Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Pankhurst in The Park, Manchester Autumn 2014

This Autumn, Alexandra Arts will be curating Pankhurst in The Park; a programme of free events and activities celebrating Alexandra Park’s rich historical connection to the iconic suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst. 

Pankhurst in the Park takes inspiration from the Park's rich heritage connected to the leader of the Suffragette Movement, Emmeline Pankhurst, who was born and bred only yards from the Park in the neighbouring Moss Side estate.

The local community of Moss Side has hosted its fair share of radical history but Emmeline’s achievements, while volatile and controversial, helped to change the course of women's history, and Alexandra Arts believes this legacy is something to celebrate!

To highlight this historical socio-political heritage, which has until now has left no trace locally, Pankhurst in The Park is taking the opportunity to promote the wealth of talented female artists around the world and to provide a platform for art created by women.

The programme will include the Park’s first International Artist Residency, Go! Push Pops from Brooklyn, New York, combined with a free public programme of artist talks and installations situated in and around the stunning Grade 2-listed Alexandra Park and Pavilion.

The programme is open to all and provides the perfect excuse to nose around the newly renovated park and pavilion*. So, come and join us with friends and family for one or more of our fabulous free events.

4 October, 1-4pm
Big Life Draw[ing]: Katarzyna Jablonska
Join artist Katarzyna Jablonska in the newly opened pavilion for an exclusive viewing and talk about her recent commission for Pankhurst In The Park, followed by a tutored life drawing class.
Acoustic Set: Ríoghnach Connolly & Associates
Singer and flutist Ríoghnach Connolly, while strongly rooted in her trad Sean-nós background, also stirs elements of Appalachia, blues and jazz into the folk archive.
Big Draw Mayhem: Naomi Kashiwagi
Families are invited to join artist Naomi Kashiwagi in our exciting Big Draw activity at the park. The Big Draw is an international drawing festival taking place in over twenty countries throughout October

15 October, 5.30-8.30pm
In Conversation With Dr. Helen Pankhurst
Join us in conversation with Dr. Helen Pankhurst as we discuss our new Pankhurst in The Park programme. Inspired by Helen’s great grandmother Emmeline Pankhurst, the programme celebrates Alexandra Park’s connection to the British suffragette movement and its leader, who was born in Moss Side in 1858. Our conversation will be followed by a question and answer session, so get your questions ready!
Meet Our Artist In Residence: Go! Push Pops
Our first ever, international artist in residence will be flying over from Brooklyn, New York, to talk about their practice and their involvement in our programme.
Talk By Hysteria Magazine
London-based HYSTERIA is a periodical and a platform for feminist activism. With a printed publication and happenings all over the world, this is one story not to be missed.

1 November, 12-5pm
Woodland Exhibition Tour: Sarah Hardacre
Artist Sarah Hardacre will reveal the results of her recent commission for Pankhurst In The Park, with a walk and tour through the park's preserved woodland.
Artist Talk: Lynn Setterington
Join Lynn Setterington for a talk about her collaborative signature cloth, which marks the centenary of the death of Emily Wilding Davison at the Epsom Derby in June 1913.
Zine Mania: The Chapness & Queen of the Track
Feminist zine making workshop with Manchester based The Chapess and Liverpool's very own Queen of the Track.

29 November, 7-10pm
Artist Talk and Film Screening: Nataly Lebouleux
A screening of the stop-motion animation film Illuminate will be taking place with an introduction by Nataly Lebouleux - and her props.
Artist In Residence Performance; Go! Push Pops
All the way from Brooklyn, New York, join our artist in residence for a specially commissioned performance at Alexandra Park.
Installation By Julie Fitzpatrick
In collaboration with students from Manchester University's School of Architecture, Architect Julie Fitzpatrick will be exhibiting her new installation at the pavilion.
Music – Dj set by the Mighty Quinn

Alexandra Park
Alexandra Park has been serving the communities of Whalley Range and Moss Side for 144 years. Covering an area of 60 acres, it is one of the earliest and most complete of Manchester’s Victorian parks. Alexandra Park is regarded as of national importance and is a Grade 2-listed landscape on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens. It has recently reopened following a restoration project funded by Manchester City Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, English Cricket Board, the Lawn Tennis Association and Sport England. Facilities include floodlit tennis courts, a cricket square, lacrosse pitches and buildings with community meeting spaces, toilets and changing facilities. The Serpentine Lake has been restored, alongside new hard and soft landscaping, whilst the raised walk has become a formal zone. It’s beautiful but, don’t trust us, come along and see it for yourself!
Alexandra Arts

Alexandra Arts is an artist-led collective based in Manchester's Alexandra Park and founded in 2010. Alexandra Arts is curating the Pankhurst In The Park programme, which has received funding from the Arts Council of England and Norwegian Embassy in London as well as investment from St Mary's Primary School in Moss Side. Visit the links below to keep up to date with a growing calendar of events and installations.

For further details:
Follow: @AlexArtsMCR

*A café service will be available during events taking place in the Pavilion. 

Thursday, 4 September 2014

WOMEN OF THE NORTH 02 September 14 - 18 October 14 at The Royal Exchange, Manchester

(Photo: Anne Reid) Photography by Paul Wolfgang Webster

02 September 14 - 18 October 14

Part of Paul Wolfgang Webster's major project MADE IN THE NORTH

Paul Wolfgang Webster is a Manchester based photographer working on an ongoing major project MADE IN THE NORTH. This project is based on prominent Northern people who have made a contribution to life in the North.

The idea started many years ago when Paul was working towards his photographic degree. His work was received so well that he decided to carry on with the project after successfully completing his degree.

Four of Paul's MADE IN THE NORTH portraits are included in The National Portrait Gallery permanent collection in London. His work has been exhibited in The Circle Gallery, New York, Richard Goodall Gallery, Manchester and throughout the UK. The photographs have been commissioned and collected by individuals and businesses in the Northwest and Paul is also proud to say that he works closely with the Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Charity and the Diane Modahl Sports foundation.

The images exhibited here in the Royal Exchange Theatre relate to women of the North. Some of them you will recognize, others you may not, however all have made a contribution to life in the North and they all form part of the main MADE IN THE NORTH collections. Paul is so very thankful to them all for allowing him to capture their images. We hope you enjoy looking at his work.

Find out more here

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Wollstonecraftivism at People's History Museum, Sat 13 Sept, 12.00pm - 3.00pm

Wollstonecraftivism at People's History Museum, Sat 13 Sept, 12.00pm - 3.00pm

Join No More Page 3 for #Wollstonecraftivisim, a craftivist workshop highlighting issues of representation, feminism and gender expectations. The activists will lead a discussion tour of the main galleries, from Mary Wollstonecraft to the Rose Queen display. Then relax and explore these ideas through collaborative craftivism.

How have women and their bodies been seen and are seen in our world? What does this say about women? And why does representation matter? Using the idea of ‘News in Briefs’ (the comment given by the day’s Page 3 girl on current affairs) we will sew our thoughts and ideas about these issues and affairs onto a Rose Queen dress, bringing together historic and present day representations and ideas of women through collective craftivism.

Suitable for adults and young people

Part of the PHM Work in Progress workshop programme

Booking Requirements: Booking required via Eventbrite click here for link

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

This is how Manchester does feminism: with deeds, not words – and with a month of art, music and more

Wonder Women, the city’s annual, creative celebration of feminism returns next March, and we’d like you to join us.

Feminism. It's a thing, isn’t it? It causes Twitter storms and campaigns, and it draws attention to a pay gap so wide you could (fingers crossed) lose Jeremy Clarkson in it. And occasionally, it leads to some surprising, creative acts of protest. Like, crochet masks drawn tight over the heads of the Town Hall statuary to illustrate the fact that Manchester doesn’t have a single statue dedicated to its many women of note. Or three “respectable” women running into Manchester Art Gallery one afternoon, each raising a hammer and smashing the glass that covered some of its most famous paintings – part of a nationwide campaign designed to draw attention to women’s rights.

The fact that those two events occurred 100 years apart (the crochet masks this year, the glass smashing in 1913) speaks volumes: as in, here in Manchester, the birthplace of the suffragette movement, we are not done yet. Or as Jeanette Winterson, writing in the Guardian on the centenary of the art gallery protest, put it: “the suffragettes believed that a woman who could vote was a woman who could change the way society operated. That hasn’t happened. We are not equal.”

“It speaks volumes. As in, here in Manchester, the birthplace of the suffragettes, we are not done yet”

Jeanette Winterson is the supporter of Wonder Women, our annual series of events that runs for four weeks every March. Wonder Women looks at the feminist debate in the only way we know how: culturally. Through exhibitions, art and music, film and an annual academic conference, via after hours events in galleries, writing and debate, and taking in International Women’s Day, it is our contribution to a debate that just keeps on running.

Wonder Women returns in March 2015 and we are planning its now. It has the support of the city’s museums and galleries – in particular the People’s History Museum - but we’d like you to support it, too. It relies on clever, creative people coming up with clever, creative ideas that collectively we can make happen. And we can make great things happen: previous years have seen everything from a Pussy Riot-inspired music and art event at Manchester Art Gallery to an international conference on the suffragette movement.

Interested in taking part? Join us at our open meeting on Thursday 18 September at Gorilla to find out more. We’re holding it upstairs in the Gin Bar (appropriately we thought; mother’s ruin and all that) from 4.30pm until around 7pm. All are welcome. Feminism might be a thing right now, but it still needs fuel. Come along and help us feed the flames.  

This was also published on Creative Tourist here

Friday, 1 August 2014

Crochet triumph as Manchester councillors vote for a public statue commemorating an inspiring local woman

Women’s accomplishments can be ignored, devalued, and written out of history leaving a lack of diverse female role models. Sculpture statistics bear this out: of 640 listed statues in the UK, only 15% are of women and most of those are of monarchs or topless mythological characters.

Earlier this year, in a bid to highlight this monumental gender imbalance, Warp & Weft (needlework artist Helen Davies and historian Jenny White) transformed 8 man busts in Manchester Town Hall into craftivist celebrations of local women

Their crochet crusade struck a chord with Councillor Andrew Simcock who proposed that Manchester City Council should support a new city centre statue honouring a local woman.  Yesterday, to inspire local Councillors on their way to the vote, Warp & Weft restaged their Town Hall yarnbombing installation. Simcock’s proposal was unanimously supported, and it’s intended that the new sculpture will be launched on International Women’s Day in March 2019.

The monument won’t cost local taxpayers a penny. A working party of councillors with input from external advisors will oversee the fundraising, artist commission, and choice of women to be portrayed. But the selection of artist and woman will ultimately be made by public vote.

Seconding Andrew Simcock’s motion, councillor Josie Teubler spoke passionately about the importance of equally celebrating the achievements of men and women. Female MPs and board members are still very much in the minority, and only when historical women’s achievements are given the status they deserve, attitudes about what today’s women can and cannot accomplish will slowly start to change.

Other speakers highlighted some of the hidden women who’ve helped shaped the history of Manchester. While suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst is well known, there are scores of other female movers and shakers less celebrated but no less deserving of recognition, including politicians Ellen WilkinsonMargaret Ashton and Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw.

What’s so exciting about this project is that the whole process of raising the cash and selecting the design will be used to raise awareness of some amazing local women whose achievements have been lost to history.

Andrew Simcock’s fundraising cycle ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats will be divided into 20 stages, each dedicated to boosting the profile of a particular woman.

That way, when the final vote takes place, people will have more of an informed choice about which woman deserves to be immortalized in Manchester city centre.

Check out the Warp and Weft blog for details of the 8 inspiring women they celebrated in their craftivist exhibition. 

Friday, 30 May 2014

Vanishing For The Vote: The Suffragette Census Boycott Across Manchester – And Beyond at Manchester Central Library

Dr Jill Liddington, Honorary Research Fellow at The University of Leeds, will discuss her new book,Vanishing for The Vote, which tells the story of what happened on census night, Sunday 2 April 1911.  The Liberal government, which still denied women the vote, ordered every household to comply with its census requirements resulting in suffragette organizations urging women to boycott this census.
Jill Liddington will take us through this fascinating topic with a particular focus on the events in Manchester.  Archives+ will provide supporting archive documentation for attendees to view and handle.
The event will take place in Manchester’s beautifully refurbished Central Library, and tea and coffee will be provided free of charge.
Wednesday 4 June 2014, 6pm
Please book via Eventbrite

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

To fight, to struggle, to right the wrong: the National Federation of Women Workers, 1906-1921

To fight, to struggle, to right the wrong: the National Federation of Women Workers, 1906-1921 

Wed 25 June 2pm 

Working Class Movement Library

Cathy Hunt talks about the tireless efforts of grassroots activists in this early 20th century all-female British trade union (led by the charismatic Mary Macarthur) to strengthen the position of women workers who were too often the victims of excessively low pay and poor working conditions.

Dr Cathy Hunt is Senior Lecturer in History at Coventry University.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Time Machine/Back In Time - this Saturday 24 May at Manchester Art Gallery

Saturday 24 May 2014
11.00am - 1.00pm

No More Page 3 invite you to explore Joana Vasconcelos' work in relation to the No More Page 3 campaign and discuss why representation matters.
Our Exhibition Time Machine by Joana Vasconcelos exhibition can be considered very much as a critique of contemporary society that destabilises traditional views of female sexuality, the status of women and consumer culture.
Page 3 is considered by many as a sexist '70s hangover that re-asserts the view, in one of the country's largest 'family' newspapers, that women are there to titillate, a pure object of male desire. Something that really takes the status of women back in time!
No More Page 3 invite you to explore Joana Vasconcelos' work in relation to the No More Page 3 campaign and discuss why representation matters.
We will be looking particularly at the works Big Booby #2 and Bond Girl. There'll be open, relaxed and creative discussion and a minutes respect for the Booby and a collective group poem creation/discussion that looks at aspects of gender in Vasconcelos' work, Page 3, the gallery space itself and society as a whole.


Let's get together to discuss why representation really matters.
Meet us in the Atrium at 10.50. Information about the campaign and opportunities to sign the petition will be available.
This is a free event, no tickets required, but please book a place at Eventbrite.
Please note: Due to the next #bringbackourgirls rally being at 1pm in Piccadilly Gardens we have brought the time for this event forward to 11am, and will be ending at 1pm, to enable people wishing to attend both (including ourselves) to be able to do so.
Follow the conversation on Facebook or Twitter:

Monday, 19 May 2014

Ellen Wilkinson – from Red Suffragist to Government Minister

In her day, Ellen Wilkinson was the most famous, and certainly the most outspoken, British female politician. Born and bred in Manchester, she was a feminist and a socialist who, among many other achievements, helped women over the age of 21 gain the vote, led the iconic Jarrow Crusade and in 1945 became the first female Minister of Education. She was only 4' 10" but she punched way above her height, hence some of her nicknames: the 'mighty atom' and the 'fiery particle'. 

 In 1924, when Ellen first took her seat in Parliament, she was the only woman on the Labour benches and one of only four women in the House of Commons. Join Dr Paula Bartley as she examines what it was like to be in such a minority in Parliament and find out more about Ellen's achievements.

Dr Paula Bartley has been promoting women's history in schools, colleges and universities for most of her adult life. She was Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Wolverhampton before going to live in Hungary for seven years.

In 1983 she co-founded the Women in History series for Cambridge University Press aimed at school students. She co-edited ten books in the series and co-authored three of them with topics ranging from Women in Medieval Europe through to Women in India and Pakistan. Her sole-authored books include The Changing Role of Women;Votes for Women; Prostitution, Reform and Prevention, 1860-1914; and Emmeline Pankhurst.

In 2012 she won the Elizabeth Longford award, administered by the Society of Authors, to support her research on Ellen Wilkinson.

Her biography, Ellen Wilkinson: From red suffragist to Government Minister was published by Pluto Press in February this year.

Saturday 12 July 2014 at People's History Museum, 1.00pm - 2.00pm

Suitable for adults and young people

Treat yourself to 15% off in The Left Bank cafe bar when you attend an event at the People’s History Museum

Booking Requirements: Booking required via Eventbrite

Please note event attendees must arrive at least ten minutes before the start time of the event, otherwise their booked space will be given to someone on the reserve list

Please contact the museum as soon as possible if you wish to cancel your reservation so your place can be given to another visitor