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Artist workshops at People’s History Museum

Opening on Saturday 16 July at People History Museum’s (PHM) is a new exhibition Until it Looks Like This (until 11 September 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 Nash. He will take visitors around the exhibition and share some of the inspiration behind the works, including his own pieces ‘Boris Johnson’ and ‘Barack Obama’.

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.

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.

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.

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,

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).