OutsiderXchanges is a pioneering visual arts project based on collaboration, reciprocal learning and creative exchange.

Over 7-months six learning disabled artists and six emerging artists from Manchester and Newcastle collaborated to make new work. Taking parity of ideas and aesthetic approaches as a starting point the resulting works blur the line between art and life, inviting the viewer to challenge their own conceptions of art and what might be considered ‘outsider’ art.

This project is led by Venture Arts in partnership with Castlefield Gallery, Manchester and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead and CVAN.

OutsiderXchanges was a moveable feast and offered several different happenings and presentations from September to November 2016.


We were invited to exhibit art work and documentation from Venture Arts’ pioneering collaborative visual arts project OutsiderXchanges project in the Quay Gallery, to coincide with a Symposium, looking at collaborative practice in a disability arts setting, which also took place at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts.


The exhibition included individual and collaborative work from Venture Arts studio artists Leslie Thompson, Horace Lindezey, Sarah Lee, Barry Anthony Finan and David James as well as Manchester based artists Rosanne Robertson, Matthew Girling, Juliet Davis and Sophie Lee and Newcastle based artists Simon Raven and Jane Louise Graham.


Acclaimed artist Tanya Raabe Webber also displayed some collaborative portraiture pieces which also evolved from her involvement in the project. Pieces displayed included collaborative work Yes Lad, Yes Lass (2016) by artists Barry Anthony Finan and Rosanne Robertson, a poignant mixed media video installation. This sculptural work represents the meeting of the two artists with their ambitions laid bare.

Read more about the project here:



Read more on this exhibition in the following reviews:

Corridor 8

Disability Arts Online

Double Negative

Arts Professional

OutsiderXchanges was supported through public funding by Arts Council England.