Skip Navigation


Anna Clough

These legs are made for painting

These legs are made for painting centres around the Thirlmere Reservoir in Cumbria, which holds a utilitarian value to Manchester, having provided drinking water to the city, since the flooding of the original village, in the early 19th Century. The artist was drawn to its natural beauty, feeling a spiritual connection to this place.

The work was realised through a performance by Clough at the reservoir, who wore bespoke feet braces ‘feet brushes’ that sprayed inks over her dress as she walked. The inks comprised of reservoir water and natural dyes found within the Lake District and Manchester. The mix of green hues – emphasised by the overlapping of the fabric – has natural connotations informed by the landscape, whilst also complementing the tiles of the historic Grosvenor building foyer. Through this process of expanded painting, the artist explores the marks people create while exploring a place. The dress is shown here in the plaque alongside one of the bespoke foot braces, commemorating the reservoir and its connection to Manchester.

Anna Clough is a Fine Art student at Manchester School of Art, and co-founder of Gypsophila Collective. In her practice, Anna creates marks that respond to the world around her. She explores the human perceptions of our surroundings, questioning the definitions and boundaries of rural space. Clough investigates what painting is; in most recent work she explores her perceived similarity it holds to walking, as well as its gestural tactile qualities.

The Plaque Prize is an annual open call for Manchester School of Art students to propose a work which is designed to fit in the now vacant frame in the historic Grosvenor building. The selected work is displayed for a year.

More details