Delving deeper into the Call for Cloth stories


Tall Tales artist Lauren Sagar has been revisiting the stories behind her new intricate textile work, Call for Cloth. The work sprung from an invitation by Sagar to local communities and the wider public; an invitation to share stories and memories related to cloth. Stories and donations of fabric were collected from across the country, and specifically at each location of our Tall Tales tour as it progressed.

What resulted were a series of blankets, each one weaving together a patchwork of narratives from the people and stories she encountered along the way. Each blanket focuses on stories from specific regions, namely London, Rochdale and Manchester with snippets of stories from further afield.

For the last month of our Tall Tales tour, where the blankets reside at our partner venue Glasgow Women’s Library, Sagar shares the full stories, which exists snuggled within the fabric of each blanket.

Here are the 3 story documents, which are a work in progress for Sagar and which will continue to be developed as she reflects back on the stories encountered for her Call for Cloth commission. Each story is numbered to correspond with the images below:








A little bit of Lemon goes a long long way in Ancoats


Micro-Micro-Revolution-e1435322533577This Thursday see’s the first of two Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art related workshops for the current Victoria Square over 60s residents – bringing the local art organisations current project #500LemonTrees, CFCCA’s Northern Art Carbooty stall and the residents of Ancoats together.

Five Hundred Lemon Trees is a project by artist Huang Po-chih, which called for 500 participants to each donate 500 Taiwanese Dollars to buy a wine label. The sale of each label funded the planting of a lemon tree in fallow farmland in north Taiwan that has been neglected for twenty years. Two years later participants received a bottle of Limoncello and were invited to stick the wine label on the bottle themselves. The project re-establishes both enterprise and art production as methodologies for sustainable social change, reigniting the relationship between farmers, their land and business practice.’

CFCCA is currently the home to an orchard of lemon trees where audiences are able to witness ongoing art-enterprise in action until the end of August.

As well as CFCCA showcasing this current project as part of their artist stall for Northern Art Carbooty, they will be working with a local chef and the Victoria Square over 60s to create lemonade to sell alongside the stall. This will be followed by gallery visit for the older residents to see the project and the centre first hand, bringing the art-enterprise of Ancoats and Taiwan that little bit closer. 

Image c. CFCCA and artist

The Alternative Statues of Ancoats animated by Victoria Square residents!


This week the Victoria Square residents and local knitting group ‘Nippy Knitters’ have excelled themselves (and it’s only Wednesday)!

The group have been working with images captured of the beautiful Victoria Square gardens and surrounding Ancoats area to create final screen printed designs.

Both the designs created, colours selected and alternative Ancoats Statues of the gardens celebrated, these designs punch with vibrancy & character!

Tomorrow Sally from One69a will be back with the group to do some screen printing onto tea towels and making A3 prints that will be framed alongside these other works for sale on the a Northern Art Carbooty day!

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When CrossAcres Met Victoria Square and screen printing on full swing!


IMG_6145 IMG_6146 IMG_6148 Cross Acres knitting group visit Vic Square 1 Cross Acres Knitting group visit Vic square 2The Screen Printing workshops at Victoria Square are getting brighter and busier each week! On Tuesday we saw Wythenshawe Knitting group, Cross Acres, visit Ancoats for the second year in a row, and come along to join in with our Victoria Square residents workshops. With a full house in the Community Centre all hands were on deck as the creative ideas and imagery around Ancoats heritage come to life in some very vivid textile pieces!

We can’t wait to see the final products on sale for this Northern Art Carbooty!


Victoria Square Residents meet Unity Radio in preparation for NAC15


_DSC0782 _DSC0789Last week saw Victoria Square residents and associated knitting group, ‘Nippy Knitters‘ meet Unity Radio’s team over on-site in their hanger space, where our own Northern Art Carbooty will take place this August Bank Holiday Sunday.

It was the first time for many of the local residents to step inside the Unity Radio HQ and find out all about not only its FM and on-line radio programme but also about its history, legacy and long-term engagement work for and with young people across the region.

The Unity Radio team also set up a pop up recording studio in the hanger space so each of our Victoria Square residents could have a go at presenting. With everything from advert pitching to 1 minute raps, Unity Radio may of found themselves some knew radio recruits!

Victoria Square residents are keen to start their own internal radio station and Unity Radio are making plans to support this idea and turn an audio dream into a radio reality!



Ancoats history screen printed with Vic Square residents for Northern Art Carbooty!


FullSizeRenderAs ever our local Ancoats Older residents  are busy working towards their own contemporary art stall for this year’s Northern Art Carbooty. Residents and the local Knitting group (Many Hands) from Victoria Square Housing Building are busy working away with project artist Sally Gilford and assistant Juliet Davies, to create new textile based works which celebrate all things heritage and environment to do with the Ancoats conservation area. They will be selling their final products along as part of a community stall for the Ancoats based Northern Art Carbooty on Sun 30th August, 1 Primrose Street, 12-5pm!

And tomorrow see’s one of our NAC curator’s Liz Wewiora also leading a workshop with the residents to capture photographs and cyanotypes of the surrounding areas to use for the final screen printed works!


You can see one of the wonderful tester screen print patterns above from their very first session!

Cutting Itchy – Hankering for Classification inspired workshop Fri 21st Nov


call out

As part of the Hankering for Classification programme of events, and to tie in with the current ‘As we are away’ mini Manchester festival, Toast, 6th Floor of Federation House, and home to the current exhibition, is delighted to be hosting ‘Cutting Itchy’.

Organised by MUTO and NOUS Magazine, Cutting Itchy is a workshop led by Océane Tur in collaboration with Tom Estioko Blunt. The workshop relates to the themes in the exhibition involving elements repetition, misunderstanding and the illusion of being involved in an art making process involving film, performance and installation.

Here are the details on how to get involved:
The filming during the workshop will take place inside a gallery setting in an especially built set, and happen throughout one day. That means, we will eventually perform in front of a live ‘studio’ audience.

The film set is the high-society dining room of the Hindenburg airship of 1937. On the last day of its final voyage (As you might know, tragically, it burst into flames before landing at its destination…). Blissfully floating above earth, while fascism spreads below, a small orchestra plays to privileged passengers ignorant of what boils underneath.

This will be as much live theatre, as performance art, and a reconstruction of a film set, where everything is on show and everyone is part of the performance.

Filming will begin at 10am and finish by 5pm. The number of participants is divided into 5 groups of 4 people. Each group will be ‘on set’ for roughly one hour (10am to 11am11am to 12am, etc.). You don’t have to be present for the whole day, only for the hour you are taking part. You are naturally welcome to stay and watch, and look round the TOAST exhibition “Hankering for Classification’, curated by Matthew Pendergast and Elizabeth Wewiora which is happening at the same time.

What will happen after the workshop?
After the filming , Joe Whitmore and Generic Greeting Collective will take over the stage for a live animation and DJ-set from 7pm til 8pm. The after-workshop-party with Generic Greeting’s DJ will continue til midnight and welcomes everyone to join.

What else?
We’re looking for 1930’s costumes for the scene, it doesn’t matter if you don’t, but if you do have 1930’s style ties, jackets, coats, caps, please do bring them along!

If you are interested in taking part:
contact Juliet to register for a time slot (titling your email “CUTTING ITCHY PARTICIPATION”):
or Tom to enquire about the project itself: