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Saturday 10 October 2009

Glitter artist tackles Coronation Street battle-axes

Posted in: Events
By Matt Akersten - 6th October 2009


If the names Ena Sharples, Bet Lynch, Elsie Tanner, Gail Platt and Vera Duckworth (RIP!) mean anything to you, gay glitter artist Stanley Manthyng understands. The long-time fan of Coronation Street has spent all winter preparing to pay homage to his favourite Weatherfield battle-axes.

His newly-unveiled collection of nine close-up mugshots showing strong women from Coronation Street history are now on display in a Kerikeri garden centre.

Hilda Ogden and her fan Stan
Among the portraits are Ena Sharples from the 1960s, a 1980s Bet Lynch, and several characters who are still on TV right up the present day. "Gail's been in the show since 1974," Stanley marvels. "Can you imagine playing one character for so long?"

How long did each huge (1220mm square) solid glitter painting take to complete? The artist isn't sure - he hasn't added up all the cold evenings he spent over winter poring over them. "Gail's hair took twelve hours on its own," he laments. "But her tiny chin only took a few minutes!"

The Kerikeri community's response to the exhibition has been worth all the effort. "It's been flat out. Mental. 120 people came along to the unveiling. A drag king and I revealed them to the crowd, while I told them about the characters," Stanley tells us, noting that a bus full of rest home residents made up some of the crowd.

Emily Bishop with Stan
"I decided they had to be displayed all together on one big wall, rather than split up on different gallery walls. So I needed a great big space to show them off. The garden centre was perfect.

"It's been cool to see how people react. We were on the front page of the local paper, too."

If you'd like to re-live the magic of Hilda Ogden or Deirdre Barlow at home, some of the pictures are still available for purchase. He's sold three of them so far. "Two gay guys from England bought Gail for $1,000, Elsie Tanner went for $1,500 and lovely Emily Bishop went for $1,000," he says.

The Battle-Axes of Coronation Street exhibition runs to the 25th October at Harvies Landscape Plants, 570 Kerikeri Road, Kerikeri. Artist Stanley Manthyng can be contacted via email:


Matt Akersten - 6th October 2009

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