Conversations Series II

Conversations Series II

Conversations Series II 1

Conversations Series II, led by Venture Arts and in partnership with Castlefield Gallery and the Whitworth, is a collaborative residency that bringing together three learning-disabled artists who are part of the Venture Arts supported studios, to work alongside the three visual artists. The group will develop shared ideas, create new work, and reflect on the labels placed upon us by society. This residency builds on the success of OutsiderXchanges from 2015-16.


The selected artists;  Joe Beedles, James Desser, Amy Ellison, Frances Heap, Andrew Johnstone, and John Powell-Jones will spend time with the Whitworth team and the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection, having time and access to explore the collection, its ethics and its display. This collection can be used as a starting point to see what ideas and visual responses develop during the collaborative residency. Castlefield Gallery will provide the artists taking part with mentoring and crit support at key stages over the course of the residency period. Disabled artist Tanya Raabe-Webber will work with the group to ground the work within the disability arts movement.


All successful artists will be given access to free studio space in Hulme for five months (October 2018 – February 2019), coming together as a group for 1 day per week to share the space. The studio in Hulme will be available the rest of the time for the artists’ use. A space at the Whitworth Art Gallery will be available for the residency artists to meet in periodically throughout the project.


The intention of Conversations Series II is that work resulting from the residency programme will be shared with the public across several platforms from March 2019, so we are particularly interested in hearing from artists who are keen to develop their practice and their networks, and who are willing to make tangible artwork to exhibit and tour.


Contact Katherine Long for any further inquiries.


Tel: 0161 232 1223
Venture Arts
43 Old Birley Street
Manchester, M15 5RF


VENTURE ARTS are a progressive visual arts charity based in Hulme, Manchester, who have been working with learning disabled people since 1985. They work alongside learning-disabled artists to create and show new contemporary visual art work. Venture Arts vision is to see learning disabled people play a valued and valuable role within arts and culture as artists, critics, audiences, advocates and workers.




CASTLEFIELD GALLERY is an artist focused organisation established by artists in 1984. Over the last three decades the gallery has become an integral part of the North of England’s cultural fabric and a vital support to artists across the North West and further afield. Castlefield Gallery delivers a programme of exhibitions, projects and events from its main gallery in Manchester, whilst also commissioning, curating and producing off-site and public art, national and international artist residencies, and exchange programmes. The gallery exports art and culture developed and produced in the region through exchange, to enable meaningful relationships between artists nationally and internationally to flourish over extended periods of time. Castlefield Gallery Associates is a 200+ strong artist, curator and writer membership group whom access artistic, skills and career development support via our work, as well as New Art Spaces – pop-up art and production spaces located across Greater Manchester. Our development programme extends to providing bespoke artist mentoring, coaching and CPD, working with those at all career stages, including new graduates.


Castlelfield Gallery is a registered charity, a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England and Manchester City Council Cultural Partner, and until August 2019 Castlefield Gallery is a recipient of Arts Council England’s Catalyst: Evolve, an initiative that encourages the growth of private giving and organisational resilience.


THE WHITWORTH is a gallery that is historic and contemporary, academic and playful. Founded in 1889 as the first English gallery in a park. Part of the University of Manchester, the Whitworth is a gallery that is a place of research and academic collaboration, and whose education and learning teams have generated new approaches to working with non-traditional arts audiences. Since 2010 the Whitworth has housed the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection.


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