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  • Writer's pictureEllie Rankin


Updated: May 21, 2020

In response to the initial briefing for the new unit Exhibit in the City, our group immediately met up to discuss some initial thoughts and ideas as to how we were going to approach the brief. We felt it would be the wisest idea to source a location and venue first of all, before discussing and finalising our ideas about what we would be exploring and investigating within our work. Sourcing a venue, would perhaps open new doors into areas we could work with and explore, such as scale, location and even the history and context of the space.

We therefore all set out to contact spaces and venues in and around Manchester, in order to have as many options as possible, and then could discuss and decide the pros and cons of each one, comparing pricing, availability and space.

Personally, I after much research online, I'd found that it was actually significantly a lot harder than initially thought. I'd remembered a venue that was used last year for fine art's UNIT X exhibition - 'Fairfield Social club'. On visiting the space during last year’s festival, I recalled really liking and appreciating the layout and atmosphere within, and therefore thought there would be no harm in contacting them. However, in doing so I received an automated email stating that they'd moved location. The dates then given that they were available unfortunately did not coincide with those that we needed so this put this option to a stop. I then remembered that I'd visited a photographic exhibition at the Depot, Mayfield and again thought the space was excellent, so contacted them. However, in the time between them getting back to me, we had already found an alternative hopeful looking location that we'd all agreed on.


I took to our group Facebook page to propose the ideas, and to see what others thought of the options. I feel that one of the most important points to remember at this stage in any organisation of an exhibition or event, is to keep our options open, especially with regard to the venue. This being as we never know if one of the options will fall through last minute, and we would be stuck for any alternatives. I gained positive feedback from the rest of the group, and we were looking on track to have somewhere sorted by the end of the month.




As aforementioned, Jack then informed us that he'd been in contact with the organisers of Antwerp mansion In Rusholme. This possibility was looking the most positive out of the options wed discussed as a group so far. This being that their availability was aligning with ours, and budget wise, it looked the most achievable. We then went on to arrange a site visit in order to finalise our decision. (Images of space shown below)

As a group we were extremely excited about the possibility of using this space, as it seemed exceptionally versatile, and allowed for a lot of possibility for experimental approaches.


"The cost will be around £80 (£240 in total so we would only have to fundraise £4) per day for the whole house, which allows 6 rooms to exhibit in, including 2 huge event rooms (we can use all the rooms)
We can use the space from 10am till 11pm, and are allowed to visit as much as we need to, to get ideas on how we would like to install.
We can only use blue tac on the walls but there is hooks on most of the ceilings to hang prints from there
We would be allowed to split the space with another group if we wanted due to the size.
Particular rooms work really well with natural light in the day time such as the main room and the piano room, but the gig room would work really well with projections etc
The money that we would need to pay wouldn’t be needed up until the end of april/start of may we are allowed to stock alcohol but we can only ask for ‘donations’- most of the public would be willing to give, we just can’t act as if we are selling them
Despite the space looking quite run down, it’s very very safe with plenty of plug sockets around for our need"

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