and Ceramicist, Annabel Cucuz is launching a month long celebration of her work at Ancoats Wine Shop, KERB.

By Emma Davidson | Last updated 19 December 2023

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An obsession with retro-esque furniture and stand-out homeware pieces is one that’s synonymous with bare-brick Northern Quarter townhouses and Ancoats apartments.

Tomorrow at KERB, Manchester-based sculptor, ceramicist and designer, Annabel Cucuz will launch an exhibition of her unique, futuristic pieces that have a grounding in mid-century furniture. They’re statement interior works of art that would slot well into any home, but may not have even existed if it wasn’t for the pandemic. 

“I was still in university during 2020, so I ended up doing a lot of my work from home due to COVID-19. Being a sculptor, it was difficult to work on larger pieces in the constraints of my bedroom, so I started making smaller models.

“This is when my vase collections were born. People started messaging me asking if they could buy the pieces, and I realised that they could exist on their own. I then learned how to create them properly using clay, bought myself a kiln and the rest is history!”

Annabel draws inspiration from 20th century design and futuristic aesthetics that are truly ahead of their time. She cites films including the 1971 Stanley Kubrick classic, A Clockwork Orange as having a huge impact on her creative process, as well as architects including Alison and Peter Smithson who are associated with the ‘New Brutalism’ design movement. 

She will host a launch party for her exhibition tomorrow at the Ancoats wine merchant, in collaboration with Fringed Stems, a seasonal and sustainable Manchester-based florist. 

“I remember walking past KERB a couple of months ago and I just knew I had to hold my very first Manchester exhibition there. It’s so futuristic, with its curved interior design and lit up wine bottles – it just matched my design style beautifully. I also love wine, so it ticks all of the boxes!”

Annabel will be attending the launch party tomorrow to discuss her pieces with guests, some of which were recently crafted during a two-month long stay in Italy with a woman who had a pottery studio on the ground floor of her house. 

The opportunity to change her environment reinvented Annabel’s creative process, meaning that these pieces are entirely exclusive to the exhibition, with the option to buy online after the show, too. As always, KERB will be serving up glasses and bottles of its very best wines alongside the her work. 

Annabel’s ‘Near Futures’ exhibition will take place at KERB from Friday 10th June until Thursday 30th June. The launch party takes place tomorrow from 7pm onwards. 


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