Photography by Livia Lazar

Images courtesy the artists

Visit this extraordinary exhibition made by artists Anna FC Smith and Helen Mather and the local community.

Free entry

Open Wednesday - Saturday 10.00 - 14.00

Beastly embroidered banners, medals of ritual magic and ceramic odes to mythology meet in the twilight of an imagined woodland haunt. Charged with the enchanted currents of Leigh’s radical history, these symbols of conspiracy and creative action have materialised through These Lancashire Women are Witches in Politics, a project by Leigh-born artists Anna FC Smith and Helen Mather. The artists have conspired with local communities to explore portrayals of Leigh women from 19th century Reform Societies as witches and beasts. This mythical imagery has been repurposed to harness power in a contemporary social and political context.

The project is supported by Arts Council England and is part of Wanderland: a creative partnership between The Turnpike and Lancashire Wildlife Trust. 

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WORKING CLASS WITCHES ON BROKEN PAVEMENTS

Alt-pop poet, Louise Fazackerley, performs a selection of poetry chosen to reflect themes that mirror the life and actions of The Leigh Female Reformers of 1819. Her contemporary lived observations of life and politics in a northern town speak across the centuries and evoke an atmosphere of place; of hardship, of conviviality, and of everyday magic.

SATURDAY 6 APRIL 6-7pm

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WITCHES IN CONTEMPORARY POLITICS - RAISING YOUR VOICE Pre-recorded conversation and live Q&A with political and LGBTQ+ activist Jess Eastoe.

SATURDAY 6 MARCH 2pm-3:30pm

Artists Helen Mather and Anna FC Smith talk with Jess Eastoe about her contemporary experiences as a campaigner, activist and youth worker based in Leigh, drawing parallels with the Leigh Female Reformers of 1819. 

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GLIMPSING SHAPESHIFTERS Performance, conversation and Q&A with artist Rachel Finney

SATURDAY 6 FEB 6-7:30pm

Debut of pre-recorded performance by Rachel Finney for These Lancashire Women are Witches in Politics, followed by a conversation with artists Helen Mather and Anna FC Smith

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GLIMPSING SHAPESHIFTERS Performance, conversation and Q&A with artist Rachel Finney

SATURDAY 6 FEB 6-7:30pm

Debut of pre-recorded performance by Rachel Finney for These Lancashire Women are Witches in Politics, followed by a conversation with artists Helen Mather and Anna FC Smith

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