On The Water

 

on the water is a slow touring canal-based project in Lancashire and West Yorkshire.

The artists are currently delivering workshops at the idle women institute on Haydock Street in St Helens.

idle women offers a place for all women and girls to belong. Founded by co-caretakers Cis O’Boyle and Rachel Anderson in 2015, idle women is an artist led organisation that initiates and creates contemporary art with and by women.

idle women is responding to the devastation caused by austerity cuts to women’s services and the systematic erasure of women’s contributions to public life. They believe in creating opportunities, networking and other connections with women across the UK and beyond, and nurturing long term partnerships with specialist women’s providers.

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Getting To Know You

 

A new art project has been encouraging residents in two St Helens housing schemes to reach out and get to know each other.

This summer artist Sheila Ghelani has worked with the residents of Helena Partnership sheltered housing scheme.

Each week Sheila will work with residents to make out-of-the-ordinary gestures, creating a stir that reaches out to their community and invites others to step over the thresholds within the scheme.

Sheila, an interdisciplinary artist working in performance, installation, participatory event  and moving image, is currently leading the series of workshops in the schemes that continue into September.

Shelia, explained: “When I first visited the housing schemes one of the main things that struck me was that both the residents and Health and Wellbeing Office Nikki Wilkinson mentioned wanting to somehow engage with the more private residents, those who are a bit invisible and might not come down to meetings for a variety of reasons.

“There was also a lot of talk about doorways! So I started to wondering about how to cross some of those more private thresholds, to gain access or make contact with those that don’t come down to the common room, in the most non-intrusive of ways (letters, invites, gifts,  sound).

“So that was the project’s initial starting point – ways in which to cross this very important boundary – the one between the residents private space and public space. It’s going to be great to see where the project ends up!”

The opening workshops saw participants create individual floral invitations, which were hand delivered to each of the properties within the scheme.

The mysterious hand printed invitations dropped through letterboxes with a note offering everyone in the scheme the chance to ‘Join Us’ – on a specific date, but with no location offered. This created a talking point, whereby participants and staff were able to share more detail about the forthcoming event.

Newcomers to the project then came out to join early participants and see a cellist and violinist perform – including the song ‘Getting to Know You’.

The growing group of residents from Parr Mount Court and Heald Farm Court will continue to work with Sheila to create new ways of getting to know their neighbours and explore the thresholds and boundaries that exist in their communities.

The project will continue throughout August and into early September. If you would like any more information please contact Suzanne@heartofglass.org.uk

Website: sheilaghelani.co.uk

Instagram: @sheilaghelani

 

 

Helen

Helen (Working Title)

“I wanted to tear the house apart”

 

Helen is a programme that will create immersive and explosive art experiences focused on women.

With international partners, Anu Productions and idle women, we will explore women’s persistence and resistance. We will contextualise present day violence against women in unspeakable and unimaginable histories, and look to the future.

Anu is renowned for interdisciplinary work that delves into historical and contemporary events, with scalpel like precision and dreamlike intensity. They bring unheard voices of the community to the fore, and aim to blur the lines between immersive and site specific installation art.

“★★★★★ ANU are responsible for the most searing and provocative works of the past decade and delivered some of the most ambitious and thrillingly intimate theatre in living memory”

Peter Crawley, The Irish Times

idle women create contemporary art with women. Their current work ‘on the water’ is a slow touring canal based project in the North West of England and West Yorkshire. Selina Cooper, a tailor made narrowboat, serves as a resource and arts centre for women.

Using a combination of enquiry, artistic endeavour, unconventional engagement practices and historical research we will create a new set of productions in 2018; the year St Helens celebrates its 150th birthday. Helen will create tectonic shifts in the everyday lives of the women who co-create her as well as the structures that work against us.

As we go, we will address inequalities in women’s labour in both the arts and construction sectors. We will develop skills for the future and create change in the power held by women from a diversity of backgrounds.

We will:

create new art experiences for audiences from across St Helens and beyond

re-imagine a local house, creating a nationally significant women’s space

provide talent development for early career and established female producers and artists

create change in the arts sector, in relation to collaborative practice and employment opportunities for women

disseminate learning through publishing and a national conference

 

We are in the early stages of developing this programme, and will update this project page as we go.

 

For more information about the current professional development opportunity please click here.