Past Events & Exhibitions


Bureau works internationally with represented and invited artists at varying career stages to provide a platform and context for dynamic and innovative contemporary visual practice. The gallery premieres and commissions new work across a variety of media and presentation formats, both on and off site. Bureau’s exhibition programme is complemented by screenings, talks and performance events, alongside international collaborations, exchange and residency projects. The gallery further supports artists’ practice through publishing initiatives, and participation in art fairs.

The archive below lists all previous exhibitions and events.


Events & Exhibitions

OFFSITE / COMMISSION: New work by Mary Griffiths completed for the National Graphene Institute, Manchester


Drawing on the Origins of Graphene

A huge graphite wall drawing has been unveiled at The University of Manchester’s new National Graphene Institute (NGI). 


Spanning the three upper floors of the recently opened £61m Institute, the permanent artwork depicts the story of graphite and graphene – its geography, geology and development in the North West of England. Graphene is a form of carbon derived from graphite, and at one-atom-thick it promises to revolutionise the material world.


Nobel laureate Sir Kostya Novoselov personally invited Manchester artist Mary Griffiths to create the drawing. Mary’s work has been shown in exhibitions in Manchester, London, and internationally, and she has works in public and private collections. She is also Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Whitworth in Manchester.


The £25,000 commission is made possible through support from Arts Council England and The University of Manchester.


Griffiths’ drawing is titled From Seathwaite after the place where graphite was first found in the Lake District. A 13 by two metre area of white plaster has been completely covered with many layers of graphite, making a dense and reflective black surface – a practice Mary has developed over the past seven years.

Three abstract drawings have been cut into the black surface, representing graphite’s origins in the Lake District, its hexagonal structure, and its development at The University of Manchester into graphene. A team of four assistants worked with Mary to make the drawing in one month.


From Seathwaite is both made of graphite and is about the history of this material. Its permanent location is uniquely at the heart of production and research into graphene. The drawing is highly reflective and literally reflects the architecture of the National Graphene Institute, the people who work in it and the city of Manchester.  


Sir Kostya said: “It has been a pleasure to work closely with Mary on this project, and the drawing is a spectacular success. The history and origins of graphite are, of course, intrinsically linked to graphene and it is great to have such a beautiful piece of art dominating the front of the National Graphene Institute.”


Mary added: “It’s incredibly special and a great honour to have been asked by Sir Kostya Novoselov to make this work of art at the heart of the National Graphene Institute. I’ve been using graphite for many years now and am fascinated by it as a material. For the NGI to bring art and science together in this new building is very forward thinking, making it possible for me to make my largest ever drawing. It shows how art and science come from similar imaginative places.”


The NGI is the world’s leading centre of graphene research and commercialisation. Academics and industrial partners will work side by side on developing graphene applications in state-of-the-art laboratories and collaborative space.


It was funded from £38m from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and £23m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).



Notes for Editors:

An official launch event will be announced shortly. 

Images of the drawing are available from Bureau and The University of Manchester.

Sir Kostya Novoselov and Mary Griffiths are available for interview.

More information about graphene can be found at


Mary Griffiths: (b. 1965, UK) is based in Manchester, and graduated from MA Fine Art at Manchester School of Art in 2009. Griffiths is also Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Whitworth, Manchester, where she has been in post since 2000. Griffiths acclaimed solo exhibitions Still Further (2014-15), and Fathom (2012), took place at Bureau, and in Rangefinder (2014) she showed new work that came from her residency at PS Mirabel, Manchester.


Selected group exhibitions include: Poppositions, Brussels (2015); The Black and White Room, curated by Cornelia Parker as part of the Summer Exhibition, The Royal Academy, London; In Conversation, Touchstones Rochdale; The Drawing Project, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester (2014); Tip of the Iceberg: Art from Up North, Contemporary Art Society, London; The Manchester Contemporary, with Bureau; Some Recent Examples, Sevendale House, Manchester (2013); Cabedal, Plataforma Revólver, Lisbon; The Manchester Contemporary, art fair with Bureau (2012); Memory of a Hope, Ceri Hand Gallery, Liverpool; Workhouse, The Hive, Manchester (2011); This and That, Triple Base Gallery, San Francisco, USA; Four Artists from the Manchester School of Art, FAFA Gallery, Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, Finland (2009); Jerwood Drawing Prize 2008, Jerwood Space, London and touring UK (2008-09).


Her work was featured in the publication Drawing Paper (2012), and her monograph, Pictures of War, was published by Carcanet in 2009. Griffiths has works in a number of institutional and international private collections. Works from her solo exhibition Still Further were recently purchased for the national Arts Council Collection. 



For further information & images please contact:

Sophia Crilly

NGI Commission Project Manager / Director, Bureau

+44 (0)7904 277084 //



Daniel Cochlin

Graphene Communications and Marketing Manager

The University of Manchester

+44 (0)161 275 8382




15 June 2015 to 31 December 2015