Well, it’s been a busy week here at Crunch Towers. In a nutshell, here is what I have (and haven’t) been up to:
1. Isaac Julien’s Ten Thousand Waves at the Whitworth Art Gallery
Julien’s film installation is stunning. Taking as its starting-point the tragic night in 2004 when 23 Chinese cockle-pickers lost their lives in Morecambe Bay, the film brings together footage of the attempted rescue operation, along with the mythological story of the sea goddess, Mazu, supposed protector of those lost at sea, and an exploration of life in contemporary Shanghai. By turns moving, serene, horrifying, urgent, tranquil and a riot of busy colour, it offers up some really interesting perspectives on the global world we have inherited and constructed around us, and how we accept or challenge what matters to us. It’s on until the end of August, and there’s a special event this week as part of the Thursday Lates series featuring a conversation with the film-maker and performances from the original score. I’m gutted all the tickets have already gone, but hopefully there’ll be some write-ups and video to check out next week.
2. The King Street Festival in Manchester
I wandered down to King Street on Saturday in search of a sneaky preview of one of the Bee in the City Manchester bees, and was pleasantly surprised to find myself in the middle of the King Street Festival. There was some nice live music happening, and a Conversation Tent featuring a range of speakers through the afternoon – I caught the tail-end of Elaine de Fries from the Pankhurst Centre talking about the therapeutic garden being developed behind the Pankhurst Centre building. Sounds really interesting.
And as for the Bee… well, here he is. He’s called ‘Bee Here Now’, was designed by Joseph Venning and features some of Greater Manchester’s most beloved musical artists. Appearing as a preview of the Public Art Trail of bees which will be hitting the streets of Manchester in July. Watch this space (hive? honeycomb?) for more Bee news later this summer.
3. GRUB at Mayfield
It was my first visit to Mayfield for the Grub Food Fair (YES, of course food is cultural). Food and surroundings were excellent, and the lovely staff on the entrance gave us the friendliest of welcomes! Plus, it seems the Mayfield development project is quite a big deal. There are info boards outlining the plans as well as some detailing Mayfield’s history. And that definitely counts as culture.
4. Turning Tides: First in the Fight at Victoria Baths
This was an incredible (and free) promenade performance co-ordinated by enJOY arts and devised by students from Cedar Mount High and Newall Green High about women’s fight for the vote. It was inspiring and so impressive to see, and I was blown away by the talent and creativity on display. Well done ladies.
So what’s next? I managed to miss 2 things this week. Helen Mort launching her new collection ‘The Singing Glacier’ on Thursday was no doubt a brilliant night – gutted that this one passed me by. And I had a ticket for a double bill of films at HOME on Sunday (Spell Reel and Sol Negro) and managed to completely space out and just FORGOT TO GO. Must do better at being organised!
So here’s what’s on my mind this week…
Crunchy: It’s the last few days of Louis Henderson’s exhibition at HOME. It’s called Overtures and explores the Haitian Revolution. On until Sunday 10th June (and I’m DEFINITELY NOT missing this one).
Crunchier: Manchester Histories Festival is almost upon us. It’s taking place this coming weekend (7th-11th June), there are lots of events – many of them free – and I’m going to attend as much as I possibly can! I’ll see you there.
Crunchiest: I loved my first visit to new theatre venue 53two in March for a night of short plays and spoken word as part of the MancMade festival. And I’ve just found out there’s going to be a MancMade Part Deux later this month – Saturday 30th June will see more plays, live music and performance poetry hit the stage, with art, food and drink on offer too, all for just £9. I am in!
That’s it for this week’s round-up. If you have any cultural or creative highlights that you’re horrified I’m missing or haven’t mentioned, please get in touch or add a comment below.