A New Exchange was an artist development programme for early to mid-career socially engaged artists who live and work in Greater Manchester, running from September 2022 to March 2023.
Funded by GMCA, the six month programme built on the foundation, success and legacy of The Turnpike CIC’s ‘Making of Us’ (2020 - 2022) with a continued focus on artist development, co-creation, collaboration and community engagement. It was underpinned by a number of key principles that shaped the success of ‘Making of Us’, notably reflective practice, care, diversity and inclusion.
The programme was delivered through successful long-term partnerships with Wigan Targeted Youth Support Services, True Colours CIC and The Together Trust.
3 early-career socially engaged artists living and working in Greater Manchester were partnered with an artist who participated in the ‘Making of Us’ to deliver a project in collaboration with one of our three community partners. Alongside this, the 3 new artists undertook training, mentoring, peer-to-peer learning and reflective practice.
The 6 artists on the 2022-2023 programme were:
Jamie-Lee is a creator, facilitator, and educator. Within her practice, she aims to make learning experiences more inclusive for different minds, using playful and creative thinking as a vehicle. She utilises her neurodivergent brain to create new and innovative ways of learning about topics, ourselves, and the people around us. Jamie-Lee also has a passion for 3D printing due to the minimal waste material produced and the ability to print with recycled bioplastics. She uses 3D printing as a tool to help her create playful experiences for public engagement.
Ciara is a photographer and writer from Manchester. Her past work includes a four-year collaboration with Eastern European Roma families, partly funded by Arts Council England and Side Gallery. More recently, she has worked with Open Eye Gallery and Cafe 71, a Chester mental health space, on Picturing High Streets, a Historic England-funded project. She was also commissioned by Streets Apart to work on King Street in Wigan. Ciara worked with homeless charity, The Brick, to produce a zine sharing participant work, and invited local people who wanted to share anecdotes of the street to attend photo walks. This work is being displayed on King Street.
Andee Collard a visual artist based in Bolton. He is interested in making art everyday and has several ongoing projects; he made daily drawings for 4 years and has been taking a self portrait everyday for the last 11 years. Andee’s current practice uses CNC machines to make analogue paintings and drawings. His practice is a hybrid approach that combines aspects of painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, design, coding, engineering, writing and education. The mash up and the cross pollination of ideas and techniques is important to him. Collard works across media, processes and genres. Andee co-runs Bolton Contemporary, a socially engaged riso print and design studio.
Nicolette is a creative polymath, with knowledge of different artistic techniques and an understanding of the diverse types of learning styles.
She uses a variety of visual art media with storytelling at the core.
She is educated in sociology and social work, and has more than 20 years of experience working in domestic and overseas development which she wants to combine with her own personal art practice.
Hathaikan (Hattie) is an upcycling artist, workshop facilitator and producer.
Her art practice uses discarded furniture and transforms them into animated surreal creatures, each uniquely reacting to their salvage from landfill.
She only uses found or secondhand items, usually accessible items that you can easily find in your own home, to inspire people to similarly use pre-existing materials to bring amusement to our everyday lives.
Gemma Lees is a Romany Gypsy, disabled and neurodiverse artist, poet, actor and theatre-maker from Bury, Lancashire. Her work often deals with her lived experiences of mental illness, homelessness, physical disability, neurodivergence and the contemporary Romany Gypsy experience. This year she has worked with Graeae Theatre Company, Open Mind, Chester Disability Pride Parade and British Art Show 9.
She is currently training to be a journalist with Traveller’s Times, is an artist on Turnpike Gallery’s A New Exchange programme, is represented by Mad Dog Casting, is a founding member of One Key Theatre, an all-disabled theatre company and the in-house editor for Trails of Tales That Travel, the only totally GTR-run publishing company in the UK. Her first musical, ‘Mind Your Business’, has been selected to pitch to BEAM2023, the piece she created for BAS9 will be installed in HOME gallery for School of Protest and DANC/53Two’s Christmas Advert this year will be made based on her idea about a Neurodiverse-friendly grotto.
The 'Making Sense' exhibition was the culmination of 10 workshops in collaboration with participants from True Colours which were facilitated by artists Jamie-Lee Wainman and Gemma Lees as part of their A New Exchange development journey.
The exhibition featured fully touchable, messable artworks that celebrate neurodiversity and the senses and included a designated dark time when the artists were able to show off the torch projections they had made.