Change The Conversation Change The Outcome

23rd March – 22nd April 2018

The People’s History Museum

Change The Conversation Change The Outcome features artworks from more than 40 Studio members. In a major progression, it is also curated by four of the artists.

It is a must for anyone who believes in equality in the arts.  Curator and artist Melanie Marsden explains why.

“I feel proud to be an artist with a disability.  I don’t think people know how talented artists with disabilities are. There’s not enough exhibitions out there showing work by artists with disabilities. More should be exhibited. We need to get our work on the wall so people can see what we are about.” 

Melanie Marsden

From the first discussions on the exhibition’s theme right through to decisions about the use of the exhibition space, the artists have been the decision-makers.

They also came up with the title ‘Change the Conversation, Change the Outcome’.

The journey began with an open call for submissions from the museum for responses to the term ‘Represent’. This is part of the museum’s celebration of the centenary of the Representation of the People Act that gave the right to vote to some women.

Display boards at the museum
Just a few of the colourful artworks.

Equal Representation

Discussion on the theme revealed that the group felt other people often have low expectations of their art work. They believe this is because there simply isn’t enough representation by people with learning difficulties and disabilities in the art world. They wanted to change that and to show that their work fully justifies being judged on its own merits.

Display board with an artists words asking for more equal representation
Wise words.

Fully in keeping with the Represent theme, work by every one the artists across our three dedicated art studios, Vernon, Broadstone Mill and the Grey Horse is featured in the exhibition. The works include paintings, drawings, sculptures, collage and more. There are landscapes, studies of human form, textures, celebrations of colour and tone.

Key to the progression of four of the artists is their involvement in curating their work, as Abigail Betton, Pure’s Art Facilitator explains.

“Creative ownership and direction of the exhibition was lead by Melanie Marsden, Nicholaus Msindai, Jason Johnson and Sarah Bradbury. They are passionate about achieving equality in the arts.

They gave constructive peer feedback while works were in progress and chose the works to be displayed.

Sarah and Jason also visited the museum for a meeting with the museum’s Exhibitions Officer Mark Wilson. They then took on board the creative feedback he gave on how to make the space in the Engine Hall work for them. They have excelled in their role and demonstrated their new talents.”

Abigail Betton

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This fabulous exhibition runs until  April 22nd. Admission is free – and yes, there is a great cafe with a view of the river too!

The museum is situated  at Left Bank, Spinningfields, just a short five minute walk from  the House of Fraser (formerly Kendals) on Deansgate. For more info on how to find it, click here. 

And while you are there, why not tweet a pic for us to share and spread the word on Twitter? #changetheconversation Hope to see you soon!