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Headshot of Noel Gallagher outside India House on Whitworth Street in Manchester.

Global superstar Noel Gallagher photographed by former College student

The shoot forms part of the College’s ground-breaking student-led photography project, Greater Mancunians.

Former Level 3 Photography student, Katie O’Neill, got a once in a lifetime opportunity to photograph legendary Mancunian musician, singer and songwriter, Noel Gallagher.

Noel, who was stopping off in his hometown of Manchester ahead of a gig at Liverpool Arena, had his picture taken outside India House on Whitworth Street by Katie.

The former photography student only had 24 hours to prepare for the shoot and was given the chance to visit the place where Noel had written all the songs for the first two Oasis albums Definitely Maybe and What's the Story, Morning Glory.

Noel explained: “India House is literally ground zero in the story of my musical life!  I moved into a flat there with my then girlfriend in 1989, broke and bored.  By the time I left in 1993 I’d joined my little brother’s band and had written Live Forever and Rock ‘n’ Roll Star!”

Katie, who is now a Technician in the Photography department at the College, reflected on the experience shortly after the shoot was over:

Being involved in Greater Mancunians and in particular with this once in a lifetime shoot with Noel was amazing.  Opportunities like this don’t come around often.  It has certainly boosted my confidence and added some memorable images to my portfolio.

Greater Mancunians is run in collaboration with the Manchester City Council and captures the essence of those who were born and bred in, or have contributed significantly to, Greater Manchester.  It celebrates the contributors’ impact on the city and its surrounding boroughs.

Over the course of the project, which has been running for seven years and is due to exhibit at the iconic Manchester Central Library from Friday 19 April to Sunday 30 June 2024, over 150 young visual artists and 120 Greater Mancunians, including celebrities and inspiring everyday heroes, have contributed to its success.

The College’s Photography tutor, Harry Potts, is the project’s main coordinator and oversees students as they build essential employability and work experience skills crucial for entry into the creative industries.  Harry added: “The project started in 2016 when a student wanted to photograph legendary poet John Cooper Clarke for his final major project.

“The photo was taken under Blackfriars Bridge, connecting Salford to Manchester, next to his life-sized stencil by the artist Stewy.  We repeated this collaborative formula with a handful of other notable Mancunians and slowly a project was organically developing.

“As with John Cooper Clarke, we always ask the contributor to choose the location for the photography.  This is an integral part of the project as we want the image to have poignancy and context.  Professor of Emergency Medicine Tony Redmond chose inside the NHS Nightingale Hospital.  Actor Bill Roache was photographed on the set of Coronation Street and Noel Gallagher chose India House where he lived during the whole Madchester era and where the story of Oasis began!”

Harry concluded: “The knowledge, skills and experience our current and former students gain during the shoots are second to none and I couldn’t think of a better way of preparing them for success in industry.”

Find out more about the Photography courses at The Manchester College and apply.