Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Handmade in Manchester : Arty Places #9 2012

Exhibition: Jennifer Collier 

During a recent stay in Manchester (England), I visited some “arty places. I was pleasantly surprised to find a small exhibit of the amazing work of textile artist, Jennifer Collier in the Museum of Science and Industry. Jennifer, who worked at the museum for two years under the Setting Up Scheme run by the Arts Council England North West, describes her technique “I create innovative textiles from natural and found materials such as leaves, petals fruit and tea bags …. The main technique I have developed is the fusing of fruit between layers of organza. This can be done with apples, strawberries, figs, pears, kiwis and cherry tomatoes.”

Of course there were other really interesting and engaging displays at this museum, including having your photo taken and becoming part of the electronic installation.
Museum of Science and Industry 

 The Manchester Craft and Design Centre, in the Victorian market buildings, was such a vibrant creative place and its architecture of course was part of the charm. Each artist was housed in a working studio/shopfront - there was such a gentle energy about this  place. 
Manchester Craft and Design Centre 

Here is a video which shows more of the work at  the Manchester Craft and Design Centre ...

A visit to the People’s  History Museum   is not only a wonderful social history lesson and appreciation of the contribution of working men and women and their families, but it has an amazing collection of handmade and handpainted trade union and working associations' banners.  
women's movement banner
close up of banner above 

close up of embroidery on a children's association banner 
The  museum   has now established a conservation studio, in an effort to preserve these colourful,  banners .  Formerly a hydraulic pumping station,  the museum tell the story of the history of  democracy in Britain  and about ordinary people’s lives at home, work and leisure over the last 200 years.  It  was really interesting to learn more about the fight for the women’s voting rights, especially from an ordinary housewife's 's viewpoint. Hannah Mitchell’s kitchen is reproduced in the museum, with genuine pieces belonging to her.
In Hannah Mitchell's kitchen 
She belonged to the Women’s Social and Political Union and was arrested on one of her protests in London, but her fine was paid promptly by her husband so she could return home to look after the family. Sustained by the belief in the cause for women, Hannah said “No cause can be won between dinner and tea and most of us who are married have to work with one hand tied behind us, so to speak”.
..... I feel very fortunate to live in times  and in a country when creative activities are a choice not a chore and freedom of speech is a "given" ....   


  1. You had a truly enlightening day. Blessings!

  2. I enjoyed looking at the many wall paintings that you have done. Not being very handy with a paintbrush, even though I know what I like in the way of art, I took the easier option to order this canvas print from the site .
    It’s an unusual work called Forest music 1, by Remedios Varo Uranga, a Spanish-Mexican woman artist.


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