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Artist workshops at People’s History Museum

29 June 2022

Until It Looks Like This

StirFry digital photography and editing by Liam Ashworth, 2021, Barack Obama digital drawing by Michael Nash, 2021, Sensory Quit hand and machine embroidery by Sally Hirst, 2022, Willy Wonka cake ceramic by Louise Hewitt, 2019 and Weasel Banquet, digital artwork by Dominic Bennett, 2021

Opening on Saturday 16 July at People History Museum’s (PHM) is a new exhibition Until It Looks Like This (until 17 October 2022) featuring the work of 12 Venture Arts studio artists in ceramic, illustration, print, photography, digital art, textiles and more.  Alongside the exhibition a series of artists talks, tours and workshops are taking place.

Until It Looks Like This launches a programme of activity at People’s History Museum that will span the next two years exploring the history of disabled people’s rights and activism.  The programme is created in conjunction with Community Curators Anis Akhtar, Ruth Malkin, Hannah Ross and Alison Wilde, who all self-identify as disabled people.  They have chosen to open the programme with an exciting exhibition reflecting the work of some of the artists that work with Venture Arts, a charity that supports learning disabled and neurodivergent artists to showcase exciting new contemporary art, and to enable those artists to play an active role in the cultural sector.

On Saturday 16 July there is an artist tour, talk and workshop taking place.  This begins at 1:00pm (until 1:20pm) with an exhibition tour of Until it Looks Like This with artist Michael NashHe will take visitors around the exhibition and share some of the inspiration behind the works, including his own pieces ‘Boris Johnson’ and ‘Barack Obama’.  Places are free and can be booked here.

Taking place 2:00pm to 2:30pm is an artist talk by Dominic Bennett.  Dominic works in ceramics, textiles and photography, much of which is reflected in his ever-expanding ‘Weasel Army’, which visitors will hear more about.  They will also hear about Dominic’s career as an artist which has seen him exhibit in London and New York and more recently create artist kits for families during the 2020 lockdown, so that they could make their own ceramic weasels.  Places are free and can be booked here.

From 3:00pm to 4:00pm artist Louise Hewitt will be running a workshop for families, which will include storytelling and then the opportunity to create a piece to take home.  Louise’s own work is inspired by the writing of Beatrix Potter and Roald Dahl, which she reflects in colourful and magical pieces of work.  ‘Willy Wonka cake’ and ‘Banana Split’ are amongst those she will be exhibiting. Places are free and can be booked here.

On Wednesday 27 July an artist talk and artist workshop will be taking place.  From 1:00pm to 1:30pm there is the opportunity to hear from Liam Ashworth.  Liam’s spectrum of work takes him across performance, photography, zine making and film.  He sees the comedy, horror and surrealism of the everyday and his main inspiration linking everything together…food.  Places are free and can be booked here.

Sally Hirst is an illustrator, textile artist and ceramicist.  Much of her work is inspired by themes of climate change and her love of animals, which participants will discover more about as part of the workshop (2:00pm to 3:30pm) with the opportunity to make their own sensory textile sample inspired by Sally’s work in the exhibition. The workshop is suitable for all ages, places are free and can be booked here.

Visitors to People’s History Museum will also be able to see The Manchester Argonaut a sculpture created by internationally acclaimed artist Jason Wilsher-Mills that through intricate patterns, bright colours and fantastical accessories carries messages about the activism and rights of disabled people. It also tells the story of Manchester, its music and its history and will be making its home at PHM until 28 January 2024.

People’s History Museum is shortlisted as Art Fund Museum of the Year in recognition of its work with communities and individuals; exploring hidden stories, giving space to unheard voices and nurturing authentic content.  In its vision for a fairer society, as well as being a museum about activism it is an activist museum, something that is demonstrated within its programming.  The announcement of the winning museum is made on Thursday 14 July and the shortlist includes Horniman Museum and Gardens (London), Derby Museums, Museum of Making (Derby), The Story Museum (Oxford) and Tŷ Pawb (Wrexham).

People’s History Museum’s opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday, from 10.00am to 4.00pm (changing to 5pm from Friday 1 July).  For the school summer holidays the museum will be open seven days a week (from Monday 25 July until early September).  The museum and its exhibitions are free to visit with a suggested donation of £5. To find out more visit, and keep up to date with the latest news by signing up to receive PHM’s e-newsletter, reading the blog, or following the museum on social media on Twitter @PHMMcr, Facebook @PHMMcr, and Instagram @phmmcr.


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The Manchester Argonaut
Funded by Arts Council England (ACE).

The Nothing About Us Without Us exhibition and events programme, including the Community Curator posts, is being funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation and Granada Foundation.

Until It Looks Like This
Funded by Arts Council England (ACE), Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Manchester City Council and the National Lottery Community Fund. Awarded funds from the Postcode Neighbourhood Trust and supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

People’s History Museum
People’s History Museum (PHM) in Manchester is the national museum of democracy. It shares stories about the struggle for equity and equality, celebrates radical history and provides space to explore contemporary issues through marginalised voices. PHM’s vision is of a fairer society where people’s voices and actions make a difference and its mission is to encourage people to care more about community and society, to speak up and take a stand on the issues that matter to them.

PHM is more than a museum about campaigning; it is a museum that campaigns, using its voice to encourage people to take action to bring about positive change.

PHM offers a powerful programme that it co-creates with communities with lived experience; 2018 looked at representation and commemorated 100 years since some women and all men won the right to vote in Britain, in 2019 the focus was on protest to mark the bicentenary of the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester, the 2020-2021 programme explored the theme of migration and in 2022 disabled people’s rights and activism is the headline theme.

Key funders
PHM is incredibly grateful for the support of all its funders and stakeholders. PHM is an Arts Council England (ACE) National Portfolio Organisation (NPO). The work of PHM is supported using public funding by ACE, the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. PHM is funded by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) Culture Fund, supporting organisations to provide cultural activity and to work with, and in communities, across Greater Manchester.

Previous winner of Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award. One of the 2020-1 winners of the Activist Museum Award. Shortlisted as Art Fund Museum of the Year 2022 (announcement to be made Thursday 14 July 2022).

Twitter           @PHMMcr
Facebook       @PHMMcr
Instagram      @phmmcr

Venture Arts
Venture Arts is a progressive visual arts charity, working alongside neurodivergent and learning disabled artists to create and showcase exciting new contemporary visual art. Our vision is a world in which neurodivergent and learning disabled people are empowered, celebrated, included and valued in the arts, culture and society.

For over 30 years, Venture Arts has been supporting neurodiverse and learning disabled people to reach their life potential through the visual arts. Our art studio in Hulme, Manchester, is open 6 days a week all year round, and we work with around 100 in-house artists each year plus many more through outreach.

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