Whitworth Art Gallery
is one of my favourite cultural venues in Manchester. I love its park-side location and the way in which as soon as you enter the building and walk through the foyer you are in the galleries. I find this immediacy both stress free and calming. So, when Ed Watts, the Adult Programme Co-ordinator, suggested meeting up to talk about Peripheral Vision, it put a big smile on my face. Ed and I have worked together extensively over the past couple of years with excellent results. I first met Ed when he worked at Urbis. He put together a wonderful video making session for some of our adult learners who had learning disabilities. I clearly remember popping down to Urbis to take some photos of the group, opening the door to the creative studio and feeling touched by the happiness and warmth in the room. Everyone was having a great time and the learners were delighted with the videos they had shot and edited themselves. Apparently they all spoke about the experience for months afterwards.
Working in partnership with the Whitworth is an absolute joy: everything runs smoothly, and the workshop facilitators that Ed (and Wendy) have employed were all professional and inspirational, and I have received excellent feedback from the participants.
Examples of the workshops we have run at the Whitworth have included:
Printmaking with Alan Birch
Book-making with Lucy May Schofield
Fabric cup cakes with Andrea Lord
Just the Ticket
In March 2009, we held the celebratory event for our prior NIACE project, Just the Ticket, at the Whitworth. Wendy Gallagher, did an amazing job providing us with the fabulous South Gallery and various exciting workshops for over 90 adults who attended on the day. It truly was the highlight of a very successful project.
Anyway, Ed and I discussed Peripheral Vision and how we could use the Whitworth’s iPads to make short films. We also thought we could run another photography and textiles course that we put on for Levenshulme Inspire a few months ago, in which the learners printed digital photographs in black and white onto cotton then embelished their pictures with embroidery, beads and sequins.
You can see a short video of the learners’ work here (scroll down to the Whitworth & Inspire video).