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Achtung 74

It’s 1974 and 16-year-old Ian McKay has just left secondary school, his adolescent world bursting with music, football,
fashion, and romantic intrigue.For Achtung 74, McKay sets flashbacks of his vibrant yet uncertain youth in east Manchester against the unknown lives of his peers living behind the wall in East Berlin. He imagines a pen pal romance between a British lad and an East German girl, sharing everyday details of their disparate lives as well as their hopes for the future. McKay sets out to build a correspondence between his own memories and imagination, juxtaposing the familiarities and the diversity of these exchanges. Through comparisons of colour, archive imagery, currency, postage stamps and his love of his nearby circus, McKay depicts [captures] this fractured divide in a new series where each work takes a hit single from 1974 as its title.

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Achtung 74 show in the ‘Platform Space” at Rogue
Artist’s Studios, Manchester, November 2023.

Feedback comments.

“Great exhibition!!, thank you. It is a fabulously alive, creative. thoughtful series of 2D
art. I love the clean edges, the content, and the layers. Thank you for also sharing
the intimacy of your sketchbooks, and the workings out, as some of them, during
what must have been a very long labour of love to bring all these ideas together so
profoundly and so beautifully.

- Dee

“Excellent stuff Ian !!, so much of this will resonate to many!”

- Geoff

“Beautifully presented Ian, a delight of colour, nostalgia too, for me I was a “wee
lady” in the 70’s, it’ll always be my era, explosion of Punk Rock “.

- Michelle

“Well done on your impressive solo show! I particularly like the works on Canvas and
the records, nostalgia in technicolour. Look forward to seeing how your new work
progresses in your new journey”.

- Jenny

‘Fantastic exhibition really loved the wall of vinyl. Great to look through sketchbooks
too and see the workings behind everything.”

- Tom

“For us the Achtung exhibition brought back memories of our formative years. Very
familiar images reimagined for a modern audience, with all the colour and vibrancy of
1974 held within each disc. Fabulous!”.

- Nigel

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