Ambition – at HOME, Manchester

As part of their curatorial residency at HOME, for one night only Instigate Arts took over the main gallery in HOME to examine the hopes and fears that shape our ambition, and question the corrupting influences that fuel them.

Curated by Kevin Burke and Annelouise Kershaw ‘Ambition’ explored our insatiable struggle to succeed, our fascination with celebrity and status and our constant search for affirmation, approval and acceptance. From our desperation to survive to our determination to thrive, no matter what the cost.

How does ambition feed our ideas and ideals, push the work we produce and affect the choices we make? And how does global ambition affect the personal? By examining these motives, we explore the strange lengths and depths we will go to to satiate our desires.

The exhibition included  a full line up of installation, painting, video, composition, poetry, spoken word, performance, durational dance  and more.


Artists involved were:


A film of the exhibition has been created by film maker Sophie Broadgate and an image set has been taken by photographer Lee Baxter. The film and image set can bee seen below.


In terms of the execution and presentation of ‘Ambition’, it was my ideal gallery experience, containing a mixture of still pieces, video and performance that meant the contexts constantly shifted and spoke to each other and the themes were both laid bare and nuanced. The professionalism of everything made it indistinguishable in execution from HOME’s longer term gallery offerings and I was very impressed by that. I think the popularity of the three-hour event in terms of attendance also reflected its strengths. The conversations I had on the night, and since, about my piece and others to me were the real outcome. Even for a performer, what you take away from the gallery is as important as what you bring and that has proved absolutely true for me with the ‘Ambition’ project. – Greg Thorpe – Artist Writer, Editor, Blogger, DJ and Events promoter in Manchester


‘Ambition’ live event filmed and edited by Sophie Broadgate



“Working with Instigate Arts was a logistic and creative pleasure. I have learnt so much about the concepts that underpin my own work as well as title and theme the show in whole. To be involved in such a diverse exhibition has broadened my ideas and encouraged me to explore my work in a more experimental way. I do not know, or have not witnessed an exhibition that crosses so many boundaries with the creative spectrum. They have took on a great deal of work and have really captured the concerns and ideas within the theme of ‘Ambition.’ They are of real importance to arts and culture within the north west. I  would like nothing more than to work with them again.” –  Richard Hughes – Artist.



‘Ambition’ live event photography by Lee Baxter

“I felt supported really well, anything I needed was there for me. Great attitude in communication, enthusiastic and very helpful. Show was managed and curated to a high standard, strong work that I was proud to be a part of. This standard and variation of work is a great asset to HOME and I would love to see more work curated by IA there for longer durations also.”  – Louise Woodcock (Trish) – Artist.



Full film work featured in Ambition listed by artist:

Kevin Burke


Michelle Hannah:  Link to Michelle’s video page. Featured film is ‘Glass’


Emily Mulenga:

“It was great working with you guys, you were very supportive and made the process of exhibiting super easy for me, taking care of everything from start to finish, so really grateful for that. The video was exhibited how I envisaged as well.” – Emily Mulenga – Artist


Live Performances

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