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idle women announce new floating arts centre

Date uploaded: December 2, 2015

idle women announce a new floating arts centre touring the North West of England, following major funding award for 2016 - 2017.The project is a touring arts and resource space for women, on board a narrow boat supported by Arts Council England's strategic touring fund and its five partners, Super Slow Way, Creative Scene, Left Coast, Heart of Glass and Canal & River Trust. 

idle women navigates the canals and waterways across the North West and West Yorkshire, reaching some of the least served communities of countryside, towns and cities. Hosting a series of artists-in-residence, workshops & events it provides both visiting arts venue and arts resource center for women.

The emphasis is on bringing the high quality work and experiences to participants and audiences by commissioning artists who are leading socially engaged practice today.

Honoring the working tradition of the canals by using a pair of existing historical working narrow boats - a ‘tug motor boat towing a ‘butty’ unmortised boat which will house the cargo - in this instance an artist in residence and work space.

About the artist in residence programme

Over the two-year tour a total of seven contemporary artists will be invited to take up a paid residency on-board the boat. Each artist will spend a period of three months working and living on board the arts resource space developing new collaborative work with local women and girls.

idle women will house artists who are leading the progression of socially engaged/collaborative practice, artists with extensive experience and International profiles who work across a range of practices including spoken word, theatre, visual arts, digital platforms, dialogical practice and performance.

Supported by the projects live-in creative producers Rachel Anderson and Cis O’Boyle artists will develop a bespoke schedule of work in collaboration with local women and/or girls. These individual site-specific projects will be developed with and inspired by the communities and contexts the boat visits, generating relevant, engaging and unexpected new projects. This residency period will support active R&D, creation & production and public showcasing to appropriate public audiences.

These residencies will offer paid research and work space for socially engaged artists to immerse themselves fully in a new project amongst inspiring contexts and communities. Artists will be offered practical and creative support from the projects two live-in producers, who offer extensive experience in creative and technical production, programming and project development.

These residencies serve to deliver a fully integrated outreach model, offering regular and diverse means to engage with the project in the on-board workshop space and for women who might not initially visit the boat we will offer to work in their elected environments.

Confirmed residencies for the partnership with Super Slow Way along the Leeds to Liverpool Canal in 2016 include muf architecture/art, Mojisola Adebayo and Karen Mirza. There is now an open call for the fourth artist in residence through this open call. Click here for more information.