‘Fuzzy Puzzle’ by Pablo Melchor

“We are not Complicated People. We Don’t Care if we are Behind the Camera or in Front of the Projector”

Pablo Melchor and “Fuzzy Puzzle”:  A Profile – by Jo Rose

Paris born, Manchester bred artist Pablo Melchor’s projection piece, “Fuzzy Puzzle”, marks the NYC closing ceremony of Manchester-based collective Alexandra Art’s third year of the Pankhurst in the Park Festival. It illuminated the walls of the Mothership in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint on September 21st.  Melchor describes “Fuzzy Puzzle” as ‘a prism vision. A Fuzzy collection of memories’ which aims to be ‘subjective and colourful’. As such, the piece holds a strange place for Pablo as an author since it is, as he himself insists, an extension and acknowledgement of his involvement with Alexandra Arts and its branching out beyond Manchester’s frontiers, especially to New York, and Manchester’s cultural scene over more than a half-decade. It embraces its own inherent fragmentation and displacement.
— Jo Rose
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This article is now live over at Art 511 Magazine. This piece was commissioned by us for the centenary for UK women’s suffrage [funded by ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND] during the Pankhurst in the Park 2018 season. See Pablo Melchor’s projection piece in full below.

Author’s Bio

 Jo Rose is a writer, musician, promoter, and English Literature Postgraduate based in Manchester, England. He currently works closely with the Alexandra Arts collective, most notably with the Pankhurst in the Park Festival and with the teacher training initiative the “Art as Activism Toolkit”. His principle academic focus has been in ‘modernist’ and ‘late modernist’ literature (most prominently the works of Samuel Beckett and animals in literary works). He has released several records, and has toured extensively throughout the UK and Europe for over a decade, working alone and collaborating with a multitude of other artists. He co-habits with a miserly ex-racing greyhound, Harpo, a relationship he likens to having a deer as a pet.

Alien Armageddon, Empathy & The Vine of the Soul

A conversation with Melanie Bonajo

BY KATIE CERCONE

In terms of plant meditation, I allow plants to be my teachers, they take me to a place of silence and I access portals that are usually only opening with an intensely deep, probably monastery meditation practice
— Melanie Bonajo
  Melanie Bonajo, Night Soil - Economy of Love, 2015, film still courtesy AKINCI

Melanie Bonajo, Night Soil - Economy of Love, 2015, film still courtesy AKINCI

This article is now live over at Art 511 Magazine! This piece was commissioned by Alexandra Arts and first published in the special print edition of Art 511 Mag celebrating International Women’s Day and the centenary for UK women’s suffrage [funded by ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND] during the Pankhurst in the Park 2018 season. You can download the digital version of the full mag here

Spiraling Smoke

BY CLAIRE ZAKIEWICZ

Is now live over at Art 511 Magazine! This article was commissioned by Alexandra Arts  and first published in the special print edition of Art 511 Mag celebrating International Women’s Day and the centenary for UK women’s suffrage [funded by ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND] during the Pankhurst in the Park 2018 season. Plus, you can download the digital version of the full mag here

I met SOL KJØK in May 2017 at her loft in Brooklyn when I became one of her artists in residence. Her studio is the size of two tennis courts, and you can see both the Empire State and Chrysler buildings through a pair of factory windows. Acrobatic swings, harnesses and platforms dangle from 20ft ceilings. A full-sized tipi sits off-centre in the space where a Shaman performs drum journeys. World-class physicists, artists, academics and eccentrics regularly pass through. Her world is an inspiring, cross-pollinating place of collaboration and interaction. From the roof you overlook one of the most polluted pockets of America’s post-industrial wasteland – a mad dystopian scene set against one of the most inspiring skylines in the world.
— Claire Zakiewicz

Feminism is For EVERYONE

EMINENT DOMAIN OVERTAKES CHELSEA

The EMINENT DOMAIN recap article is now live over at our Pankhurst in the Park 2018 partner ART511 Magazine website

 Photo: Elena Kendall-Aranda, site-specific performance, “Quests from the Virtual Age.” Courtesy the Artist

Photo: Elena Kendall-Aranda, site-specific performance, “Quests from the Virtual Age.” Courtesy the Artist

EMINENT DOMAIN evolved out of Art 511 Mag’s recent partnership with the Manchester, UK-based Alexandra Arts, when this past Spring, we teamed up to produce a limited edition, 74-page full-color print commission celebrating International Women’s Day and the centenary for UK women’s suffrage (funded by ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND). The edition, available as a free download online here, was made available for purchase during the reception, and features critical essays, interviews and artworks by Marilyn Minter, Narcissister, Melanie Bonajo, Samantha Conlon (Bunny Collective), Go! Push Pops and Anna FC Smith among others. Artists included in the EMINENT DOMAIN show were mostly selected by a competitive open call submission process organized by head curator Katie Cercone.
— Art 511 Mag

Read the full article here

Anna FC Smith in the news

Pankhurst in the Park 2018 commissioned artist Anna FC Smith has made it into the news today, read the full article in Wigan Today here,  about her NYC debut at EMINENT DOMAIN in West Chelsea. This exhibition featured over 90 feminist artist from around the world and was a collaboration between Alexandra Arts and NYC based Art 511 Magazine

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The Sick Role by Samantha Conlon

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Samantha Conlon’s The Sick Role, 2018, is part documentation and part ritualistic photography accompanied with text composing a contemporary portrait of the mundane reality of mental illness. From a new body of work developed in Kuvataideakatemie, Helsinki, The Sick Role interrogates the experience of physical and mental illness in female bodies and the institutionalized gender politics at play within the care systems from which females seek healing. The development of systems of Western Science and Medicine displaced the age-old lineages of female practitioners. Midwives with generations of healing knowledge connected to the kingdom of plants and collective spiritual life were ousted from clinics, if not brutally violated in earlier eras involving mass genocide of women healers. Women in general were made victim of segregation, and limited access to higher education marginalized their work, making it unlawful to practice holistic healing modalities that carry important insight into women’s complex systems.

Read the full article here

This article have now been published on the art511mag.com site and was commissioned by Alexandra Arts for the special print edition of Art 511 Mag celebrating International Women’s Day and the centenary for UK women’s suffrage [funded by ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND] during the Pankhurst in the Park 2018 season.

Or download the full mag here

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EMINENT DOMAIN 12-14 July 2018

ART511MAG in partnership with Alexandra Arts PRESENTS: EMINENT DOMAIN - A DYNAMIC, INTERSECTIONAL FEMINIST ART EXHIBITION IN THE HEART OF THE CHELSEA GALLERY DISTRICT. This 3-day flash feminist art exhibit features over 90 artists from around the world. 

The exhibition concludes Saturday, July 14 with a moderated panel discussion titled: Women in the Arts - Sisterhood & Sustainability

Our concluding panel comprises of a diverse cross-section of thought leaders in the International Art World playing the fluid roles of curator, organizer/activist, gallerist, artist and arts administrator.

PANELISTS

Lotte Karlsen, Alexandra Arts
Kate Gilmore, Guggenheim Fellow ’18
Kristen Dodge, SEPTEMBER gallery
Vei Darling, Artist
Hein Koh, Artist

Moderated by Katie Cercone, Ultracultural Others

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For Immediate Release

In response to the International Women’s Movement that has captivated the Worldwide Collective Conscious and Unconsciousness of so many people, ART511 Magazine has acted and is presenting a groundbreaking collection of women artists from around the World.

ART511MAG PRESENTS: EMINENT DOMAIN EXHIBITION A DYNAMIC, INTERSECTIONAL FEMINIST ART EXHIBITION IN THE HEART OF THE WEST CHELSEA GALLERY DISTRICT.

A 3-day affair featuring the artworks of over 90 women artists from around the world. The exhibition concludes Saturday, July 14 with a moderated panel discussion titled: Women in the Arts - Sisterhood & Sustainability, July 12-14, 524 West 26th Street, NYC.

New York, NY, June 26, 2018, ART511 Magazine is pleased to announce EMINENT DOMAIN, a flash exhibition of intersectional feminist art, opening Thursday, July 12th, with an opening reception art party from 6-10 p.m. in the former Robert Miller Gallery space at 524 West 26th St. for 3 days, concluding July 14 with a Women In the Arts Panel comprised of a diverse cross-section of thought leaders in the International Art World playing the fluid roles of curator, organizer/activist, gallerist, artist and arts administrator.

Addressing the white male western canon’s discourse drawing from exploiting, misrepresenting and objectifying female bodies and the racial/sexual Other, EMINENT DOMAIN occupies a major white box space in the heart of the commercial art world with a militantly utopic “flash flood” of new media, live performance and traditional visual art of every size and stripe, washing away old, derogative archetypes to tell another story about Art, ritual, community and the divine feminine mysteries.

“Artists from all over the globe contributed works of all mediums during a historical moment characterized by the rise of the feminine in all aspects of life, culture and industry. A hand-picked selection of artworks from over 90 women artists from around the world tackle complicated and culturally nuanced issues including sexual violence and abuses against women the world over, xenophobia, body/fat politics, race, sisterhood, the archetypal feminine, colonialism, sex tourism, white supremacy, ageism, religion, gender, sacred art, environmental devastation and repair. Poignant, juicy, sensual, cleverly bittersweet, darkly militant and profoundly magical - whether demanding our horror undivided, reframing an outmoded world view or simply wetting our appetite for a more righteous era of equality and justice - these works engage in challenging, transnational, intersectional dialogue, smash stereotypes and rush boundaries.” The exhibition concludes Saturday, July 14 with a moderated panel discussion “Women in the Arts- Sisterhood & Sustainability.” - Katie Cercone, curator

Our sponsors: West Chelsea Building LLC and Gloria Naftali, who have graciously provided the spacious venue to present this extraordinary collection of art by women artists in the world: We are ever so grateful for the support to make this exhibition possible. Additional sponsors of EMINENT DOMAIN include Alexandra Arts, ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND, MANCHESTER CITY COUNCIL, PANKHURST IN THE PARK, Public Arts Squad Project, Signature Spirits Group LLC, Miolo Wine Group, Tambour Original Sodabi, Chopper Kings Beer Company, SmuttyNose Brewing Company and others.

For more details, please contact ART511 Magazine press office via call or text: (917) 697-0844 Gia Portfolio at gia.portfolio@gmail.com or Scotto Mycklebust scotto@scottomycklebust.com

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Turning Around and Speaking Back by Lauren Velvick

For the Pankhurst in the Park centenary edition of Art511 Magazine we commissioned an article by artist and writer Lauren about Hannah Leighton-Boyce and Ruth Barker residency at Castlefield Gallery. Titled 'Turning around and speaking back' this have now been published on the Art511 Magazine site.

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"The overarching theme of this year’s Wonder Women radical feminist festival in Manchester has to do with women’s representation and influence in our political and cultural institutions, responding to the centenary of the Representation of the People Act. 1918 was the first time that any women were able to vote in Britain, but as we must be careful to acknowledge, it was only property-owning women over thirty who were granted this basic right with the act. As such, it is important to commemorate and respond with nuance, something that the research-lead art practices of Hannah Leighton-Boyce and Ruth Barker are able to do by virtue of their methods and structure. As part of the festival, Leighton-Boyce and Barker have been commissioned to produce new bodies of work to be presented in a two-person exhibition at Castlefield Gallery, part of the gallery’s long-running ‘head to head’ series, whereby two artists whose work corresponds are placed in juxtaposition. Over the past year, both artists have been supported in conducting research residencies, allowing for the time and space to become embedded within their respective institutions and communities, and to explore unanticipated avenues". - Lauren Velvick

Read the full article here.

Download the full magazine here

Women Hold Up Half The Sky press release

For immediate use: 11 May 2018 

Pankhurst in the Park celebrates Ekua Bayunu’s “Women Hold up Half the Sky”

Pankhurst in the Park is proud to present this year’s artist in residence Ekua Bayunu’s “Women Hold up Half the Sky”, an interdisciplinary project taking place over eight weeks between April 14th and June 9th. This is an invitation to join us on the final date, when we will take the opportunity to celebrate the project and what it’s participants have produced in Alexandra Park. There will be music, spoken words, exhibitions, a sculpture trail, art workshops, and a closing party at the Pavilion Café.

2018 marks both the centenary of women (over thirty) winning the right to vote in England and the third and final year of the Pankhurst in the Park program. We commemorate this historic achievement and reflect on the ongoing issues with the political agency and representation of women today. One of the ways we have responded to this is by using this project as a platform to showcase the wealth and talent that female artists, in Manchester and internationally, have to offer.

Ekua’s proposal led to her being awarded the artist in residence commission by a selection panel of eminent figures within the Manchester art community, among them John McGrath, director of the Manchester International Festival and Helen Wewiora of the Castlefield Gallery. Other commissioned local artists include Anna FC Smith and Tasha Whittle.

Of being awarded this position in the project, Ekua said this:

I was thrilled to hear I had won the residency. It means so much to me to be able to work with Alexandra Arts, with all their passion and creative energy AND it means so much to me to be able to bring the local communities that I cherish, into this creative enterprise.

In between the opening and closing dates of “Women Hold up Half the Sky”, Ekua will be coordinating local community engagement and off-sight female artist studio initiatives in the form of a series of meetings and workshops. Ekua’s project is run in association with Global Arts Manchester, a group she co-founded.

Alexandra Arts teamed up with NYC-based publication 511 Magazine to produce a special edition for this year’s Pankhurst in the Park, published on March 8th, International Women’s Day. It includes an article on Ekua’s work by NYC-based artist Katie Cercone. It also features art, prints, and articles by a number of other artists who are contributing this year including Anna FC Smith, Tasha Whittle, Go! Push Pops (2014’s artist in residence), Marilyn Minter, Melanie Banajo, NARCISSISTER and much more. Printed copies are available at all our events and as a free download.

Find out more at www.alexandra-arts.org.uk.

ENDS

Comments, photos, and interviews are available. Please contact Lotte Karlsen by phone on +44 (0)7816683171 or email press@alexandra-arts.org.uk.

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Message from AIR Ekua Bayunu - please share

Hello Park People!

I am just coming to the end of the third official week (of 8) as artist in residence at Alexandra Park! #womenholduphalfthesky

I am immersed in planning the final event on the 9th June. ( and making sculpture, running workshops, interviewing women on video....). I'm having a Walk the Park session on Sunday 13th May to help interested people understand the 9th June and how they might contribute, meeting at Coffee Cranks at 11am. Maybe you fancy coming down and finding out more about it then and understanding it in the context of the whole event? 

Here's some opportunities I’m offering local people, including you and your teams, to get involved in. 

In the Lodge, I will have a small exhibition in the 'conference room', themed around 'Our Mothers' , I will present a cabinet of items, made, found, owned by our mothers or about our mothers. If you have a small thing you could contribute, I’d love to talk to you about it. 

 Sound Artist , Danielle Porter will be making a sound scape of sounds from the park to play alongside the cabinet. She will be popping in to introduce herself this week and talk about how she would like to capture the sounds of your locations within the park.

Interviews. I’ve just completed 10 interviews with a very varied group of women in the Lodge. In the Sky Women’s studio, throughout May, I will continue to interview women about their feelings about voting and other ways we can shape our worlds. Email me for the address if you would like to join us there. We will also be making the sculpture there for Baby Sculpture Play area and the Woodland Walk.

Art Workshops are happening in the park, in the Community Room in The Depot at the bottom of Russell Street on Thursday 3rd May, 17th May and 24th May. 11.30 - 2.30pm.

I am currently looking for acoustic musicians and spoken word artists to perform. I know many of you are multi talented and if you'd enjoy sharing these skills with others in the park on the 9th June, please let me know and please share this invitation across your networks.

Heres some blurb I've put together....

~Womenholduphalfthesky is the name of my residency in Alexandra Arts as part of the Pankhurst in the Park 2018 programme initaited by Alexandra Arts.

The residency launched officially on the 14th April with the support of Global Arts Manchester and will conclude with an interactive celebration event in the park on the 9th June..

The theme of the residency has been an exploration of and a celebration of women taking an active role in shaping our communities, from the home, to the local , national and international.

I would really like to involve as many people as possible in the park on that day.

There will be  exhibition spaces, temporary sculpture in the woodland walk, an acoustic music space, a spoken word space, a planted installation , a baby sculpture play area, workshops......maybe even a table tennis tournament!!!

The idea is for as many creative people as possible living near or with a relationship with the park to come along and participate.

Hope this gives everybody a good insight into some of the things that are happening? Do let me have any questions about the event or any other areas of the residency.

Much Love,

Ekua

The Ritualistic Healing of the Suffragettes

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"The suffragettes’ militant activities were shocking for their time. June Purvis describes them as ‘transgressing the gender expectations of Edwardian society’; they unconsciously drew on a history of riotous actions and ritual behaviour that Julius R. Ruff portrays as ‘almost instinctual conduct’.1 Their rebellious behaviour can be read in the context of both early modern riot and festive inversion.  

The historical popular protest drew on the symbolism of ‘the world turned upside down’ – a phrase used by the early American women suffragists and anti-slave campaigners, Sojourner Truth and Angelina Grimke, in the mid 1800s. This carnivalesque concept would flow in both directions. As Ruff says, ‘festival mocking satire and ritual violence’ could quickly turn to ‘direct hostility, mass violence, riot and rebellion’, and riots employed rituals to reorder society"

- Anna FC Smith

For the Pankhurst in the Park centenary edition of NYC based Art511 Magazine, Alexandra Arts commissioned Anna FC Smith to write this article. It’s now been published on the Art511 Mag site, read the full article here. And download the full magazine here

EMINENT DOMAIN press release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Scotto Mycklebust, 917 697-0844, scotto@scottomycklebust.com; Gia Portfolio, 201 248-6756, gia.portfolio@gmail.com

ART511MAG EMINENT DOMAIN EXHIBITION

OPEN CALL FOR INTERSECTIONAL FEMINIST ART

(New York, NY, April 24, 2018) - ART511 Magazine is presenting EMINENT DOMAIN: a 3-day Flash Art Exhibition in the former Robert Miller space in West Chelsea. The exhibition is a curated selection of radical feminist art by female artists, eco-femmes, ghetto brujas, elders, queer/trans artists and other magical gender nomads reclaiming their rightful space in the Art World. The flash exhibition will occur July 12-14, 2018. 

Addressing the white male western canon’s discourse drawing from, exploiting, misrepresenting and objectifying female bodies and the racial/sexual Other, EMINENT DOMAIN occupies a major white box space in the heart of the commercial art world with a militantly utopic “flash flood” of new media, live performance and traditional visual art of every size and stripe, washing away old, derogative archetypes to tell another story about Art, ritual, community and the divine feminine mysteries.

EMINENT DOMAIN opens July 12th for 3 days in Chelsea, concluding with a Women In the Arts Panel comprised of a diverse cross-section of female thought leaders in the International Art World playing the fluid roles of curator, organizer/activist, gallerist, artist and arts administrator.

EMINENT DOMAIN was an impulse seeded by ART511 Magazine’s recent partnership with the Manchester, UK-based Alexandra Arts collective. This Spring, ART511 Magazine and Alexandra Arts teamed up to produce a limited edition 74-page, full-color print commission celebrating International Women’s Day and the centenary for UK women's suffrage (funded by ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND) for the 2018 Pankhurst in the Park season.

The edition is available as a free download online here

EMINENT DOMAIN flash exhibition will be presented Thursday, July 12, 2018: Opening Reception 6-8 p.m. & after Art party from 8-10 p.m. The exhibition will be open to the public Thursday, Friday & Saturday, July 12-14, from 10-6 p.m. ART511 Magazine will host a moderated panel discussion “Women in the Arts” in the afternoon on Saturday, July 14, 2018. 

Artists interested in being considered for this show can submit work or proposals for performance online at ART511MAG.com/submissions.  

We are seeking video, installation, new and mixed media as well as painting and sculptural objects, performance, music, spoken word and new genre time-based pieces. 

*Artists are required to provide all tech for video and multimedia works

See the open call hereSUBMIT work for the exhibition @ ART511MAG.com/submissions 

Deadline to Apply: May 24, 2018

For more info contact scotto@scottomycklebust.com

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OPEN CALL FOR INTERSECTIONAL FEMINIST ART

EMINENT DOMAIN: A Flash Art Exhibition in the former Robert Miller space in West Chelsea is a curated selection of radical feminist art by female artists, eco-femmes, ghetto brujas, elders, queer/trans artists and other magical gender nomads reclaiming their rightful space in the Art World. We can unpack Feminism here and define it, as critical theorist and activist bell hooks does - “a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression” - at the roots of which is gender stereotypes and narratives perpetuated by heteronormative white male capitalist patriarchy, not men themselves. Based on the logic that the white male western canon has always revolved around a discourse drawing from, exploiting, misrepresenting and objectifying female bodies and the racial/sexual Other, EMINENT DOMAIN seizes a white box space in the heart of the commercial art world for a militantly utopic “flash flood” of new media, live performance action and artworks of every size and stripe that explode the old derogative archetypes and tell another story about Art, ritual, community and the divine feminine mysteries. Intersectional, post-colonial, queer, social-justice oriented and community-minded works of Art from folks that defy the status quo and get knee-deep in the paradigm shift will overwhelm the space and stake ground for new dialogue, new ideals and new marketplace tactics. Visionary video, installation, new and mixed media as well as painting and sculptural objects will snake through the gallery space animated by the din of performance, music, spoken word and new genre time-based pieces.  A handful of the contemporary art world’s key non-profit organizations will join us to present what they do and how you can get involved.

Marilyn Minter

EMINENT DOMAIN was an impulse seeded by Art 511 Mag’s recent partnership with the Manchester, UK-based Alexandra Arts collective. This Spring, Art 511 Mag and Alexandra Arts teamed up to produce a limited edition 74 page full-color print commission celebrating International Women’s Day and the centenary for UK women's suffrage (funded by ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND) for the 2018 Pankhurst in the Park season. The edition, available as a free download online here, features critical essays, interviews and artworks by notoriously brilliant siren radicals such as Marilyn Minter, Narcissister, Melanie Bonajo, Samantha Conlon (Bunny Collective), Go! Push Pops and Ekua Bayunu among others. Included in this curated selection is film stills from the infamous performance artist Narcissister’s first original feature film Organ Player, which reflects on the personal impact of her mother’s illness and death, also a 2018 selection at the Sundance Film Festival. Marilyn Minter’s bush painting gracing the back cover is part of a series partially inspired by a set of photos which were the result of a 2014 photography commission Minter attempted to complete for Playboy magazine. Minter’s editorial was rejected by Playboy for its depiction of women’s pubic hair au natural, and later became a book and subject of the paintings included in our special women’s issue. Meanwhile a narrative photo essay by Bunny Collective director Samantha Conlon explores the relationship between illness, the medical industrial complex and women’s agency.

As Alexandra Arts director Lotte Karlsen and Amy Clancy outline in the forward: “The art world still bows to a model created by white European men. The top three museums in the world, the British Museum, the Louvre, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art have never had female directors. Female artists earn less on average than their male counterparts and make up a fraction of the work in permanent exhibitions and auction market. It’s not enough to be good at their game or even the best; it’s rigged. So, it’s time to devise our own, not just for and by women, but in collaboration with all those whose voices, opportunities and rights are stifled.” In this spirit, EMINENT DOMAIN is a guerrilla exhibition mounted in the global art epicenter of the world which boldly carries the torch for alternative models promoting the power, equality, magic, pleasure, creative self-expression and financial freedom of women, people of color, and gender non-conformers. 

EMINENT DOMAIN opens July 12th in Chelsea followed by a Women In the Arts Panel comprised of a diverse cross-section of female thought leaders in the International Art World playing the fluid roles of curator, organizer/activist, gallerist, artist and arts administrator.

Download full ART 511 Alexandra Arts Commission here

SUBMIT work for the exhibition here

Women Hold Up Half the Sky: A Look at British Artist Ekua Bayunu

Today, April 14th, 2018, marks the launch of the 8-week interdisciplinary, community-oriented project “Women Hold up Half the Sky” led by Ekua Bayunu, this year’s Artist in Residence (AIR) for Alexandra Arts’ “Pankhurst in the Park”. In connection with the launch our partner Art511 Magazine have published on their site an article about Ekua's life and work by NYC based artist Katie Cercone. Alexandra Arts commissioned this for the Pankhurst in the Park centenary edition of Art511 Mag, which is available at our events and as a free download here

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Ekua Bayunu just finished mounting her first solo exhibition at Manchester’s Chuck Gallery. Aptly titled Re:Birth, her show centers around a body of sculptural work reflecting women’s power and draws on aesthetic motifs of her African cultural heritage. After receiving a few rave reviews of her show, she was selected in February to be artist-in-residence in Alexandra Park for the final season of Alexandra Arts’ Pankhurst in the Park Program. Recently, I had the opportunity to connect with the artist personally and dive more deeply into her background and the motivations behind her trans-disciplinary, social-justice oriented creative practice - Katie Cercone 

Read the whole article here

AIR Ekua's full event schedule

April 14th, 2018, marks the launch of the 8-week interdisciplinary project “Women Hold up Half the Sky” led by AIR Ekua. Bayunu will be running community-oriented sessions in the park and an offsite female artist studio initiative. On June 9th, 2018, you are invited to a celebrate the AIR showcase event, hosting happenings all around the park, culminating in a closing party at the Pavilion café. All in association with the Global Arts Manchester.

If you are a female artist and are interested in taking part in the 'Women Hold Up Half The Sky' Studio, then contact Global Arts Manchester on ga.mcr@outlook.com

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Tasha Whittle Commission Announcement

Alexandra Arts are thrilled to announce that interdisciplinary Manchester artist Tasha Whittle will be joining us as a commissioned artist for 2018’s Pankhurst in the Park project.

Tasha Whittle has built a reputation in the Manchester art scene as the founder of Outhouse, an Outdoor Project Space for Public Art, which operates primarily in the city’s Northern Quarter. She is a visual artist and has created the installation of murals, pop up artist shop SWAG, handcrafted homewares, jewellery and clothing, interactive pieces both alone and collaboratively. In Australia she ran an art gallery and studio space in the heart of Melbourne’s creative quarter. Tasha has worked as a VJ and a promoter in the local DIY punk scene of Norfolk before moving to Manchester. 

Whittle’s contribution to the Pankhurst in the Park initiative will involve a visual-sonic performance, performed on “Glyn”, a handmade analogue synthesiser constructed with her collaborative partner Darren Adcock. Together the pair work under as ‘Coatic Sequence’ and currently utilise drawing to manipulate the sound from Glyn. Though many elements are yet to be decided (and this is an openness and element of surprise we heartily welcome!), she will perform with Glyn to manipulate vocals, collaborate with other musicians and possibly even the audience themselves, not to mention the manipulation of sound through the live production of images. It will be a spectacle at once highly technical, whilst also being very physical, dynamic and organic.

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Speaking to Tasha, her commitment to music is expressed with such passion it is moving to hear. "I find solace in art and salvation in music" she claims.  It is only recently, however that she has "felt confidence to present this publicly". This shift she attributes partly to the influence of female artist and musician friends in Manchester and Melbourne who have inspired her.  "It's fun to make sounds and work out how something is created" in her collaborative work in Coatic Sequence both members contributions are of equal value and significance. "I'm enjoying including sound into my practice"

Whittle is drawn to the Pankhurst in the Park project in part because of its celebration of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, though she notes women’s struggles with inequality and oppression still persist today.

“The older I get the more I see the inequality of the systems around us, it frustrates me. I am so thankful to all the women before me who fought and pulled women up to the platform where we currently stand. I want to become a part of that climb, to raise ourselves up further than the sky.”

It is a perspective that binds itself well with the ultimate goal of Pankhurst in the Park, to tackle the lack of representation of women in the art world itself by taking an opportunity to joyously celebrate the talent and ingenuity local female artists have to offer.

See Tasha's Artist profile in our centenary edition of NYC based Art 511 Mag here

Anna FC Smith's “One Pace-Egg of yours is All We Want”

Alexandra Arts are excited to announce that Wigan art star Anna FC Smith has been commissioned to contribute to this year’s Pankhurst in the Park project. Anna will be running workshops locally throughout April and May, centring around eggs, protest, carnival, and the Women’s Suffrage Movement. In July, a new body of work drawing from these themes and the contributions of participants will be presented in West Chelsea, New York premier art district.

The significance of eggs is grounded in the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Smith draws from an often-overlooked method of protest by these groups – the pelting of eggs and flour on public officials and buildings. Egg throwing, Smith argues, has long been a form of carnivalesque transgression. As well as a symbol of sabotage and mayhem, eggs also evoke fertility, new life, the domestic and the everyday.

Alexandra Arts and Anna FC Smith invite you to mark the historic achievements of the Suffrage Movement on this significant anniversary by reflecting on the methods of protest used by these activists, to have fun and ‘turn the world upside down’. Join us in Manley Park on May 7th, at Whalley Range’s very own Celebrate Festival, between noon and 6pm. Anna ‘s research led commission includes sessions with Alexandra Arts partners and park stakeholders.

In light of the centenary of women’s suffrage and Alexandra Arts transatlantic exchange with NYC based Art 511 Mag, Anna was commissioned to write a piece titled ‘The ritualistic heritage of the suffragettes’ - this was initiated by the Pankhurst in the Park Programme, whose community locus is the same Alexandra Park where many of the suffragettes’s organising and protesting took hold. Adjacent infamous suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst’s residence.

Alexandra Arts Pankhurst in the Park Programme champions women’s continuous creativity, radical acts of rebellion and inversion of the status quo through their organisational support of the socially engaged work of contemporary female artists working within and around the park.

Read and download Anna’s piece here

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Congratulations to Moss Side artist Ekua Bayunu

2018 marks the centenary of women’s right to the vote. Today, Alexandra Arts’ Pankhurst in the Park, is proud to honour this historically significant moment by announcing that the position of Artist in Residence for Pankhurst in the Park, 2018, has been awarded to local artist Ekua Bayunu, who will be taking up residence at Alexandra Park between the 14th April and the 9th June.

April 14th, 2018, will mark the launch of the 8-week interdisciplinary, community-oriented project “Women Hold up Half the Sky”, led by Ekua Bayunu, this year’s Artist in Residence (AIR) for Alexandra Arts’ “Pankhurst in the Park”. An introductory artist-led talk will be held with Bayuna, who will be speaking at the Alexandra Park Pavilion at 2pm. Followed by a women's artists space session, organised in association with the Global Arts Manchester, a group co-founded by Bayunu to ‘encourage people to participate in the visual arts and learn more about diversity.’

The 8-week project will incorporate elements of sculpture and film, and will include the participation of a diverse range of members of the local community; who can get involved with workshops held at Alexandra Park’s Chorlton Lodge and Depot. Dates will be listed shortly.

On June 9th, 2018, to celebrate the close of Ekua Bayunu’s 8-week AIR project, “Women Hold up Half the Sky”, you are invited to participate in a day of events presenting and reflecting on the work. The celebration will host happenings all around the park, all culminating in a closing party at the Pavilion café.

The project draws from a central theme of the Pankhurst in the Park project, the legacy of the suffrage movement and the special significance of Alexandra Park in this history. Emmeline Pankhurst lived just on the borders of the park and 2018 marks not only the centenary of the right of women (over 30) to vote. It will also be a hundred and ten years since thousands of suffragettes marched in Alexandra Park.

Bayuna’s work will expand beyond local concerns to build on the themes of global women’s leadership and consider culture, the arts and creativity as tools for active citizenship of central significance.

Already with significant experience as an artist, Bayunu moved to Manchester in 1993 and has since then produced several high-profile works around the city (“Sensory Garden” in Hulme Park, “Anansi Mosaics” at Royce Primary School), worked in outreach support at Manchester’s Contact Theatre between 2001 and 2006, worked from her studio at Artwork Atelier in Salford, and organised exhibitions celebrating Black History Month in collaboration with Global Arts Manchester in 2017. Ekua started 2018 with her solo exhibition titled “Re:Birth” at Manchester’s Chuck Gallery. She has lived and worked as an artist and tutor with a keen sense of community participation for several decades.

 Follow Ekua @ekuabay & @globalartsmcr #WomenHoldUpHalfTheSky

Image credit - Rod Leon