Artist: Gang of Five
Archive: Bury Archives & Local History
Project: Live event as part of our popular Thank Art series with models, music, drawing, spoken word performance, artist workshops.
Our experience of working with archives comes as a collective and as individuals. As a collective (through the Bury Collective artist group) we have worked with Bury Archives and Library Services on their ‘BuryRemembers the First World War’ HLF project, creating postcards, artworks, exhibitions and workshops based on the material in the archives.
As individuals, Gina Warburton has worked closely with archives in her job as assistant curator at Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre and led the HLF funded’ David Swithenbank: Retrospective of a Travelling Artist’ project, which showcased the life and work of the prolific local artist and then Bury Art Society President.Other experience of the individual members working with archives comes in the form of Stephen Nuttall’s work as senior producer for the EU funded, ‘NATUR: North Atlantic Tales’ project.
This project links artists and archives from England, Scotland, Iceland, Norway and Denmark-artists undertake residencies with overseas partners to trace the stories that link them over the North Sea and create artistic responses which are shown on festival platforms.
Working with archives, we can create new avenues of artistic exploration which can then create new ways for people to engage with the history and heritage of their home town and community. We want to look specifically at the Bury involvement in the Peterloo Massacre, so we would want to work with Bury Libraries & Archives as our archive body. The reason being that they have a collection of archival material based on the Bury contingency at Peterloo and further archives about protest, democracy and freedom of speech in the Bury area over the years-the connection to Bury is a personal one for GOF, with many of us making the area our home and place of work over the years.We feel that that this personal connection can inspire us to inspire others creatively and bring the archives to life, whilst attracting new audiences and look at new working ways (as well as developing relationships) to create contemporary archival practice.
We will deliver a range of artistic elements to create a performance, a series of workshops and a publication to be housed in the Bury Archives, this layered approach to engage with the archives will create an avenue for young people, making the archives more accessible. With multiple fields in the arts, we will also be working with multiple artist and academic organisations; we will be collaborating with Bury Creatives,Holy Cross College,Bury Local History Society and Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre. Through these connections we can create a project that involves and represents the entire town of Bury-developing new relationships within the town so that conversations can begin for future projects together.