Ryan Gander: The Find

29 Jun - 16 Jul 2023

No booking required
A coin from Ryan Gander's 'The Find' placed on a stone wall
29 Jun - 16 Jul 2023
No booking required

We took a quest across the city in search of artist Ryan Gander’s latest works.

Look up from your phone, wander through the streets and keep your eyes peeled. Hundreds of thousands of coins were hidden in plain sight across Manchester throughout MIF23...

But The Find used a different kind of currency. These weren't your bog-standard copper coins – they're collectable artworks, lucky charms and decision-making tools rolled into one, created by artist Ryan Gander.

There were three designs to collect, each embellished with nuggets of wisdom to guide you and even help you make big, small or medium-sized decisions.

They were hidden in key locations across the city... left on park benches, walls, steps, in food courts and libraries or tucked away in parking ticket machines. Think of them as your invitation to go out and explore.

With The Find, Ryan Gander injected mystery into our everyday encounters, encouraging us to see the world around us differently. Known for creating work that makes us question what we see, Ryan’s practice takes on many forms. The common thread between them? A real knack for storytelling.

And like a good story, you could decide whether to hold onto your coins forever or pass ‘em on. Finders’ keepers.


Photography: Lee Baxter


Ryan Gander’s collectable coin artworks were hidden in the following locations:

  • Aviva Studios and Festival Square
  • Alexandra Park in Moss Side
  • Broadfield Park in Rochdale
  • China Town
  • Crumpsall Park
  • Gay Village, Sackville Gardens and Vimto Park
  • Heaton Park in Higher Blackley
  • Northern Quarter (at Cutting Room Square and New Islington Marina), Fred Aldous and Ancoats
  • Mayfield Park
  • Peel Park in Salford
  • St Anne’s Square and Exchange Square
  • St Peter’s Square, Central Library and Spinningfields
  • Wythenshawe Park
Watch ↓ 
The artist Ryan Gander in his studio. He is a white man, wearing a black hoody and trousers and a multi-coloured cap and trainers.

In the Studio with Ryan Gander


Commissioned and produced by Factory International for Manchester International Festival.

Access Information

The Find take places across Manchester. The coins will be placed in a variety of accessible public but hidden places (at different heights) so that everyone is able to engage with the project.

Audio Description

This is an audio description for the Find, a Public Art project by Ryan Gander.

The Find encourages the people of Manchester to participate in the quest to find and collect three different types of coins. The coins are made from zinc alloy with nickel plating embossing on both sides with a polished plate finish. The size of each coin is 25 by 2mm, the same size as a 10p piece.

All the coins have reed edging also known as grooved, and there are words and sayings embossed on both sides of the coin. The coins have two sides, obverse known as heads is the front of the coin and the reverse known as tails is the back of the coin. There are different typefaces and styles, but they all contain words, thoughts and sayings.

On one of the coins, the word SOLO is embossed on the obverse side on a smooth, polished mirror like background surface. As we look closer, we can see a single bee buzzing against the rim of the coin. Is this the Manchester Worker Bee? All around in a circular band or embossed the words: know that your place in the world is not fixed. On the reverse of the coin The word TOGETHER is embossed in the middle of the coin, slightly obscured by a dense pattern of double rings across the surface, up to the outer edge or rim. Does this symbolize two rings joined together, a symbol of joint covenant, unity and united love or life? Around the perimeter, the embossed text reads: tend to curiosities beyond your identity.

On the second coin, the words JUST LISTEN are embossed on the obverse side against a smooth, polished surface. Words in relief and in tiny letters MIF just sitting on the edge of the coin. The coin feels almost smooth to touch. The text along the rim of the coin reads: Your silence is louder than their raised voice. There is a design of embossed beading in repetition of three around the outer rim. On the reverse side, the word SPEAK is centrally positioned on the coin erupting from this, a repeat pattern of speech bubbles spilling and expanding in size and emanating in a sonar like sound pattern.

The text along the perimeter reads: Panoramic voice.Panoramic vision with speech commas dotted along the outer rim of the coin, as if almost accentuating the voice.

On the third coin, we have the word PAUSE, positioned centrally with a pile of numbers stacked as if they were bumping against each other close to the rim. Does this evoke the counting of hours passing by or the collapsing of time? Will this inspire us to find time for reflection and thought? Come a little closer and you'll see the minuscule text.

RG 23 is the year of issue. Playfully hidden amongst the numbers, the wording around the edge of the coin allows us to reflect and consider where it reads. Lets the world take a turn. Repeated three times. Flipping the coin to tails. The word ACTION takes a central position on a densely embossed surface, which is covered with interlocking pattern like scales moving, almost dancing, so you can barely read the words generating and recreating a sense of activity and motion.

On the reverse side, there is a smooth perimeter which runs like a band around the inner edge of the coin, where the text reads: Time is your greatest asset.

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