pankhurst in the park

Curated by the Manchester-based, artist-led collective, Alexandra Arts, Pankhurst in the Park is an Arts Council England funded arts and community engagement programme. It is inspired by Alexandra Park’s rich historical connection to the Suffrage Movement, whose iconic leader, Emmeline Pankhurst, 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 its connections to the Suffrage Movement, which helped to change the course of women's history, is a legacy Alexandra Arts believes needs celebrating.

By highlighting this socio-political heritage, which has until now has left no trace locally, Pankhurst in the Park aims to empower the local community through engagement with their local environment and social history, and to promote the wealth of talented female artists in Manchester and beyond by providing a platform for their work.

Pankhurst in the Park 2018

2018 welcomes the third and final instalment of Alexandra Arts’ Pankhurst in the Park (PitP) project. It is fitting that this will be the last, as 2018 marks the UK centenary of women (over thirty) winning the right to vote. 

On International Women’s Day (8 March) we launched the PitP centenary edition of online publication Art 511 Mag, based in NYC. It is available as a free download and printed copies will be available at all events. Inside, you will find Amy Clancy in conversation with Helen Wewoira, Director of Castlefield Gallery and local artist Lauren Velvick. Previous PitP AIR 2014 Go Push Pops and Samantha Conlon from the 2016’s Bunny Collective, as well as high profile artists like Marilyn Minter, Melanie Banajo, NARCISISTER and more

Home-grown creative talent has taken center stage at this year’s celebration, honoring Manchester’s political and historical significance in women’s rights movements; this includes artist in residence (AIR) Ekua Bayunu, and commissioned artists, Anna FC Smith and Tasha Whittle.

April 14th, 2018, marked the launch of the 8-week interdisciplinary project “Women Hold up Half the Sky” led by AIR Ekua. Bayunu have been 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. In association with the Global Arts Manchester.

Tasha Whittle will be manipulating sound through the use of her collaboratively home-made multi-module analogue synth (named, playfully, Glyn). The patches and soundscapes will be played upon with visuals, physical touch on conductive plates and drawing motions. Tasha’s commission is also intertwined with the creation of the ‘Art As Activism’ PitP toolkit, an UNICEF ‘rights respecting’ initiative in collaboration with St Mary’s Primary School in Moss Side.

Anna FC Smith’s contribution will consist of a series of local workshops culminating in a carnivalesque egg-throwing spectacle, evoking the protests of the Suffragettes themselves. On 7th May you can meet Anna at Whalley Range’s very own Celebrate Festival in Manley Park. Between 12-14th July a new body of work drawing from these themes and the contributions of participants will be presented at EMINENT DOMAIN: A Flash Art Exhibition in West Chelsea, New York premier art district, in partnership Art 511 Mag.

On September the 11th there will be a PitP infused art salon, hosted by The Mothership in Brooklyn, New York. There will be a performance by ULTRACULTURAL OTHERS and an artist talk by Art 511 Mag publisher Scotto Mycklebust. PitP will come to an end on 21 September 2018 with a closing ceremony at the rooftop of Last Frontier NYC, in Greenpoint.

Once again, we are grateful to Arts Council England for funding our 2018 programme, to Manchester City Council Department of Culture, St Mary's Primary School, Friends of Alexandra Park and the Neighborhood Investment Fund from the Whalley Range ward who have provided additional funding

To find out more and keep up to date, sign up to our mailing list here and take a look at our event page here.

Pankhurst in the Park 2016

The first part of Pankhurst in the Park 2016 comprised of artist commissions, an international artist residency, and an outreach and education programme, which took place in Manchester from March – May, 2016. Part 2 saw the project on tour in New York with founder, Lotte Karlsen, in September, 2016.

Part 1: March - May 2016

The programme kicked off on international women's day (8 March) with an animal print extravaganza by performance art collective, Legacy Fatale. The duo travelled from New York to channel the ancient, nomadic, Amazon warrior women on the streets of Manchester during Wonder Women 2016, before officially launching Pankhurst in the Park with DJ extraordinaire, Andrea Trout on 12 March.

From the launch until 7 May, Bunny Collective were the wonderful international artists residence for Pankhurst in the Park.  During this time, they curated a programme of activity involving the local community around Alexandra Park. This included skill-shares with teenage girls from Hideaway Youth, community printing workshops and a late-night artist talk as part of Lil' Fee and Veba's Caribbean-infused High Tea (9 April), in partnership with Manchester City Council. All culminating in a Spring Showdown with Suffragette Director, Sarah Gavron, involving woodland exhibitions, talks, dancing and much more.

Throughout the programme, curious creatives old and young was invited to get involved. Rebels and Rollers, a free screen-printing workshops for older residents, took place in the park in collaboration with Age-Friendly Whalley Range & Chorlton and the Alexandra Park Heritage Group.

PitP's relationship with, and investment from, St Mary's CE Primary School continued, with 60 children taking part in a pilot Arts Award scheme, funded by the Access Fund, which celebrates its 10th birthday, in 2016. The pilot ran well into 2017 and has just recently been completed. 

Part 2: September 2016

Pankhurst in the Park went on tour to New York with founder, Lotte Karlsen. Marking the end of the 2016 programme, with her solo exhibition 'Sound of Silence' at Studio 511 at West Chelsea Arts Building.  This was a collaboration between Lotte Karlsen and artist Scotto Mycklebust and artist and feminist writer Katie Cercone, of Go Push Pops. Lotte was the first artist to take part in West Chelsea Artists Open StudiosVisiting Art Series.  Read the press release here and the Artist statement here.

The educational programme for Pankhurst in the Park 2016-17, an Arts Award pilot with St Mary's Primary School, in Moss Side, was successfully completed in July 2017. 

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Pankhurst in the Park 2014-15

The Spring 2016 programme, builds on the hugely successful events of 2014/15, which included Alexandra Park’s first International Artist Residency, Go! Push Pops from Brooklyn, New York, combined with a free public programme of artist talks and installations, including a free public talk with Dr Helen Pankhurst, which filled every table in the stunningly renovated Pavilion.  

Participating female creatives included: Artists Sarah Hardacre, Naomi Kashiwagi, Lynn Setterington, Katarzyna Jablonska and Lotte Karlsen; Singer Ríoghnach Connolly; Architect Julie Fitzpatrick; Film Maker Nataly Lebouleux; Comedienne Kerry Leigh; Photographer Zuza Grubecka; and, Zine-makers The Chapess and Queen of the Track.

In addition to exhibitions at Alexandra Park and as part of ‘Pankhurst in the Gallery’ at Manchester Art Gallery during Wonder Women 2015, commissioned work inspired by the history of Moss Side’s Alexandra Park was also exhibited to a celebrity audience at SELECT Art Fair as part of Miami Art Basel, alongside a number of high profile feminist artists, including Guerrilla Girls.

All of this was accompanied by an integrated educational programme with investing partner St Mary's Primary School in Moss Side, whose playground auspiciously sits right next to the site where Ms Pankhurst was born.

A BIG Thank You

Once again, we are grateful to Arts Council England for funding our 2016 programme, to St Mary's Primary School, the Access Fund and the Neighbourhood Investment Fund from the Whalley Range ward who have provided additional funding. Thanks also to our many partners and supporters.

Partners: Manchester School of Architecture, Manchester City Council, Wonder Women, St Mary’s CE Primary School, Tea Hive, Friends of Alexandra Park and Milk & Night.

Sponsors: Audile ltd

Alexandra Arts is a member Res Artist - the worldwide network of artist in residencies. An association of over 400 centers and organisations in over 70 countries.