Law firm celebrates Manchester’s finest with new artworks


A series of portraits celebrating great Mancunians has been unveiled in the new offices of leading law firm Clyde & Co.

Portraits of mathematician Alan Turing, suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst and journalist and impresario Tony Wilson were commissioned from award-winning Stockport-based artist Lindi Kirwin.

Manchester-based photographic artist Neil Roland has also created eight works containing multiple photographs of the city. These includes pieces focusing on Manchester locations associated with the lives of football legends Sir Matt Busby and Francis Lee.

The works were commissioned for Clyde & Co’s new office, which officially opens in November in the city’s Royal Exchange and houses the firm's 500+ staff. Architect Thomas Harrison, who built the second Royal Exchange building, is also celebrated. Today’s building is the third to bear the name.

Natalie Griffin, Clyde & Co's Chief Operating Officer based in Manchester, said:

"The Royal Exchange is a historic landmark, and we wanted the office to celebrate the city's heritage. Commissioning these works of art was our way of showing our pride in Manchester while supporting some of our local artists.

"When staff and clients come to our office, they'll be surrounded by images of Manchester's influential people and places, which we hope creates an inspirational space for all."

Lindi Kirwin’s portraits begin life as images she creates on a computer. She then turns them into fully-realised portraits on canvas using acrylics and mixed media in a style she describes as ‘colourful, contemporary and quirky.’ She said:

“I’ve really enjoyed this commission for Clyde & Co. I’ve met some lovely people and it’s great to see my works hung in such a prominent space.”

Neil Roland creates complex, multi-sectional artworks using photographs he either takes specifically for the project or draws from his library of over half-a-million images he has captured over 20 years. His work incorporates architectural details, reflections on glass and metal, books and details of objects. His piece celebrating Sir Matt Busby and Francis Lee is called ‘A City United’ and incorporates a 1970 Mexico World Cup coin as well as elements of the city that are distinctly red or blue. This includes the red post box on Corporation Street that survived the 1996 Arndale bomb.

Neil said:

“I’m a Mancunian and am proud of the city, so this was a great commission. Also, I’m legally trained so was able to understand the type of law Clyde & Co practice.

“I love to use the detail of the city in my pieces – things that only Mancunians would recognise like the turquoise velvets seats that have been in the Royal Exchange theatre for year and years.”

The pictures will hang in the firm’s reception area and a range of meeting rooms, which have also been named after Manchester luminaries.

Alan Turing worked at Manchester University after the Second World War and lived in Wilmslow until his death in 1954. Emmeline Pankhurst was born in Moss Side while Tony Wilson is synonymous with the city’s music scene and Hacienda club.

Clyde & Co’s new Manchester office will be launched on Monday 4 November. The firm has been operating in the city since 2011.