Get Over It – Exhibition by Carol Mancke
Exhibition and installation by Carol Mancke at the Mid Pennine Gallery in Burnley Lancashire.
Get Over It is an interactive exhibition that took inspiration from Burnley’s industrial heritage. Through her ‘Safe and Healthy Art’, artist Carol Mancke explores how rules and regulations can take away opportunities for people to exercise judgement, understand risk and take responsibility as individuals. She also questions the growing culture of people and organisations being forced to tick boxes, rather than having the opportunity to address underlying causes of problems that are perceived to pose unacceptable risk.
The exhibition also challenges the popular notion that art is something to be viewed from a comfortable distance. The work invites participation, thereby raising questions about the potential risks to both the visitor and the artwork. By getting the audience to physically engage with the exhibition the artist raises issues about the fragility and durability of an artwork, and what determines its commercial and cultural value.
Alyse North writes about the exhibition her review published in the Lancaster Art Network Newsletter:
The haptic nature of the installation is enjoyable and thought provoking. The act of touching and climbing on the art works – ultimately transgressive in all but a smallish corner of contemporary visual art – provides a particular sense of freedom and involvement that view-only artworks would struggle to offer. The requirement of physical participation presents a possibility of knowing and understanding in a way that cannot be achieved by just looking. The expletive title of the show encourages the visitor to accomplish something while they are there. Perhaps the limited and limiting nature of what we accept as our reality is simply an amalgamation of petty concerns, a string of monotone beliefs and rules, which can easily be overcome. Our set of circumstances can be altered; a new freedom can be found, through engagement and participation. The invitation is there.
There is a valuable topic for contemplation offered by this exhibition, which is this: our expectations of ourselves and others, coupled with our inhibitive fears and the memory of past physical injury, compounded by the corporate way of dealing with these things, combine together to feed countless limitations into our daily lives. We are stringently limited in social and work environments… This climate of limitation profoundly affects the way we live, and in recent decades has given rise to the extensive and influential industry known to us now as ‘Health and Safety’. (Such a promise in an uncertain world!) This industry is in many ways ridiculous, and widely ridiculed – a thread that Mancke takes pleasure in tugging. Yet it is undeniable that ‘H&S’ is essential in the increasingly litigious culture we have in Great Britain. And undoubtedly we owe the non-arrival of many precarious even calamitous happenings to its existence. The way things are, we cannot manage without it. But isn’t it enlivening and refreshing to poke a bit of fun, to employ our physical and creative selves to – very simply – get over it? Individual and societal limitations reflect and reinforce each other. There is much that wants to hold us back. But once we take action and engage our sense of humour, our serious surroundings can once again become a playground.
Get Over It continues until 13 March. For more information visit