21 Mar 2008
Réification: making the abstract concrete 
Reification *
Midday. Midsummer. Manchester.

Peter Saville, Liam Spencer, Steve Coogan, Ben Kelly, Peter Hook, and Mark Radcliffe have all pledged their support to Reification - the Tony Wilson Experience, this summer.

The six creatives - representing design, art, acting, architecture, music and broadcasting - are the first in what will be an eclectic mix of creative talents to agree to take part in the event being held in Manchester in memory of broadcaster, entrepreneur, and creative champion, Anthony H Wilson.

Billed as Manchester's longest intelligent conversation the event launches at 12 noon on Saturday 21 June 2008 when some of the biggest names in design, the creative industries, media and the arts will begin a 24 hour conversation and debate, before a selected audience of up to two hundred talented and creative young people from across the city and beyond.

The 'talent' attending the event will be selected for the potential they show across a broad spectrum of the creative arts.

Full details of how individuals can apply to be a part of the event will be announced in April and will be based on them making a creative submission which will be judged against other entries.

In the meantime anyone interested is invited to register their interest via the event website www.tonywilsonexperience.com in order to receive updates on the event and an alert when submissions open.

Peter Saville, design guru and Creative Director for Manchester who co-founded Factory Records with his long-standing friend and colleague Tony Wilson, said: "There was always a bigger picture in play with Tony.

"If there was a chance to foster new talent he'd take it. If he could fuse different disciplines together into something brave and new and unexpected, he'd make it happen. He was at all times crucible, catalyst and collector.

"Great things are going to come out of this weekend - both for the students and for the experienced creatives themselves. Everyone there is going to be able to learn from and to share ideas with the rest of the participants."

Peter Saville also talked to Andy Crane about the Tony Wilson Experience on Channel M News yesterday.

Artist Liam Spencer said: "Although Tony and I didn't know each other well, we did meet up a few times - and of course studying in Manchester in the eighties as I did, you couldn't help but know about Tony and Factory Records - the music and the design that went with it.

"The most impressive thing to me about all of this was that it was all on my doorstep - that people from this city were going out and doing these wonderful things in the world. Manchester really did begin to blossom creatively during this time and it was good to feel that I could be a part of this.

"Painting is just what I discovered I could do and I've been lucky enough to be able to make it my job.

"If I can give a sense of what I do and what my painting is about to other people who share my love of painting and perhaps help push them further on with their own ambitions that would be great.

"Anything to encourage young people to be creative is a good thing, and getting the different creative disciplines together is going to make for a really interesting and informative discussion.

"Having a network and a community of artists to work with was fairly crucial in helping me to survive and to establish myself as an artist when I first started out, so if this event gives people a chance to talk to each other and to draw inspiration from other creative people then this is going to really benefit everyone involved."

Funded by Manchester City Council it is hoped that this year's event will form the basis for further activity next year and in future years.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: "Tony Wilson gave a lot to Manchester and was always fiercely proud both of his northern roots and the talent that came out of the city.

"In recognition of this the Tony Wilson Experience is designed to stimulate, inspire and engage the next generation of cultural innovators from Manchester.

"We've had a fantastic response to the whole idea so far and I am confident that with the pool of creative talent we have at our disposal to take part in the event, this is going to be literally one of the most talked about, unmissable, creative 24 hours in the history of Manchester."

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