7/03/2020 — 18/03/2020

Conversations Series II


Daniel Letzer, (work in progress), 2019

Photo courtesy of Tina Dempsey as part of the New Langdale workshops.


This exhibition brings together artists, with and without disability, from Blackpool and Manchester who have worked together to investigate how artists are labelled, who makes art and who it is for. The exhibition will also include works on loan from the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection, the UK’s largest collection of Outsider art which is housed at the Whitworth.

From October 2019 to February 2020, artists with and without disability have been meeting regularly at The Blackpool Centre for Independent Living as part of The New Langdale’s communication through art programme. The New Langdale is a community based daytime service for adults with a learning disability which provides a wide range of stimulating and outcome based activities. Here, working with Blackpool based artist Tina Dempsey, and supported by the group’s regular coordinators, participants have been making new work together, testing out new approaches, techniques and materials. This process has been accompanied by research visits to Grundy Art Gallery, the Whitworth; where participants experienced a talk and tour of The Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection, and a visit to Venture Arts studios in Hulme, to see the facilities, meet other artists, and to hear more about their work. 

‘Conversations Series’ is a programme of artistic projects and residencies delivered by Venture Arts, Manchester aimed at creating new work in a shared exchange of art and ideas. This programme brings together a range of artists, with and without learning disabilities, to develop collaborative, reciprocal learning and creative exchanges. Through this, it is hoped that open conversations and new dialogues about the role of art in contemporary society will be generated. ‘Conversations Series II - OTHER TRANSMISSIONS’ is the title given to a new stage of the ‘Conversations Series’ project involving new partners such as the Whitworth, the University of Manchester, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester and Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool. 

Conversations Series II - OTHER TRANSMISSIONS is presented by Grundy Art Gallery as part of its participation in Access Fylde Coast, a Coastal Communities funded project that is being led by Disability First, Blackpool. It follows on from Grundy Art Gallery’s summer 2019 presentation, NDACA - Art, Anger and Rights from the Disability Arts movement, an exhibition curated in partnership with the National Disability Arts Collection and Archive (NDACA).

Another iteration of the Conversations Series project is currently taking place at the Whitworth, Manchester. ‘Other Transmissions: Conversations with Outsider Art’ is a project resulting from a two year artist residency project led by Venture Arts in collaboration with the Whitworth, and Castlefield Gallery and is on display until 14 June 2020.