Anna FC Smith + Helen Mather

Photography by Livia Lazar

Images courtesy the artists

This Activation by Anna FC Smith and Helen Mather explores how Leigh women from pre-Peterloo Reform Societies were portrayed as witches and beasts; repurposing this imagery to create art that empowers people with a magical energy drawn from nature. The artists generate art and research with the local community and historians Ruth Mather and Yvonne Eckersley.

 

The interwoven elements are presented as folkloric objects, where banners and pikes stand like a forest populated with the beasts of the people. The project connects the community with their environment, history and agency, empowering them to roar together; sympathetic, empowered, and enfranchised. 

Throughout lockdown the artists have developed their collaborative practice with local participants who have continued to create responses from home. Their residency will resume at The Turnpike in Autumn 2020, where they will develop an immersive space for co-creation as well as outdoor platforms for debate and performance. 

The project is part of The Turnpike's ongoing exploration of Bioregionalism; a political, cultural, and ecological set of views based on naturally defined areas.  

RELATED EVENTS

 

ACTIVATIONS

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

BOOK YOUR PLACE

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. Jess has actively worked to raise the voices of marginalised communities and working-class children, but she has also witnessed and been subjected to abuse similar to that of the Female Reformers who dared to speak out.

 

ACTIVATIONS

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

WATCH THIS EVENT

 

ACTIVATIONS

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

WATCH THIS EVENT 

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The Turnpike, Civic Square, Leigh, WN7 1EB